While meeting with her current students at Henry Hudson School 28 in the Rochester City School District (RCSD), Rosemary Arioli, lecturer with the Elementary Education and Reading Department, had a very pleasant surprise: four of her former students stopped in to say "Hi." Even better, all four have been hired recently by the RCSD, three in School 28.
“How often does that happen?” marveled Arioli, who serves as assistant coordinator of student-teaching placement as well as supervisor of student teachers at School 28, a pre-K through sixth grade school.
All four—Shalyn Kanaley, ’11; Jason Legrett, ’09; Tellis Lott, ’10; and Samantha Ramsey, ‘12—belonged to cohorts who completed their student teaching at School 28. Arioli piloted the cohort model, which is now common in the School of Education. “A group of students teach in one school, and their supervisor is in the school at least twice a week,” explained Arioli. “It works well because the students and supervisor become connected to the school.”
Arioli also helped bring School 28 into the Professional Development Schools Consortium, adding to the rich collaboration that benefits both the school and the Buffalo State teacher candidates.
“All four of the students did their student teaching at School 28,” said Arioli. “And three of them now work there.” Ramsey was hired last fall to teach sixth grade; Legrett and Kanaley were hired this semester as response-to-intervention teaching specialists. Tellis Lott was hired at RCSD School 4. “When he stopped in to see me, he was at School 28 for a professional development workshop,” said Arioli.
“Grow our own teachers” is a concept that Arioli has heard at several schools. It refers to the idea of not only supervising student teachers, but also mentoring them, so that they become a part of the school and a good fit for any openings that may occur.
It’s a two-way street that depends on dedicated, cooperating teachers. “The cooperating teachers in School 28 are all very strong,” said Arioli. “And our students stand out, because they have a great work ethic and a lot of classroom experience before they start student teaching.”
Jeremy Ventura, a cooperating teacher at School 28 who mentored three of the four students, praised Buffalo State’s teacher candidates. “I have worked with probably every campus in the surrounding area…and your school is the exemplar," Venture wrote to Arioli. "Your students are the utmost professionals and their preparation is second to none.”