Saturday, May 09, 2009

Above and Beyond #10

The staff at Van Raalte is always checking the pulse of their clientele. During this past year many things were done to support and help the many wonderful Van Raalte families. Staff have donated money, gifts and time for many needy families during holiday times as well as supplied the clothing closet with items for various ages of children.

Another aspect of being a teacher is honoring the teaching profession and taking time to mentor new teachers. This year, many Van Raalte staff members chose to be a part of the Grand Valley Cohort Program. This is a program in which a college student progresses from an assistant to a student teacher, but is allowed to stay in one classroom throughout the year. This is certainly a benefit to college students to develop a close relationship with an experienced mentor as well as seeing the growth of a classroom and students throughout most of a year.

Many of the teaching staff at Van Raalte are seasoned veterans and chose to take on a cohort this year. The college students began in September and left in mid-April, for graduation. During the entire year, staff members spent time training these students daily to address the many aspects of running a classroom. College students are expected assume full responsibility for a classroom at the end of this experience. In addition, mentors make recommendations to continue or possibly leave the teaching profession. This is not a role lightly assumed.

Looking forward to the future will ensure we have many potential great new teachers for our future in Michigan. Way to go Van Raalte Staff!