New to the College of Education’s Teacher Education program this year are Instructional Coaches—not professors, just inspirational sounding boards for teacher candidates currently working in Omaha-metropolitan school districts.
These four new coaches include: Kelly Gomez-Johnson, a former secondary math teacher for Papillion-La Vista; Christi Krehbiel, a former 7th Grade English teacher; Ferial Pearson, a former secondary education teacher who came to UNO by way of Minnesota from Kenya, Africa; and Amanda Steiner, a former elementary education in the Omaha-metro area.
These ladies more than understand UNO, its culture and the Teacher Education preparation program—three of them attended UNO for their master’s degrees. Together this quad travels to area schools, shadowing and mentoring about 160 teacher candidates per semester. The coaches give input on where teacher candidates can improve in instruction skills, from classroom management to building meaningful relationships with students.
They may have varying backgrounds in their educational experiences (from working in public and private institutions to Montessori schools) but all can agree on one thing: the key to being a great teacher is to build trust with students and guide them on an academic path they feel they can independently succeed at. And to be a great teacher requires practice and assessments until skills have been honed. Their role is to mentor current teacher candidates through the challenges of adapting to student needs, but ultimately boosting teacher candidate’s confidence to expertly control the classroom environment from elementary to secondary education settings.
Try to keep up with these ladies—they’re on a mission, but you can catch them on their Twitter @iCoachesUNO.
Connect and learn more about the Teacher Education program, today.