Teachers in Training

Molloy's Education Program: Creating Elite Teachers Through Experience

By Lucijan Jović

Molloy College's teacher candidates are grounded in the ideals of hard work, dedication, and pursuit of lifelong learning. Education majors Katherine Black, Kaitlin Boyle, Jake DiRico, Diana Pretter and Will Stiklickas were selected to attend the 2018 National Conference for Social Studies in Chicago. While this conference is focused on educators, these students, through perseverance and with the help of Drs. Joanne O'Brien and Kevin Sheehan, had the opportunity to present their work. They broadened their knowledge of content appreciation in the Social Studies curriculum, learning from some of the country's top instructors.

Through their in-class unit plan and work in the field, the five students decided to dig deeper to understand history. Teacher candidates Diana, Kaitlin and Katherine focused their research on incorporating positive psychology into the curriculum. Jake and Will focused their research around one central question: was the Industrial Revolution fueled by a growth mindset? Through extensive teacher training and field work, the five students were among the 20% of accepted students to the conference. 

All five teacher candidates appreciate the small community in Molloy's education program; they feel the small class sizes help foster collaboration with others in the classroom. As Diana, Kaitlin, Jake, Katherine and Will approach the end of the program, they are appreciative of the amount of time faculty invested in them and see how much faculty want them to succeed. When asked to use one word to describe their experience in the program, Kaitlin said "invaluable," the "the program is rigorous, but rewarding." Diana sees it as inspiring, "Molloy takes what is expected in an education program to the next level and pushes you to be the best you can be." Jake, Katherine, and Will agreed that the program is life-changing and enriching. With the knowledge gained at the conference and their time at Molloy, all five teacher candidates leave with not only their teaching license, but the tools to nurture life-long learners.  

When asked to describe their experience working with faculty, all five agreed that Dr. Sheehan moved from professor to friend. The students felt confident to sit down and discuss their research with their professor and are grateful for the time Dr. Sheehan spent mentoring them outside the classroom. They view Dr. Sheehan as their "hope creator," one who not only creates teachers, but life-long scholars.

Molloy College Student Scholars

The Scholars from left to right:

Will Stiklickas
Will is an Adolescent Social Studies/Dual Degree Special Education major at Molloy College . He has a passion for history and inspiring students to apply the skills learned in the classroom in real life. He appreciates the personal growth and connections he has made at Molloy.

Jake DiRico
Jake is also an Adolescent Social Studies/Dual Degree Special Education major at Molloy College. He has a passion for inspiring students to be the best they can be. Jake hopes to foster a community in his own classroom that allows students to learn from their mistakes that it is okay to fail as long as they get back up and move forward.

Katherine Black
Katherine is a Childhood English/Dual Degree Special Education major at Molloy College. She has a passion for incorporating positive psychology into her lessons and wants to be a "hope creator" for her future students.  

Diana Pretter
Diana is a Childhood Social Studies/Dual Degree Special Education major at Molloy College. She has a passion for in-class collaboration and hopes to be a teacher that inspires her students to be the best they can be.  

Kaitlin Boyle
Kaitlin is a Childhood Biology/Dual Degree Special Education major at Molloy College. She has a passion for international education, and hopes to create opportunities for more informed action in order to engage students with the curriculum. Kaitlin sees Molloy's small classes and dedicated teachers as her second home.

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