The Class of 2005 Gets Ready to Take Off!
By Cathy Offen
The class of 2005’s final classes have ended and we are all eager to be beginning our internships in the fall. Before we all head off in different directions, I wanted to ask my classmates how they are feeling, and what their thesis and project plans include. It seems that while everyone is excited to be moving on, they will miss the friends that they have made here at RIT.
This year we have several interns in the Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES schools. Amanda Landis will be working with grades k-2. Her thesis will be examining the behaviors of toddlers with speech language impairments. Erica Markovitz is also at a BOCES setting, working with high school students. Her masters project will involve investigating transition services for high school students classified with emotional disturbances. She says that she “can’t wait to start being more involved in the schools.” Another of our students in a BOCES setting next year is Jason Dingman, who will be working with children with multiple disabilities and children with autism. He said this about starting his internship in the fall: “The time has come, and I am ready. Can’t wait to get started!”
Two of our interns will be headed to the Pittsford Central School District this year. Megan Schlageter and Katrina Johnson will both be working with grades k-12 at Pittsford. Megan’s project will be a transition guidebook for students with learning disabilities or emotional disturbances. Katie’s thesis will involve creating benchmarks of oral reading fluency that will correspond with passing grades on the 4th grade ELA exams.
Frank Coluccio’s thesis will also examine whether curriculum based measurements of reading or WJ-III reading subtests are better predictors of 4th grade ELA performance. His internship is at the Marcus Whitman School District. He commented that he will be excited to start his internship, but that it will be strange at first. “I’ve been in classes since I was four years old and all of a sudden I won’t be a student anymore,” he said.
Sarah Dash will be at the Seneca Falls School District, working mostly with middle and elementary school students. Her thesis will examine the effectiveness of a stress management curriculum with all kinds of students.
Elaine Fadgen will be located at the Pavilion Central School district, working with grades k-12. Her project will be a parents’ guide for social skills development for deaf and hard of hearing students. She said this when asked about how she felt to be starting her internship. “I take my emotions day by day and just remember to embrace this experience and use this as a way to learn more about myself while I am helping the students.”
While most of our new interns will be in the Monroe county and Finger Lakes regions, some of our students are moving even farther from RIT. Kim Tucker will be the newest intern at the Syracuse City School District. There she will get a chance to work with all age levels, as well as some alternative settings. Her thesis will investigate the relationship between teachers’ social skills ratings and predictions of oral reading fluency in 4th grade students. “Mostly I will miss seeing my classmates every day,” she said.
Moving even farther away is Othniel St.Ulme. His internship will be in the Boston Public Schools, working with grades k-12. His thesis will look at the belief in a just world and psychological safety and their implications for academic success. He said, “This is an exciting transition for me. I look forward to applying what we’ve learned in the classroom to authentic situations on a more regular basis, while learning new skills and strategies from the best (and sometimes harshest) teacher of all: experience.”
While some of us are going to be farther away than others, the majority of us will be convening once a month during our internships, to discuss our experiences with each other. It will be great to hear about everyone’s different internship sties, share professional information, and to socialize! I wish everyone the best of luck in getting started at their schools! It’s a scary and exiting transition for most of us at the same time, but I know that everyone will do a fantastic job.