Now, it’s her turn! Erin Albin on her Student Teaching thus far…


1.     When did you (plan to) graduate and what was/is your major?

I will be graduating with my Bachelors of Science in Education in May of 2018. I studied Childhood Education 1-6 and received a Middle School Extension to extend my certification up through ninth grade. I am also apart of the Five Year Dual Degree program in which I will also obtain my Masters of Science in Special Education in May 2019.

2.     How did you hear about your current job?

I am currently Student Teaching and through the support of the local school districts, our amazing School of Education, and Clinical Experience Director, I was able to get a placement in the schools I went to as a child.

3.     Can you tell me a little about this position?

Student Teaching has been the ultimate learning experience. It has allowed me to put what I have learned at STAC from classroom work to fieldwork, into action. Working side by side with cooperating teachers I have begun to flourish and have watched myself grow as a teacher. After this it is my hope to further my teaching experience and my relationships in local districts by applying to be a daily or long term substitute or even a full time teacher if the opportunity arises, while I complete graduate school and move towards a lifetime teaching career.

4.     Can you explain the Interview Process?

The student teaching interview process is unique. It varies from school to school, district to district. The School of Education and the Clinical Experience director support you 100% and make sure you are prepared. Checklists and check ins are a big part of the lead up to the final submission of you Student Teaching paperwork. I was grateful to have so much support.

5.     Did Career Development/STAC help you in anyway?

Career Development is a huge asset to our campus. Prior to submitting my student teaching paperwork I had Maureen and her wonderful staff look over my resume and help me build and appropriate cover letter to send along with my papers to the district. The support from the entire STAC community especially the School of Education and all their staff was comforting and much appreciated.

7.     Can you tell us about some of your current responsibilities / roles?

Student teaching has been an amazing journey thus far. I have been able to plan and execute lessons in different subjects, attend meetings with the grade level team and meetings with the faculty, interact with students, and so much more.

8.     What is your favorite aspect of the position, can you give an example of what has been your favorite experience so far?

So far, my favorite thing about student teaching has been watching the growth of the students and figuring out how to accommodate multiple learners. Its amazing to see in action how kids learn and how differently they learn and then being able to go back to the drawing board and say “Okay, that worked for this child but not so much for that one, what am I going to do about that?”

9.     What advice do you have for other STAC students looking for a job or internship/student teaching?

Use your resources! Talk to Maureen, get out in the community, look for opportunities, go to the career fair! Specifically for  School of Education students, follow the Student Teaching checklist, get your Professional Developments done early, take your certification exams.

10. What surprised you the most about student teaching?

What surprised me the most about student teaching is truly how much I felt prepared. I shouldn’t say it surprised me, I knew I would be prepared because STAC has an excellent reputation and I know my curriculum classes and professors extended so much knowledge that I was going to be just fine. But getting in the classroom, putting it all together. I felt confident, not a moment of doubt or nervousness like I expected to have embarking on a new journey, I was comfortable and I was able to feel that way because of the amazing preparation I had.

11. Where are you student teaching and what grades? 

I am student teaching in SOCSD and am currently in my first placement with 2nd graders and in March will move to my second placement with 4th graders.

#MySpartanSuccess with Alexandra Vippolis!

fullsizeoutput_1bd4.jpegWhat is your name and year here at STAC?

My name is Alexandra Vippolis and I am a third-year undergrad (junior) here at STAC.

Describe your overall experience at STAC.  What are you involved in here?  Are you an athlete?  Major? Clubs/activities? The grade you will teach? Etc.

My major is English with an Adolescent Certification and I am in the Education program here at STAC. I am also a member of Sigma Tau Delta, an English Honor Society. I aspire to be an English Secondary teacher to high school students. I am a student-athlete and am apart of the Field Hockey team here at STAC. Being a member of the Field Hockey team is the greatest decision I have made thus far in my collegiate years. Being a member of the Field Hockey program has been a great experience and makes me an active member of the community through the engagement of volunteer work.

What is one thing people don’t know about you?

One thing people may not know about me is that I make it a goal to always give a smile to those I encounter in hopes to get a smile in return and brighten someone’s day.

How did you know teaching was the profession for you?

I knew teaching was the profession for me when I realized how important it is to me to make a difference in people’s lives. I discovered I wanted to be a teacher when I realized that each mind is unique and extraordinary in their own individual way. It is a privilege to be able to work with these young minds, encourage their intellectual thought, and be able to help them develop skills that they can use for the rest of their life.

When will you be student teaching and where?

I will be student teaching in Spring of 2019, most likely at North Rockland High School where I graduated high school from.

What are some of your favorite things about STAC?

Some of my favorite things about STAC include the people at STAC and the size of the school. There are a lot of great people that I have met at STAC and see around campus a lot. However, I am still able to constantly meet new people as well which is a great mix. I appreciate the small size of each class and the opportunity to form relationships with my professors and peers.

Did the Career Development Office at STAC help you in any way?

The Career Development Office at STAC continues to be very helpful to me. The Career Development Office has helped me build and improve my resume. The Career Development Office also informs me of interesting newsletters and tools that help me find job opportunities as well.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to others following in your footsteps?

The best piece of advice that I can offer to those following in my footsteps is that it is never too early to gain experience in the field and to prepare yourself for your career. I highly recommend engaging in fieldwork to get a feel for the teaching profession as soon as possible. Also, I recommend to introduce yourself to your community to get your name out there and form new relations. Lastly, utilize the guidance and tools that the Career Development Office offers you because they are very helpful and informative.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?

My favorite thing about teaching is the potential to change a student’s life. I also appreciate that each class I teach will be different from one another, which will always keep teaching interesting.  

What faculty member has been a mentor to you during your time here at STAC and why?

Maureen Mulhern has been a mentor to me during my time here at STAC. Mrs. Mulhern has continually gone out of her way to prepare me for interviews and introduces me to several tools to explore different job opportunities that are fit for my major. Mrs. Mulheron also helped me in building my resume and I know that I can always count on her for support, professional guidance and advice.

What has been your greatest achievement here at STAC?

My greatest achievement at STAC is being a student-athlete. The demanding schedule of school and sport has been a challenging one but I would not change it for the world. I am proud to say that I have consecutively earned a spot on the Dean’s List in past semesters as well as a Captain title. I take pride in the hard work I put in the classroom and on the field. My achievement of earning a Field Hockey scholarship is one that I have immense gratitude for because I really couldn’t ask for a better team to be a part of. My teammates have become my sisters, and the memories and experiences I have with my team will last a lifetime.