Arbor School Students

Arbor students send drawings to penpals in Panama

Elsie and Oriana, M.A. in Teaching students at Marylhurst University, incorporate language and cultural teachings in their student teaching at Arbor School, helping young people become global citizens.

Excerpt from a blog post on ArborCenterForTeaching.org, October 2015.

Arbor Center for Teaching apprentices Elsie McIver and Oriana Connolly both teach one day each week in dual language (Spanish and English) classrooms in local public schools. In the winter, they will spend one month full time in these public school placements to augment their teaching experiences at Arbor School.

In addition to developing their dual language teaching practices, Elsie and Oriana have brought Spanish language and cultural studies to their 2nd/3rd grade students at Arbor. Elsie has started a penpal correspondence between her class and a school in Panama. They send each other drawings and descriptions of their homes and surroundings and teach each other English and Spanish.

Bringing language across cultural contexts and utilizing ESOL strategies in teaching are central to Elsie and Oriana’s graduate coursework at Marylhurst University. All apprentices graduate from our MAT/licensure program well on the way to adding an ESOL endorsement to their Oregon licenses.

The master’s in teaching degree program at Marylhurst Universityis committed to principles of social justice. The curriculum is designed to develop educators with skills to make a positive impact on the gap in children’s achievement levels caused by complex social, economic and historical factors. M.A.T. students are introduced to individual differences and diverse cultures and communities and strategies to ensure inclusive learning environments.

The partnership between Marylhurst University and the Arbor Center for Teaching offers a two-year working apprenticeship for students earning their M.A. in Teaching. ACT student teachers learn pedagogy and theory in seminars and then directly apply those theories in the classroom — all the while building long-term relationships with licensed teachers, the students and one another.