Mar 242013


By Katherine Ayers

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The best way to learn to teach is to do it, and at Elmhurst Elementary School it happens every day.

The school has six East Carolina University interns — formerly called student teachers — and 11 licensed teachers who used to be interns. Principal Donna Gillam would not have it any other way.

“ECU prepares them very well and is very responsive to how they’re doing,” she said. “I feel fortunate they want to be here.”

Former ECU intern and current third-grade teacher Heather Timberlake said she found the passion for her profession when she first came to Elmhurst.

“I hadn’t realized how much I loved it until I did my practicum and internships,” Timberlake said.

Second-grade teacher Jessie Jordan said her internships experience provided a natural transition to the life of a “real” teacher.

“I built relationships here with the staff and other interns,” Jordan said. “I could just see myself at home.”

Fifth-grade teacher Gary Lindsay said ECU was a great experience, but he learned the most while doing his internship at Elmhurst.

Clarissa Lee, who teaches fifth grade and mentors student interns, said it is a privilege to know she is “nurturing future teachers.”

“It’s just awesome to see their growth (through the year),” Lee, a 29-year teaching veteran, said. “It’s awesome to know that a piece of me helped shape them so that when I retire a piece of me will go on.”

Contact Katherine Ayers at and 252-329-9567. Follow her on Twitter @KatieAyersGDR.

via The Daily Reflector.


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