Future teachers: Georgia Gwinnett College students spend summer tutoring local elementary and middle-school children

Pic of Gracie Morgan

Senior School of Education student Gracie Morgan is gaining practical experience as a tutor this summer at Winn Holt Elementary in Lawrenceville. 

Students and graduates from Georgia Gwinnett College’s (GGC) School of Education (SOE) are partnering with Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) to tutor middle-and-elementary-school children over the summer break. This is the first year GGC students from the SOE have participated in the program.

The program aims to recruit “year 1” teacher candidates and graduating student teachers admitted to the Educator Preparation Program in the School of Education.

Anita Anderson, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction and interim chair of clinical and field experiences for GGC, said the School of Education worked with GCPS to advertise the program. Students signed up through an application process handled through GCPS.

“We are excited to partner with GCPS for this summer opportunity,” said Anderson. “We have almost 50 SOE teacher candidates and graduates who are participating in the program. There are several GCPS schools throughout the county participating and our students were able to express a location and grade preference. Our students will be working face-to-face with students as well as supporting digital learning students.”

Gracie Morgan teaching

As a soon-to-be teacher, Gracie Morgan, 23, of Lawrenceville, the experience will help her as she enters the workforce and encourage her students to feel confident in themselves as they prepare for the coming academic year.

Tutors were recommended by the program chairs. After attending orientation and pre-service training, the new tutors will work with in-service teachers to tutor groups of elementary and middle school students from June 14 – July 2. The tutoring is offered as part of the GCPS Enrichment and Acceleration program (SEA), a summer learning program that pairs GGC students with in-service teachers to tutor groups of elementary and middle school students.

The program gives education students and future teachers an opportunity to get additional in-field experience while helping children prepare for academic success in the coming school year.

Gracie Morgan, a senior studying special education, said she signed up because she loves working with children, and wanted experience working with elementary school students.

“I believe this experience will greatly help me as I enter the workforce as a special education teacher,” said Morgan. “I hope the kids I tutor gain an excitement for the next school year, and I hope I can help prepare them enough to feel confident in themselves as they take on the challenges of the next school year.”

Perhaps the best aspect of the SEA program is that it’s as beneficial to the young students as it is to their tutors, said Anderson.

“This hands-on opportunity will give our education students an opportunity to get additional in-field experience while helping children prepare for academic success in the coming school year.”

Morgan added that she thinks the program is crucial after the year of COVID-19, because the ways students had to be taught — online and in socially distanced environments — were strained.

“Upcoming Milestone Assessment scores are bound to show the dramatic effects of this school year,” she said. “The enriching and accelerating aspects of the SEA program will be hugely beneficial for these students. COVID-19 will have a ripple effect for many school years to come, so programs like this will become a necessity to both assist students in need and help advance students as well.”

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