Four University of Montana teacher candidates will fly to China on March 8 to student teach for eight weeks.
Under the leadership of Rhea Ashmore, UM Professor Emerita of Curriculum and Instruction, formal partnerships were established between UM’s Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences and the two placement sites in China.
Natalie Rich, a graduate student from Ashtabula, Ohio, and Elizabeth “Lizzy” Douglas, a graduate student from Neenah, Wis., will student teach at Guiyang No. 4 Experimental Primary School in Guizhou Province; and seniors Frances Bonnet from Kalispell and Cedar Smith from Columbia Falls will teach at Hangzhou New Century Foreign Language School in Zhejiang Province. Following in their footsteps, Beth Heflin, a graduate student from Mount Juliet, Tenn., has applied early to student teach in Hangzhou in the fall.
“This is my first time leaving the country, I am nervous but extremely excited to be sharing my love of teaching with a different part of the world,” Smith said. “I am proud to be representing The University of Montana, state of Montana and United States as a student teacher in Hangzhou, China.”
Since autumn semester 2010, five UM student teachers have studied in Hangzhou. For the first time this spring, UM students also will student teach in Guiyang.
“We will be able to experience another education system and bring best practices back to our American classrooms,” said Rich.
“Our teacher education candidates are living the reality of the global century by preparing to be exemplary teachers while contributing to worldwide understanding,” said Roberta Evans, dean of the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences.
Photo caption: (from left) Beth Heflin, Rhea Ashmore, Natalie Rich, Frances Bonnet, Cedar Smith and Elizabeth Douglas. Photo credit: Nancy Marra.