College of Education Partners with Retired Teachers

The University of Central Arkansas College of Education and the Faulkner County Retired Teachers Association (FCRTA) recently collaborated to provide mock interviews for its spring 2013 Internship II students. The students are spending the last semester of their undergraduate college careers student teaching in the public schools and are ready to begin searching for teaching jobs.

To help these students prepare for job interviews, over 100 students spent 10-15 minutes one-on-one with retired teachers in a simulated interview.  “The students entered the room with apprehension and nervousness,” noted Sue Farris, coordinator of the project for the College of Education, “and left feeling much better about the interview process.”  After the interview, the interviewer gave pointers and immediate written feedback to each student. Most of the students were encouraged by the comments and felt better prepared for an actual interview.

Payton Edmondson, physical education major and Betty Court

Payton Edmondson, physical education major and Betty Courtway

Ashleigh Castles, Middle Level Education major, said, “My mock interview was an amazing experience! I was able to gain a lot of confidence through this activity.  In fact, after the interview, the interviewer told me she would hire me if she were still in school administration! I am very glad I was given the opportunity to participate in this activity as it was an invaluable experience.”According to Jay Fortner, FCRTA member, “Retired teachers enjoy spending this time with our future educators.  The enthusiasm they have today is just as strong as it was for us some thirty or more years ago. Responding to interview questions, students keep us in the loop as to the latest ideas and trends in teaching and learning.”

Dr. Diana Pounder, Dean of the College of Education, said, “The College of Education is extremely proud to have such an active, committed group of former teachers as advocates for its students and programs with this win-win collaboration which began in 2011.”