Olivia Alvord, Staff Writer
From learning the newest technology to discovering ways to incorporate different learning styles in the classroom, Saint Martin University’s Future Educators Club (SMUFE) aims to teach from the heart. Although the club’s focus is on students with a future in education, their events encourage student attendance from a wide variety of programs. Current club leadership includes: Kaylee Wolfe as President, Shania Norris as Vice President, Faith Sabo as Secretary, Laura Rooney as Treasurer, and Eric Boyer, Ph.D. as faculty advisor.
Last semester, SMUFE hosted their annual back-to-school meeting on Oct. 1. This was a great opportunity to learn from and pose questions regarding club leadership, faculty, and staff from the College of Education and Counseling over pizza. After the success of this event, the club considers hosting a similar one this semester. Club members also helped out at the second annual Teaching Equity Conference, held on campus on Nov. 23. This year, Saint Martin’s hosted 155 attendees from 17 school districts across Washington. The 2019 Keynote Speaker was Jahmad Canley, “the creator of several equity programs for the College Success Foundation including the Higher Education Readiness Opportunity (HERO) program which is designed to assist high school aged African American, Latino, and Indigenous males gain access to higher education,” according to Saint Martin’s website. Specifically, SMUFE members helped organize and facilitate breakout groups throughout the conference and got a chance to meet and hear from Canley. Reflecting on the event, club Vice President Shania Norris shared that club leadership, “had a chance to help volunteer in directing people where to go as well as the opportunity to sit in on a couple of the breakout sessions. It was very eye-opening to me, and definitely helped me learn a few things on how to teach more equitably.”
Last semester, the club also hosted students from Yelm and River Ridge High Schools that were enrolled in Advancement through Individual Determination (AVID) programs. AVID is a program open to high schoolers that improves their college readiness, especially for those who would not traditionally look into higher education. The future educators hope to host more AVID students this semester, as it is a great way for them to experience a university close to home, and really see what college is like. As the semester wound down, the club ended the year with their annual Christmas party at the monk’s lodge. Members took a much-needed break to destress before finals and engage in a gift exchange to get in the holiday spirit.
In addition to the previous events, the future educators also hosted an information night regarding the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), “which allowed for students to get directed information from the Education Department Faculty and Staff as well as the Dean regarding preparation for the edTPA,” said Treasurer Laura Rooney. The club is hoping to host another edTPA night. In regard to this semester’s roster of events, nothing is certain yet, but Vice President Shania Norris hinted at some things that are in the works from the club. “I believe we are planning more informational nights about the whole application process for getting into the Education Program. I think we are also planning an Art Night again with Professor Boyer’s mom where we get to relax with an art project and learn how we can incorporate that project into our future classrooms.” In March, some members will attend the National Center on Education and Economy Conference in Seattle, where they will have the opportunity to learn more about how to use and incorporate technology in the classroom. For more information on the club and to keep up to date on events, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow SMUFE on Instagram @smu.fe