Holly Eaton, Communications for NEI, spoke with Tracie Peterson recently about why she enjoys working for NEI, and with adult learners.
Peterson, a former NEI student, joined the faculty over a year ago. She started her educational career as a ski instructor, a passion that motivates her to this day. Earning her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from New England College in 2011, she now focuses much of her educational efforts towards working with special needs students in Bridgton, ME.
Why do you like to teach adult learners?
As an Elementary School Teacher and parent of a toddler, I spend my days interacting with children of many ages. I appreciate the opportunity this gives me to collaborate and interact with ‘grown ups’.
Is there a difference?
Adult learners have a variety of experiences to share that make the learning more colorful for the entire group. In addition, the cohorts I’ve worked with have created supportive and encouraging learning environments for one another that go beyond any experience I could create for them on my own.
Does working with this group excite you/make you passionate?
Absolutely! From first year teachers to seasoned professionals, the variety of backgrounds our students come in with make every class I teach unique. Being able to collaborate with administrators, general and special education teachers as well as academic support technicians gives my students team building skills that they can take with them to work.
What do you like about teaching courses for the New England Institute?
Before I began teaching for the New England Institute, I participated in some courses as a student. I found the reflective practice model the Institute emphasized to be not only meaningful for me, but immediately useful in my work with young children. As an instructor, I try to create the same type of experience for my adult students, emphasizing the importance of having something useful to take away.
How long have you taught this (and other) courses at the collegiate level/or at an advanced level?
I’ve been training coaches in areas of child development for twenty years.
What would you say/share with an anxious adult learner to help put them at ease? Talking specifically about her two online courses this fall:
For some students, it will be the first online course they’ve taken. I’m prepared to reach each student at his or her comfort level and work together to create a valuable learning experience. It’s about respecting one anothers’ ideas, asking questions and finding answers as a team.
Can you give some examples of why you feel educators would benefit from the online Autism Course?
I’m excited to be teaching two online courses this semester. As the percentage of students on the Autism Spectrum increases, no educator is left untouched by this disability. In order to provide these students with the programming they deserve, I believe every teacher needs to have training regarding the unique needs of this population.
From the online Managing Classroom Behavior Course?
Managing Classroom behavior incorporates research based behavioral practices. We interact with a variety of materials to develop data collection and analysis skills. We use this data to create support practices that focus on positive behavior interventions and that recognize skill deficits. You could be the most effective and responsive teacher, but a student with significant behaviors creates a classroom environment that isn’t beneficial to learning.
Thank you Tracie!
Class will run from the week of September 28th through December 14th, and is available for either 3 college credits or 4.5 CEUs.
Class will run from the week of October 12th through December 14th, and is available for either 3 college credits or 4.5 CEUs.