Professionals who dream of changing careers and becoming teachers have been doing so with the help of the Upper Valley Educators Institute since 1969.
Jennifer Thompson had been interested in becoming a teacher for more than a decade. During her undergraduate studies, she worked with other students as a teaching assistant. "I was thinking it would be a good profession for me, but it would've taken a long time to earn my teaching certification," she says. So she instead become an editor, and worked in the publishing business for 13 years. When she was ready to begin pursuing teaching, she turned to the Upper Valley Educators Institute.
"What was appealing to me about UVEI was that it offered the practical experience of being in a classroom every day. You don't really know what the day-to-day challenges, stresses, and frankly, the wonderful parts about teaching are unless you're actually in the classroom doing it." Thompson worked with various age groups under the direction of "mentor teachers", who also gave Thompson plenty of freedom to teach on her own.
Thompson says the program left her well prepared, not only to meet the demands of different grades and content areas, but also to handle the everyday challenges of teaching. At the end of the internship - equivalent to one school year - Thompson had earned her certification for teaching K-8, and now teaches in Unity. "I walk in the door at seven thirty in the morning, and before you know it, it's three o'clock in the afternoon and the day's over. It doesn't seem like a long day because I enjoy teaching. My students make me so happy."