Stevenson University’s Teachers of Tomorrow (TOT) Club offers education majors the opportunity to gather together and share their experiences while creating crafts they can use in their future classrooms.
The purpose of TOTs is to promote a sense of community and “to raise the standard of preparation for all those actively involved with the care and development of children; and to encourage continuous professional growth of educators,” according to the club’s page on Stevenson’s website. TOTs is open to all education majors who are interested in interacting with other students and faculty, learning more about the field of education and engaging in service learning activities.
Dr. Ted Fischer, assistant professor of education and TOTs supervisor, said the club was created “for all [education] students to socialize and be able to mingle with the older students, and pick the brains of the older students to find out what they are in store for later.” There are no fees associated with the club.
Once a month, TOTs holds “Make ‘n Take” craft nights for all members to mingle and discuss their experiences inside and outside of the classroom. Each event is planned around a craft that can be used in the student’s future classroom. All supplies are paid for by the club.
These events also allow students to interact with the club advisors– Fischer; Elise Carswell, education supervisor; and the dean of the School of Education, Dr. Deborah Kraft. These interactions outside the office are important for students who hope to build a relationship with the staff outside of the school environment. This relationship with the faculty is important when schools are looking for hiring recommendations.
According to former president Rebecca Weisman, these events are beneficial because “all grades are joined in one area; it’s good for getting advice and asking questions to get different perspectives from all grade level teachers.”
“The education majors are like a tight-knit family,” said Weisman. “TOTs is just another way to bring us all closer together as a family. Everything is so laid back and with no requirements, it doesn’t cause anyone any stress.”
Looking ahead, TOTs will continue to hold their monthly craft nights to encourage education majors to ask questions about each other’s experience. Education majors who are interested can contact Fischer through campus email for meeting information.