I would like to respond to the boycott article in the Thursday, April 3 Eastern Echo. As a long time university supervisor (hire date 1989), I have been responsible for placing the early childhood education student teachers throughout the area of southeastern Michigan, from Howell to Monroe and from Troy to Downriver and all parts in between. Each semester, I place from 18 to 48 students depending on the enrollment. This winter semester has proven to be the most difficult.
As stated in the “boycott” article, many of the preschool classrooms will NO longer take EMU student teachers. Adding to the situation is the fact the all of the full-time supervisors have been given lay off notices effective as of August 31, 2014. Of course I will do my best to place the student teachers for fall. At the same time I had to inform the student teachers at the fall orientation that at this time they are not assigned a supervisor.
This situation is also known by the early childhood placements and some teachers have decided against taking the student teacher not because of the boycott but because they do not know who will be the supervising the student teacher.
Lastly, usually at the orientation I give the student teachers the syllabus for their seminars along with the expectations and the book to order that will be used during student teaching. I was not able to do that this year. I have always been proud of my tenure at EMU but at this time feel the action of the College of Education, President Sue Martin and the Board of Regents has tarnished the reputation of this education preparation program.
Margaret Polmear Patterson Ph.D
EMU/ECE University Supervisor