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SD Department of Education July 2015  
 
 
Letter from the Secretary

Lunch with future teachers makes me optimistic



Each summer, the Department of Education hires interns. As you might guess, many of these college students are future teachers. Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down at lunch with the entire group of interns, and the conversation, as always, inspired me.

During the lunch, we visited about the interns’ goals and future plans. This summer, our interns’ interests run the gamut from early childhood education to special education to math education. As I talked with the interns, I repeatedly heard them express how excited they are to get out in the field, and I am happy to report that many of them are interested in staying in South Dakota.

They also shared their experiences related to South Dakota’s teacher preparation programs. For example, we have several interns who have gone through the year-long student teaching experience, which they felt more thoroughly prepared them for the next step. They also talked about some of the things they don’t feel prepared for, which helps me to see that we still have gaps between what’s being taught in higher education and what happens in K-12 classrooms.

As Blue Ribbon Task Force meetings get under way, I am hopeful that the task force will find solutions that support these young people, and many others like them, as they seek to become our next generation of educators. I am optimistic for the future of education in South Dakota, having seen the commitment, enthusiasm and potential of this year’s interns at DOE.
 
     
 

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