Rollins College Dept. of Education

Fall 2022 Newsletter - Volume 2


The Department of Education is committed to the preparation of outstanding teachers who are firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to excel as educators in schools around the world.

Preservice Teachers in Action

Level Up Your School Day

“A highlight of my week was Friday with our school’s Level Up Your School Day. Our class theme was Mario. We decorated the classroom, dressed up like the characters, and had fun activities planned for the day. Students made words with Mario blocks, built words on Prodigy, played gold coin multiplication. We used gold plates that looked like Mario coins with multiplication problems written on the back.” Nathalia Malette, Senior Intern

Teacher of the Week

Logan Kuchenbuch was honored to receive the Teacher of the Week award at her school this past week. She writes, “I was honored to come in Monday morning, being congratulated by my kindergarten team members, as well as other school staff/teachers. I had no idea that as an intern, I could win something as honorable as becoming teacher of the week. I really enjoy being here at Little River elementary school, working with my cooperating teacher, Mrs. Oyola. Her teaching style is embedded with conscious discipline and continuous praise for good behavior. It’s a beautiful thing to not have to raise your voice or yell in the classroom, because students truly do want to be recognized for doing their best. My mindset is focused on meeting the needs of the students where they are at. Knowing how to address a student in their time of need really has a huge impact on a student when the teacher interacts with their students in a positive and effective way that will hopefully remain with them for time to come. She has cultivated a relationship that will continue to grow, and I know she will always be here for support! Thank you Little River Elementary for picking me this week and noticing my hard work.”

Diversity Book Project at CDC

This fall, eighteen students in the Community Engagement course, “EDU 280: Diversity in American Education,” worked in pairs to create activity plans for children’s literature books celebrating diversities to teach young children in the Hume House Child Development & Student Research Center (CDC) at Rollins. Despite the schedule change due to Hurricane Ian, all students finally finished their last teaching session at the CDC by the end of October.

Maroula Pavlakos: Through this diversity book project, my eyes were opened to ways we can teach our youth about diversity in terms they can relate to and understand. I loved watching the children get excited about sharing their own connections to the stories we read to them. Overall I had a very positive experience working with the children at CDC and this experience only further deepened my love for teaching and working with children.

Dylan Crawford: I absolutely loved the Diversity Book project. I loved getting to know the kids at the CDC and I learned so much about lesson plans, how to deliver them, and how to keep the kids engaged. It felt amazing to feel like a real-life teacher, so thank you for giving us the opportunity. What is so unique about Rollins education program is that we have the CDC to get real life experience, and I think it will help me grow as a teacher down the road.

Emily Barcelo: Teaching at the Hume House was an incredible experience! The students blew me away with their intelligent remarks during our lessons, and their funny comments always put a smile on my face. I could not wait to go back after every teaching session; truly a great opportunity for any student interested in education!

Family Math Night at Brookshire Elementary

Our students in the courses, “EED 368: Math Methods” and “EDU 280: Diversity in American Education,” volunteered in the Family Math night at Brookshire Elementary School on November 17. Rollins students designed fun hands-on math activities and games for K-5 students to play in classrooms, read aloud math stories in the media center, and interacted with students in the STEM lab and LEGO room. Over 460 students and their family members attended this event.

Undergraduate Research in Education

Students in RED 309: Foundations of Reading conducted undergraduate research projects on various aspects of literacy instruction in pre-k-6th grade classrooms. Students worked in partners to conduct 10-15 observation hours in classrooms, interview teachers, and develop professional presentations on a topic of their choice. Students presented their research to a college-wide audience on the last day of classes.

Book Reviews

Interested in some recently published books to add to your collection? Check out the CL/R SIG bi-weekly book reviews at

Books in Series for Young Readers

Biographies of Environmentalists for Young Readers

Novels in Verse

Notable Books for a Global Society (NBGS)

Annually, a committee of the CL/R SIG (Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group) of the International Literacy Association selects 25 outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world. The committee reviews books representing all genres intended for students K-12. More information about NBGS can be found at Past and present NBGS book lists are available at

2022 NBGS Books

Pathways to Teaching


Every newsletter a teacher candidate from across Rollins Education Department programs is highlighted and featured for their inspiration, accomplishments, and community impact at Rollins, within their local and global communities, and/or work with K-12 students.

This week we are featuring Pathways, soon-to-be graduate, Alejandra Salinas. She has been one of our top senior interns this semester, making an incredible impact on her students and her local school community. During Hispanic heritage month Alejandra is shown above with a trifold she created and artifacts brought from her home country, Mexico, to display for Sadler Elementary’s family fiesta. She was also recently interviewed by Telemundo. Please click below to see her recent interview on National Telemundo. We are so proud of her!

Pathways to Success

Fall ‘22 semester is coming to an end and Pathways to Teaching cohort 2 students are concluding their last semester as undergraduates at Rollins College. We want to highlight those who have been inducted to one or more honor societies at Rollins.

IOTA SIGMA Rollins Chapter of the ALPHA SIGMA LAMBDA National Honor Society members; Aisha Barber, Kelly Longstreet, Alejandra Salinas, Angela Simpson, and Adrienne Williams.

Lambda Kappa Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, Education Honor Society members; Natalie Delgado, Kelly Longstreet, Alejandra Salinas, Angela Simpson.

Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society members; Logan Kuchenbuch, Kelly Longstreet, and Angela Simpson.

Outstanding OCPS Employees

Rollins College has done it again!

This fall several Pathway students have been recognized as outstanding employees at their schools.

Elta Roche, a recent graduate of the Hamilton Holt Pathways to Teaching program with OCPS, was recently honored with the Teacher of the Week award at Robinswood Middle School. Elta, a new teacher, was surprised when her peers nominated her. As a sixth-grade teacher of Language Arts, she shares that this award means being a teacher of excellence.

Elta commented that being a new teacher comes with many challenges, but Rollins College professors prepare their students to be the “Best of the Best.” The key lessons she shared from her time at Rollins are to embrace your experience, learn from constructive feedback, and exemplify the spirit of excellence in everything you do. As a result, Elta believes she is fulfilling her purpose as a teacher. We congratulate Elta Roche on her recent recognition. “Keep Up the Good Work!”

Samira Flagg is currently in cohort 4 of the Pathways to Teaching program at Rollins. Samira has been given the well-deserved honor of winning Support Person of the Year award in her school, Union Park Elementary. Samira chose to become a teacher due to the love and bond she has with her students. She loves the “aha” moments she experiences with her students and feels grateful to be able to pursue a career where she can fulfill her purpose. When asked about her future goals as a teacher, she responded “I hope one day I can become a teacher who can build up other teachers and walk alongside them in this field. I understand that teaching, as with any profession, is not without its challenges. I hope to be the teacher who can use my experiences to guide other teachers and give them peace of mind. Another goal I have is to teach students to use art as an outlet for their emotions. I am an artist and I really believe using art as an outlet for those good and not so good emotions, is so impactful and important for students.” Samira has shown kindness, professionalism, and passion towards the success of her students. Congratulations Samira!

Alex Rodriguez from cohort 4 is a Southeast Orange County Public Schools Support Person of the Year finalist. Alex is currently a Bilingual Para who wear’s many hats at Vista Pointe elementary school and is in the running for Support Person of the Year for the entire county. We are rooting for him to go even further up to state! We can’t wait to see how far Alex goes!

Recent news

Upcoming Important Dates

Dec. 13th - School Board Meeting where Pathways Students will be recognized.

Dec. 10th - Pathways Dinner

Department of Education

Check out the Department of Education's website. You can find important forms including Program information and Student Teaching/Internship Applications by going to the Education website and then clicking on Forms in the left column.

Inspiration Station

In the Rollins Education program, and in life in general, we often need ways to get and stay inspired. There's no one-size-fits-all for this and that is the beauty of it! There are different strategies for gathering inspiration for different purposes. This issue I'd like to direct the inspiration towards inspiring our students. What have you done to inspire others today? Sure, teachers do that all the time by simply showing up, but what steps have you taken to ensure that that inspiration evolves into something great in your students? How do you inspire their thoughts, feelings, creativity? These are all channels that can be ignited so that they are inspired to learn, collaborate with each other, and boost their confidence. According to, here are some ways to inspire creativity and much more in your students.

  • Listen to Music: Multiple studies show that music can increase creativity and focus. This is something that our students could benefit from! Even playing soft music in the background can ignite something within them!
  • Journal Everyday: Journaling has proven to be an age-old recipe for creativity and expression within students! It also helps students with handwriting practice and fine motor development.
  • Join a group: Sometimes creating can be lonely, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't create! The same goes for students! When students are interactive within their school, this increases their inspiration to learn, participate, and motivate others.
  • Mind Map: A mind map is a great way for students to see their ideas on paper and get the gist of how something will go. This also stimulates more thinking and brainstorming.
  • Carry an Idea Book: Inspiration can come at any time! Carrying a small notebook can help a student capture or record ideas that they come up with. This is something that they can have at home or a specific part of the day to use in your classroom! You'd be surprised at some of the ideas that students come up with and how proud that they will be that it is their own!
  • Light a Candle (or turn on a diffuser if candles aren’t allowed): there are plenty of ways to inspire but I think smell is one of the best. Within the classroom, a faint smell of cinnamon or vanilla seems to boost creativity. I would go with the former personally, as it always elicits a very warm feeling.

Another idea that I thought about is creating a class vision board that you can hang in your classroom. During morning meetings or the beginning of the year, talk to your students about what you hope for them to accomplish and what they hope they will accomplish as well. Give them a magazine page to cut a picture to add or a simple vocabulary word to learn. Get creative! Students respond well to things that are made by them, which immediately increases their inspiration. For the tech savvy, this can also be done on Google Slides or Nearpod!

In closing, I leave you with this quote from Michael Altshuler:

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.

This inspiration was provided for you by: Adrienne Williams

Newsletter Contributors

Special thanks to Natalie Delgado, Alejandra Salinas, Alondra Martes, Jacqueveus Arnold, Adrienne Williams, and Angela Simpson for their contributions to the newsletter.