UHV education students gain teaching experience in three-week class

Amber Hermes, left, assists a sixth-grader with a project in Lana Schomburg's social studies class at Stroman Middle School. Hermes is one of seven UHV education students taking a three-week course at Stroman that is being held between semesters.

The idea of squeezing an entire University of Houston-Victoria education course into the three weeks between semesters seemed a little daunting at first to Christine Gold.

But since the senior from Moulton wanted to graduate early, she opted to enroll in UHV's first May Mester class.

"I like the small, hands-on class setting because it's easy to ask questions and interact with our professor," Gold said. "We cover the content, get experience in the classroom and then do our assignments that evening. Even with the condensed time, I don't think it's any more difficult than a full semester online course."

May Mester is being taught at Stroman Middle School in Victoria.

Carol Klages, a UHV associate professor of education, teaches a lesson every weekday and then sends her seven students into classrooms to observe middle school teachers and engage with students.

"It's hands-on exposure, and it happens immediately," Klages said. "This is truly a field-based course because the students are taking what they learn and turning around and applying it in the same day."

Gold said she loves having the opportunity to put new knowledge into practice right away.

"We get to go in and experience it," she said. "And then when we get home, we can reflect back on the lesson for that day."

May Mester began May 13 and will continue until May 30.

This is the first time the UHV School of Education & Human Development has offered a three-week class between the spring and summer semesters.

"It's a way for students to get a course completed before the summer semester begins," Klages said. "It's also a way for students to catch up on credits if they weren't able to take as many classes as they wanted the previous fall or spring semesters."