Learning to teach students with special needs - FOX 13 News

Learning to teach students with special needs

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Some students at USF in Tampa have spent the summer getting ready for their life work. They are learning on the job and making some kids summers very special. The USF Pepin Academies Summer Institute is What's Right with Tampa Bay.

There is nothing better than learning on the job for Edee Viola. She's a student at USF, studying to be a special needs teacher.

"Kind of get a hands on training of what we need to do, lesson plans we need to work on, and how to different instruction for the students with different disabilities." Edee said.

Edee is part of a program at USF that sends student teachers to Pepin Academy to work with kids with learning issues. Terrance Marshall is a junior at USF.

"Coming here to Pepin Academy gives us the hands-on experience and actually gives us a sense of how it really feels to become a teacher," Terrance said.

And the students at Pepin have enjoyed having the college students helping them. Breanna Smith is 11 years old.

"They help us learn more about the grade we are going into," Breanna said.

And it's really helped Pepin too, because they don't regularly have a summer program -- but now they do.

"For them to bring that to the table and help our students stay up with their academies and even improve their academics over the summer is a gift," said Pepin Academy co-founder Patricia Scolaro.

And a gift to the USF students who are gaining invaluable experience.

"This particular experience makes a big difference in their thinking about who they are, teachers but also in being able to problem solve and think on their feet," USF Professor David Allsopp said.

A unique partnership to enhance the learning for future teacher and their students.

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