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Teachers get opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other

Some of American Samoa’s in-service teachers gather around Dr. Larry Purcell (back row, in white shirt)

Pago Pago, AMRICAN SAMOA — For their first public event of the Fall 2019 semester, the Teacher Education Department (TED) at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) hosted an Educators Night at the end of August, which was open to all teachers from Tutuila’s public and private schools.

At the early-evening event, which took place in the auditorium of the College’s Multi-Purpose Center, the ASCC-TED welcomed dozens of local educators who share an interest in earning or upgrading their teaching credentials.          

“Educators Night gave our local teachers an opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other,” said ASCC-TED Outreach Coordinator Faaletaua F. Saili. “We had a mixture of veteran teachers, new teachers, and students still deciding whether to make teaching their career path, and we wanted to emphasize the importance of learning new teaching strategies and methods, as well as showcase the scope of opportunities the ASCC Teacher Education Program offers. From the genuine enthusiasm the local educators who joined us showed for the different approaches to teaching that we shared, I would call the evening a success both for us and for them.”       

Following welcoming remarks by TED director Shirley Dela Rosa and core faculty member Dr. Larry Purcell, the format of the evening was explained. Participating teachers were asked to form groups of 10-12 and spend 15 minutes visiting each of seven stations set up throughout the room where a TED core faculty member, adjunct instructor or affiliate would give a brief presentation on a separate aspect, approach to, or method of teaching.

These stations included Moresa Langkilde sharing insights on Early Childhood Education; Vanila Ta’ai discussing the importance of lesson plans; Lene Chanel and Valelia Sefo highlighting physical & health education; Dr. Larry Purcell demonstrating the use of creative dramatics; Leala Ieremia and Kathlyn Manase introducing the Lumana'i Educators Association (LEA Club); Tasia Talamoni advising on Samoan language & culture;  and Cathlyn Su'a and Cameo Lavata'i presenting on classroom management.

When all of the participating teachers had concluded their visit to each station, the evening drew to a close with words of encouragement from ASCC Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Siamaua Ropeti, who also acknowledged the presence and support of vice president of Academic and Student Affairs Letupu Moananu and vice president of Administration and Finance Sonny Leomiti.

“We enjoyed seeing the teachers having fun with the material presented at the different stations,” reflected Saili, “and we hope we can hold more events like this to share concepts for professional improvement and opportunities for advancement with American Samoa’s educators.”

Saili shared that “about 100” working (in-service) teachers currently take advantage of the after-hours classes offered by the ASCC-TED, the majority of them pursuing a Bachelor’s of Education in Elementary Education degree, certification courses, or an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education degree.

Concurrently, the TED also serves an enrollment of approximately the same number of regular ASCC students majoring in Teacher Education.  For more information on the Teacher Education program at ASCC, call 699-9155 and ask for extensions 489, 490 or 492.