TTU wraps up special education summer institute for teachers

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Overton County teacher James Street (right) plays a math game with Danillo Zuriga (left), a pupil at Northeast Elementary School in Cookeville, and Chase Smith, who goes to Wilson Elementary in Overton County.
Thirty teachers from across the state attended a summer institute at Tennessee Tech University to obtain credentials to teach special education.

The institute, which compresses a semester’s worth of study into 13 intense days, provides teachers the opportunity to tutor children from 8 to 11 a.m. while taking classes in preparation for their licensure requirements during the afternoon and evening until 9 p.m.

After assessing the children individually, institute participants worked with the children on math and reading skills as well as fun science projects and social studies lessons.

“They evaluate where the skills lie, where strengths and weaknesses lie, and build lessons that we are watching and evaluating,” said Laura Graves, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction within TTU’s College of Education. “That is where the institute participants are getting the teaching piece they have not gotten before.”

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Cumberland County teacher Tracy Sinclair reads to Wilson Elementary student Shelby Smith, Algood Elementary student Natalie Crooks, and Capshaw Elementary student Hayley Waller.
The state Division of Special Education has contracted with TTU and other universities in the state to provide special education courses for teachers who serve children with disabilities. Attending the institute is made possible through grant funding from the state that also extends funding support for courses throughout the year. To be eligible, participants must be teaching on a transitional or alternative license.

Please contact Helen Dainty at 931-372-3116 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like any additional information on Summer Institute or the tutoring program.

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