It is difficult to walk around campus without passing a student in the ubiquitous School of Education sweatshirt. Education is one of the most popular fields of study at Geneseo, and a large number of education majors turn to the Elementary and Secondary Education Association (ESEA), a student-run organization that offers insight into the School of Education and working with children. ESEA is open to all education majors, including those focusing on adolescent education.
According to co-president Patti Glisson, a senior, the club provides a central place for education majors to discuss issues pertinent to their program. The collective knowledge that upperclassmen in ESEA have is a great benefit to members in lower years.
"The School of Education is kind of confusing," Glisson said. "If I know one thing, for example, and another member knows about something else, we are able to combine our knowledge to benefit the group." Older students in the organization are also able to share their experiences with younger members so they know what to expect in the upcoming years.
To clarify the education degree requirements and provide advice for education majors, ESEA holds many informational sessions for its members. Members benefit from programs held by the club by gaining experience for their careers from a multitude of perspectives. "The club gives us quite a few opportunities to be in panel discussions with people who have already gone through what we will be going through," sophomore Ashley Claypoole said. "So, anything that we future teachers have questions about, they can answer for us." In the past, the organization has held résumé workshops, panels with current student teachers and principals, and a talk with the dean of education. The organization also helps to remind members about required educator tests that are necessary to become a teacher.
In addition to acclimating members of ESEA to the educational system, the organization hosts a number of programs and fundraisers to benefit local schools. Members of ESEA also interact directly with children through different programs with schoolchildren in the area. In a program conducted in the Mt. Morris school district, called "P.J.s and Paperbacks," members read with children entering kindergarten. "It benefits the kids because it gets that age group settled into the school and introduces them to other students that they may have class with, which settles down their fears about school," explained co-president Lauren Eichenauer, a junior.
Above all, ESEA aims to provide valuable experience and guidance in the educational field for its members. "The club is based on everything that the members want," commented Eichenauer. "We want to help members become better educators."