Before you can ‘hit the ground running’, you’ve got to get the boots on properly. Some 184 students at Eastern Kentucky University are going through ‘boot camp’ this week. They all begin their student teaching assignments Thursday. Doctor Peggy Petrilli heads up the Professional Lab Experience Office at Eastern.
"Actually the numbers at E-K-U are a little bit down because we’ve increased the requirements for teaching. It’s a much more rigorous program, so in years past, a student might have been able to make it as a teacher, today they are weeded out and we want only the best and the brightest and the students that are absolutely passionate about being a teacher,” said Petrilli. Petrilli says the boot camp topics include a crash course on classroom management and creating a safe school. Whitley County Senior Ben Pruitt’s father served as a principal for 25 years and Pruitt's mother was also in education. ‘I’ve seen the impact that they’ve had on people’s lives, especially in my community. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to say the same thing and impact some lives,” said Pruitt. As a student-teacher, Pruitt will focus on agricultural education at Rockcastle County High School.