By Hayleigh Colombo, Editor in Chief, The Butler Collegian

Butler University College of Education students collaborated Nov. 29 on a twice-annual event designed to foster discussion and professional problem solving.

Known as Graduate/Undergraduate Night, students designed and organized two one-hour sessions where 45 undergraduate students stepped into the role of teachers and 17 graduate students acted as administrators.

“It simulates the real-world professional environment that we’re about to go into,” Sarah Allan, an undergraduate student who helped organize the event, said.

COE faculty said they enjoy the mandatory event because they have seen positive outcomes from it.

“Over time, we’ve noticed that it’s a great networking experience for the students, which is a nice benefit of it,” Marilyn Sudsberry, instructor of graduate programs in COE, said.

Angela Lupton, elementary education instructor, said she enjoys the event and that the faculty members attend to appreciate the work that the students do.

“This work really is the result of students planning every aspect of it, from the format to the rubrics,” Lupton said.

The two question-and-answer sessions mimicked a game of Trivial Pursuit, but instead of pop culture and history, students responded to issues of behavior management, academics and instruction, special education, parent communication and other issues that come up in an educational setting.

The undergraduates presented curiosities and concerns that have come to light during their experiences student teaching, and the graduate students guided them to find their own ways of solving the issues in an appropriate administrative capacity.

“They are empowering you to find your own answers,” Allan said.

COE undergraduate student Emily Yingling talked about the issues of special education and inclusion that she currently faces in her student-teaching experience.

Graduate student Cortnei Freeman offered advice and possible situations that could help Yingling, including addressing creative time management and meeting tactics.

After the session, both the undergraduates and graduate students rated each other using rubrics that the students created themselves.

Marcus Redick, a graduate student, said that he enjoyed the event.

“We get to feed off each other and share some of the similarities that are happening,” Redick said.

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