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Rosemarie DeJarnett Beacon College humanities instructor and University of Central Florida alumnus Rosemarie DeJarnett is returning (virtually) to her alma mater for a yearlong mentorship to share hard-won wisdom about educational best practices with aspiring educators.

DeJarnett applied and was selected a mentor for the UCF College of Community Innovation and Education Alumni Mentorship Program. Participants guide teaching candidates and first-year teachers through their inaugural year in the classroom, she said.

“A teacher’s first year in the classroom is filled with excitement, uncertainty, and doubt,” DeJarnett said. When I was “a new teacher … I was surrounded by mentors [who] encouraged me to build a classroom environment that welcomed all students.  This type of classroom environment challenges students with high expectations, which helps students develop goal-setting and confidence.  I want to help other teachers create classrooms that are filled with students who believe they can achieve greatness in their academics at school and outside the classroom by making a difference in their communities. When a teacher creates this type of classroom, he or she falls in love with the profession of teaching and makes a difference in students’ lives.  

The University of Central Florida created the College of Community Innovation and Education to house academic programs centered on building strong communities through innovative solutions to complex social issues.

The stint requires DeJarnett to meet biweekly (virtually until COVID precautions are lifted) with four mentees. Sessions involve discussions of proven approaches and feedback on their pedagogy. 

DeJarnett, who joined Beacon in 2019 and serves as a professor of literacy and reading, said her experiences at America’s first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating primarily students with learning disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning differences will help her share singular insights with her charges.

“At Beacon College, I have the distinct honor of working with some of the best educators in the field,” she said. “I will be able to reference their student-centered classrooms and engaging lesson ideas.  As a newer faculty member, I will be able to have empathy when mentoring, as I recently went through the process. The support and guidance I received from the faculty within the humanities department, our administration, and many others on campus was a gift that I can now continue to share with new teacher” in the UCF program.