Thomas College readies Maine's next generation of teachers for the modern classroom

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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Thomas College recently dedicated their School of Education to philanthropists Peter and Paula Lunder.

They say this reaffirms their mission is to train Maine's next generation of teachers.

"Here at the Peter and Paula Lunder School of Education, we want to re-envision education and therefore we want to re-envision teacher education," said Dr. Pamela Thompson, Chair of the Peter and Paula Lunder School of Education.

And to do that, they designed modern classrooms and brought in the newest technology, like 3-D printers and Virtual Reality Headsets.

"We wanted to create an aesthetic place that was also a public space and so how this space is used is very unique," said Thompson. "This is an intentionally multi-use space that is reflective of the classroom's of today."

With Maine's teacher shortage increasing, Thomas is expanding their efforts to train future Maine teachers.

They recently announced a new intensive 3-year program for students to be able to get out into the workforce faster.

Students, like sophomore Gabe Crosby, say that it means a lot to be a part of the next generation of teachers.

"It's really important for us to be able to step up to the plate in that aspect, to be able to carry on that kind of tradition of good teaching, but it's also important for us to carry on our values and our ideas as our world changes around us," said Crosby.

And students seem to understand the impact that they can have in teaching.

"I just want to be that person," said Thomas College senior Meghan Stover. "I want to be the teacher that they can to go for anything, but I also want to be the teacher who is encouraging to step beyond what they know what they can do. So I want to be able to help them further their education and reach new goals."