Author Archives: cadygt194

About cadygt194

I am currently a graduate students at SUNY Potsdam in the MSED Literacy Specialist program. I also received my BA in Childhood/Early Childhood Education at SUNY Potsdam.

Teacher Education Student Association (TESA)

There are many different clubs and organizations on the SUNY Potsdam campus; one of which is the Teacher Education Student Association (TESA).

This organization is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about teaching, and would like to receive professional development for their time, as well as interact with other education majors.  Meetings are held bi-weekly and last for about one hour, starting at 7:30pm.  The meetings consist of doing different activities to give back to the community, or having a speaker come in to discuss different topics related to teaching/schools where you receive professional development for the time.

In addition to the bi-weekly meetings, TESA also hosts a professional development conference right here at SUNY Potsdam.  This conference consists of two days where alumni from all over come, some of which are retired teachers or administration, others who are currently teaching or in administration, provide valuable information for when you go into the real world of education.

Their next meeting is held Monday, February 9th at 7:30pm.  This meeting is an ice cream social where everyone will be making Valentine’s Day cards for the local Meals on Wheels, while enjoying some yummy ice cream!

Below is the link for TESA’s Facebook page for TESA where you can find more information about what has been done at past meetings, as well as notifying you of upcoming events.

This organization is a great opportunity for all, and I encourage you to attend the meetings to see everything that they have to offer!

Beating the Winter Blues

“April showers bring May flowers,” or at least that’s how the saying goes.  But what if it’s still snowing in April, and even at times in May?  That’s the kind of weather we get here in Potsdam, New York.  Unpredictable to say the least.  One thing that is for sure is the cold, bitter weather that winter brings along with it.  From the first light snow fall of the season to the ice storms that come to follow, knowing how to face the ever changing weather is always important here at SUNY Potsdam.

With temperatures as low as -23°F (-30°C) in the early morning and a potential high of 46°F (7°C) during the sun’s highest point, Potsdam is a place where you need to be prepared for any kind of weather.  It may be odd to see someone wondering around in shorts and a light sweatshirt in early March, but once the weather gets above freezing, everyone comes out from hibernation.  This is when spring may seem to be right around the corner, even if Punxsutawney Phil says we have six more weeks of winter, but that’s not the case.  You never know when “Jack Frost [will come back] nipping on your nose,” for the tenth time around.  But this time, be prepared.

5 Steps to Beating the Winter Blues:

1. Get an Indoor Hobby- Don’t waste those cold, bitter days all bundled up in bed.  Find a hobby that keeps you going, and uses your time wisely.  This would be a great time to put that DIY Pinterest board to use!

2. Be Social- Don’t spend your time alone.  Winter can be depressing enough for some, but it doesn’t have to be when you’re willing to get together with friends. Maybe this is the weekend that you try to break your high score in bowling, or have that Harry Potter movie marathon with friends that you’ve secretly been wanting for weeks.  No matter what it is, I’m sure your left-hand-man is right beside you!

3. Make Someone Smile- With the many opportunities to make someone smile, all around the world, why not have today be the day that you put that smile on someone’s face.  Paying it forward is a great way to do so, and it doesn’t always involve money.  A simple gesture like leaving a positive note on someone’s car window can change anyone’s day!

4. Dress Up- Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should only wear heavy layers of dark, drab wool.  Don’t be afraid to wear some color, and even dress up in something other than your pajamas.  You may not have anywhere to go, but why not dress up and have a dinner party with some of your closest friends!

5. Treat Yourself- Whether you have a spa day, get those new pair of heels you’ve been eyeing in the window, or go to the gym so you look great in that bathing suit this summer, take the time to make yourself feel special!

The winter blues can’t keep you down forever, and won’t stop you at all if you just remember that as each week goes by you are one week closer to spring, and soon enough summer!

Literacy Specialists

For those who are trying to decide between the many different Master’s programs that SUNY Potsdam has to offer, here’s a little insight into one of the programs…

I am currently majoring in the MSED Literacy Specialist program, which I love!  This program has given me a great opportunity to get involved in the schools right away, while getting paid.  What college student wouldn’t want to make a little extra money?  The MSED Literacy Specialist program gives Master’s students the chance to work first hand with a Literacy Specialist at a local school.  However, this is nothing like student teaching or any type of practicum.

During this internship YOU are the teacher!

Each day I meet with different groups of students for a half hour at a time.  The groups range from one-on-one up to two students, but could be more depending on how many students need this service.  For each group I plan lessons that are focused on the students’ needs, and then teach the lesson.  Not only am I teaching, but I also assess the students to see if they are improving in their literacy skills.  Based on these assessments, the student’s services are either increased or decreased.  This means that my groups are changing constantly.

This internship lasts for two semesters, and takes place of the Literacy Practicum.  You are able to work for half a day, or for a whole day, depending on your schedule and what the school you are placed in offers.  I find that there can be some benefits to doing this internship:

1. You make money, while practicing what you are studying.

2. You are getting into a reading room right away, so you can see if that is what you really want to do.

3. Being involved in the classroom gives you a great opportunity to connect what you are learning in your courses to how it can be used in a reading room… Which you will do for ALL of your courses!

I have found this internship to be such a great opportunity!  I have made connections with many faculty members and administration, as well as learned so much in just the short time that I’ve been in the reading room.

If you are looking to become a Literacy Specialist, and proceed with the MSED Literacy Specialist program, I highly recommend that you consider taking advantage of this opportunity!

Good luck to all!

Adopt-A-Bear Cub Mentoring Program

Are you looking to get involved in the community and give back?  Well, the Adopt-A-Bear Cub Mentor Program is a great way to do so!  This mentor program gives area college students the chance to work with students at the local Lawrence Avenue Elementary School in Potsdam.

The school is located less than two miles from the SUNY Potsdam campus.  College students are given the chance to work with students either Mondays/Wednesdays or Tuesdays/Thursdays, from approximately 3:15pm to 4:15pm.  For the first half hour the program focuses on academics, such as homework, reading, etc.  The remainder of the time is given to playing games, going outside, etc.

Not only is this program a great opportunity for college students to get involved in the community, but the elementary students love seeing their mentor each day!  The elementary students involved in this program enjoy spending one-on-one time with their mentor, who they get to know and form a relationship with.  By the end of the program you won’t want to leave!  The elementary students involved in this mentor program are hand picked by the school counselor, Sue Pike.

I was a supervisor for the Adopt-A-Bear Cub Mentor Program for three semesters, an a mentor for multiple semesters.  As an education major, this program has taught me a lot about management, different home-lives that students come from, and much, much more!  Being a mentor also gave me the chance to form a relationship with a student who really benefitted from one-on-one time with someone who was always there for her.

I highly recommend being involved in this program no matter what your major!  This is a great opportunity for everyone, and only takes two hours a week.

If you are looking to get involved in this program I recommend that you fill out this survey:  Once you have filled out this survey you will be enrolled in a moodle course that provides a lot of information regarding the program.  Nicole Feml is the supervisor for all college students, and can be contacted at, or found in 112A Satterlee Hall.

In addition, there will be two training sessions:

Monday/Wednesday Volunteers:

January 26th, 2015: 3:15pm – 4:15pm

Lawrence Avenue Elementary School Cafeteria

Tuesday/Thursday Volunteers:

January 27th, 2015: 3:15pm – 4:15pm

Lawrence Avenue Elementary School Cafeteria

The program will officially start on:

January 28th & 29th, 2015: 3:15pm – 4:15pm

Lawrence Avenue Elementary School Cafeteria

And ends on:

May 6th & 7th, 2015: 3:15pm – 4:15pm

Lawrence Avenue Elementary School Cafeteria


Hi Everyone,

My name is Grace Cady, and I am currently a Graduate Student at SUNY Potsdam.  I just finished my first of three semesters in the MSED Literacy Specialist program here at SUNY Potsdam.  Not only am I completing my masters degree through SUNY Potsdam, but I also received my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood/Childhood Education (Birth-Sixth Grade) specializing in English at SUNY Potsdam.  I just loved Potsdam so much that I decided to stay!

I am from a small town in the Adirondacks located on Lake George, called Bolton Landing,  What drew me to SUNY Potsdam was the small town community that both the campus and surrounding area has to offer.  The classes are small so you are able to be involved and form a connection with the professor and other students.  I have found that this really helps when there are group projects, or you are struggling.  These small classes really allow you to feel comfortable and succeed.

In my small hometown I was really involved in different activities in and out of school.  This carried over when I came to Potsdam.  The small community is great for getting involved!  It gives you the chance to join many different clubs, organizations, and other activities.  For those in education, there are many opportunities to substitute teach, or volunteer in the many surrounding schools.  This is a great time to get involved!

Feel free to come for a visit, or get in contact with one of our many Graduate Student Ambassadors to find out what else they have to say about SUNY Potsdam.  This is a great college to be a part of, and I hope that you are able to enjoy it just as much as I have!