By Kate Sitzmann
Bachelors of Science in Elementary and Special Education, College of Education
In today’s classrooms, we see a complete spectrum of students ranging in interests and abilities. As educators, we must be prepared for students who already know what we are teaching, are right on target or are still grasping at earlier concepts. In addition, we have students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and 504 plans that need more scaffolding instruction and support. I found that juggling schedules with curriculum and intervention groups was quite the circus act. Teaching is such a performance. You must captivate your audience, relate material and then leave your students wanting more to encourage their own discoveries.
By Kennedy Lane
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Nurturing the minds of today’s youth and teaching young children what they need to know to become successful in life can be so rewarding. As a teacher of young children, you have the opportunity to exercise your creativity in nurturing their skills and abilities so that they can navigate their worlds effectively.
By Dr. Stephanie Knight
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education
Today, I observed a classroom filled with twenty undergraduate college students. I could count on one hand the number of times they looked up at the instructor in a forty-five-minute time period. The instructor was gentle, kind and caring; he also was filled with content knowledge. Of course, this is vital when teaching children or adults. But according to Marzano and Pickering (2011) in their book, The Highly Engaged Classroom, not only do students want to feel safe and cared for, they also want the material to be interesting. There is a plethora of ways we could go about accomplishing this objective. However, there is one surefire thing you can do in your classroom which will keep students not only interested, but connected and engaged.
By Jeff Martin
Assistant Professor, College of Education
As a professor in the College of Education, I strive to think about how the three pillars of the college’s conceptual framework of “Learning, Leading and Serving” can be applied to our everyday lives. A few weeks ago, we had a unique experience in my family that I think is a perfect example of serving.
By Stephanie Knight, PhD
Faculty, College of Education
“Education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire.” W.B. Yeates
I want to ignite my students’ love of reading. Moreover, I want to set them up for success, and thus my goal every year is to create a classroom of readers. But first, they need buy-in. So, I saturate them daily with the why.
The need for people in STEM-related careers is at an all-time high. Science, tech, engineering and math fields are looking for people who can think critically, solve problems and work with science and math concepts with ease. For years, much of this type of work has been outsourced to other countries, but with the growing dependence on tech, domestic businesses are also increasing hires in these fields.
While teachers are preparing students for their potential careers, they are also imparting the many other benefits of bringing STEM concepts into the classroom. One way to do this is through robotics. While building robotic figures and getting them to work, students learn skills like mechanics, engineering, coding and more.
No matter how thoroughly your degree program prepares you to become a teacher, you will find that there is nothing quite like the insight you will gain from hands-on experience. Many new teachers discover that talking to parents is harder than they expected. The trick is to assume the right mindset. Always remember that the parents know their child best, even though you work with that child every school day. Parents want the best for their kids, but they do not always know how to help them. Everyone will benefit when you start a friendly, collaborative relationship with all of your students’ parents right from the start.
By Micah Lee
Alumna, College of Education
As a kindergarten teacher, I teach students from all walks of life: my students come into my classroom with diverse backgrounds, experiences, families and cultures. These differences often include values. Some children are raised with Christian values, and some are just taught how to be decent human beings, but some may struggle to understand the importance of having values in one’s life.
By Anastasia Smith
Early Childhood Education Major, College of Education
“There is a fundamental question we all have to face. How are we to live our lives; by what principles and moral values will we be guided and inspired?” (H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)
As educators, we are responsible for the lives of impressionable young people, our students who will spend up to 6.5 educational hours a day with us. Therefore, we have a great responsibility to give them the skillsets they will need to succeed in the world. It is important, however, to remember that this isn’t limited to killer social skills or the ability to navigate the academic world seamlessly; as educators, we also have to model great values.
By Faith Brown, MA, MEd
Alumna, College of Education
Cultural-centered teaching is an instructional method that requires knowledge of all cultures present in the classroom. Once classroom culture has been identified, the culture of the educator forms a perimeter of protection to the learning environment, making it a safe place for students and the teacher to be culturally influenced while learning.
Race is not a factor in cultural-centered teaching, for we can be of the same race, but of different cultures. Culture of community members acts as the light to brighten the paths to success for students when community members are actively involved in providing internships, employment, job shadowing opportunities and information that is essential to students making informed decisions about their future.