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Join us on Teaching in Purple to find your purpose and passion in the field of education. Discover inspirational stories from future teachers, faculty, staff and alumni from Grand Canyon University. Peek inside the classrooms of today to shape your classroom of tomorrow. You will look great in purple!
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Category: Teaching and Instruction
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By Rebecca Reynolds, EdD
Faculty Member, Grand Canyon University

As a teacher I love to see when my students reward themselves intrinsically with self-pride. The kind you see when they smile because they succeeded at accomplishing a learning goal or project. This intrinsic self-pride encourages students to keep working hard and is inspirational to others. As teachers we have the unspoken job requirement of inspiring our students to find their own intrinsic self-pride. Self-pride is a learned behavior. I help my students recognize when they have done an outstanding job, and when they have led learning amongst their peers.

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Students ought to be engaged in their courses. If they are not participating, teaching can become twice as difficult as it needs to be. Encouraging students to speak in class is often an instructor’s most difficult challenge.  Students that take an active role in classroom discussion take interest in the course material, and speaking to an audience prepares students for their academic and professional lives as speakers, thinkers and listeners.

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English class wouldn’t be the same without a lesson on Shakespeare. And in fact, the new Common Core standards require students to study the Bard. There’s no question that Shakespeare was a genius who deserves to be studied, but it’s definitely challenging to teach such inaccessible writing to students who may not even like to read at all. But never fear—as an aspiring English teacher, you can put modern curriculum ideas to work for you. Try these effective strategies to liven up Shakespeare for your students.

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Aspiring educators who have an adventurous spirit and an enduring desire to reach out to others might consider teaching abroad. Before you make a decision, consider what comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “teaching abroad.” Do you picture yourself leading South African girls in a singing activity? Do you see yourself teaching a large high school class in Japan or South Korea? If you decide to teach abroad, look for an opportunity that corresponds closely with your mental picture. You’ll be more satisfied with the overall experience if you’re immersed in a culture that you’re genuinely interested in.

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By Kennedy Lane
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

As a new teacher it is critical to establish an environment that is conducive to learning. There will be times when students exhibit challenging behaviors, and it is important to know how to handle those situations when they arise. Here are some ways to handle those situations.

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By Dr. Stephanie Knight
Faculty, College of Education

While driving my Kindergartener to school, I’m flooded with questions. No, I’m not analyzing life’s deepest thoughts at the moment, but rather, my daughter has her curious hat on, and she’s wondering about the concept of termites today. Yesterday, it was what is gluten and do nuts have it in them.

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By Diana Anderson
Alum, College of Education

I am often surprised how God uniquely prepares us for the activities He has planned for us. I entered teaching later in life, as a way to pay for my sons’ college educations. With a BS in Interior Design I was able to get a Christian school teaching certificate, but not a state license. I felt competent in my teaching abilities but decided to get a master’s in education to check off the boxes of the state requirements. My GCU program included courses in ESL which were of limited interest to me, initially. Little did I know that those classes would open a whole new ministry opportunity for me.

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By Ashley Olander
Secondary Education Major, College of Education

I’m majoring in secondary education with an emphasis in physical education and am currently in my last semester of my senior year. I am completing my student teaching at Kodaikanal International School in India. I wanted to do my student teaching abroad because I knew that it would give me an opportunity to learn about a different culture and see how an educational setting outside of the U.S. differs from ours. So when the opportunity to teach at this school came along, I knew that I could not pass it up! I am helping teach seventh grade physical and health education.

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By Meredith Critchfield, PhD
Associate Professor, College of Education

It all started over some gluten-free pasta. Last fall, I was stirring a boiling pot of pasta at my stove, glancing at my daughter in her play room. I started thinking about podcasting. I love listening to podcasts and think audio media in general is the new wave of communication. More and more people every day turn to podcasts to receive information rather than traditional news channels.

It occurred to me as I whirled the pasta around, “Why don’t we start a podcast for the College of Education?” I immediately texted College of Education Faculty Chair Emily Pottinger. Emily and I find joy in coming up with “out of the box” ideas, so I figured she’d grab on to the idea right away. I was right. Within seconds, she replied, “Yes! That’s perfect! Let’s do it!”

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