Education - Page 1 - Improving education skills

- Page 1
Improving education skills
Fine-tuning skills from beginning teachers through administrators

By E. Rose Scarff, Contributing Writer

Salisbury University’s Seidel School of Education works closely with the schools they partner with to be sure each school’s needs are being met. They also monitor the students they send to each school so student teachers are exposed to the best possible learning experiences.

“Our student teachers are sent out to the schools for student teaching in their first semester in either a middle or high school classroom,” says Laurie Henry, Ph.D., dean of the Seidel School of Education at Salisbury. They are not there to observe the teachers at work. “The focus is on helping in the classroom rather than observing,” says Henry. “Students are taking foundation courses at the same time and come back to the classroom with insight and questions.” This enables students to ascertain if teaching is the right career path for them before they are too far along in the program.

“Throughout their time at Salisbury they are working in the schools with mentor teachers,” says Henry. “We have a reciprocal relationship with the schools we partner with. This not only helps our student teachers, but we provide professional development for teachers at the schools depending on their needs.” This derives from the nine essentials required of both parties in a Professional Development School (PDS) relationship. (See sidebar.)

Salisbury has PDS relationships with 40 schools in seven counties. This gives their education students a wide range of experience while they are getting their degree. “In the spring of their senior year they spend the entire semester teaching full-time in the area of their choice,” says Henry.

Throughout their time at Salisbury, these student teachers also have the opportunity to attend the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) conferences along with faculty. Both have the opportunity to present papers there.

In 2018 Salisbury student Shelby Ennis received the organization’s Emerging PDS Leader Award. She is a senior elementary and early childhood education major and was chosen from nine finalists for their service to the organization and their school’s PDS program. This is the fifth time a student at Salisbury has won this honor in the past decade. Since 1991, 90 Teachers of the Year have been alumni of Salisbury.

At the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a recent $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation for Improving Undergraduate Science Education (IUSE) will focus on teaching and learning in biology. This work will be done over a five-year period in collaboration with community colleges in the area: Anne Arundel Community College, Baltimore County Community College, Howard County Community College and Montgomery County Community College.

Teachers, continued on page 7