My first commitment is to train future teachers at Montana State University-Billings. This has been demonstrated in my EDCI 300 Curriculum Theory and Design class. My attempt has been to teach curriculum models, the process of design and to acquaint MSU-Bs future teachers with practitioners in the field who service as guest speakers to illuminate social, political, or cultural forces that influence curriculum design. I have challenged myself to devote the 1998-1999 school year to team-teaching these classes with Dr. Susan Barfield. What a challenge! I found this experience quite rewarding. This required that I teach double the class sections with double the reward. I became a better teacher because of this. I had an opportunity to both process and reflect on my teaching in planning sessions with Dr. Barfield.
My current challenge is to integrate technology into my classes. Presently students learn to use METNET, send email of their findings to me and present a PowerPoint presentation of state and national standards in a selected content area. As a result of my participation in the T5 Technology Integration Grant, I will incorporate imovie, digital camera experiences, and a host of Internet experiences, which I am exploring. These include e-companion and e-college offerings. This website is a result of a grant from the T5 award.
I also teach EDCI 310-Curriculum for Middle and Secondary Schools. In this class, my focus is on curriculum processes, pedagogical methods and technology with emphasis on thinking skills and discussion techniques.
In both classes I take students to Zoo Montana, Moss Mansion, and the Yellowstone Art Museum to bring in content area learning using the head, heart and hand. Although this is sometimes an expensive endeavor for me, these opportunities give students ways to continually define and redefine ways to achieve optimal educational experiences.
My unique contributions to MSU-Bs graduate program center around the creation of a popular summer class. I challenge myself to design and implement a graduate class. In 1998, I taught EDCI 592-Teaching with Hope and Help: Teaching Students to be Responsible. The subsequent summer I taught The Brain: Using Current Research for Instructional Practices. These classes were well received and evaluated.
Part of my teaching responsibility includes supervising student teachers. During the1998-1999 academic year, our department instituted the Teaching as a Second Career Cohort program. I volunteered to supervise all 12 student teachers in this program at Lockwood Elementary. I held seminars at the school for the student teachers and mentor teachers. I observed these student teachers on a weekly basis and offered my expertise and suggestions for their improvement.
In subsequent academic years I supervised 2 or 3 pre-service teachers per semester. This is an important aspect of teaching for me. I enjoy participating in this culminating experience as students prepare for their careers.
My teaching is central to my role at MSU-B. I have found teaching very stimulating and rewarding.
My skill as a teacher is reflected on evaluations and ratings by students. I have received excellent formal evaluations ranging from 3.97-4.90 on a 5-point rating scale.
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