HomeExemplary PracticesExemplary Faculty PracticesFall 2012Texas A&M University Texarkana | The Ultimate Roadtrip
  • The Ultimate Road Trip

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    Dr. Callie Fortenberry

  • About Our Practice

    In the summer of 2010 arrangements were made through the Center for Student Missions, a national organization that organizes service learning trips for student groups, to take a group of seven senior education students to work in an inner city elementary school and perform various service activities with the children and families from this neighborhood throughout the week. All students participating were enrolled in field based courses or methods courses. Course activities were modified for these students to include pre-trip preparation, observation hours and mini-lessons taught while on the trip, and a culminating presentation for other class members upon return.

    Students spent a week teaching at an inner city elementary school in Chicago and experienced the emotions, trials, joys, stressors, and challenges that every novice teacher experiences. The plans they were so proud of did not go as well as they’d hoped, so each night they went back to the drawing board to revise and redesign. They saw bright eyes of children who “got it” and the downcast, sometimes angry eyes of those who did not understand or whose lives were so difficult outside of class, they could not concentrate on school. After one week of immersion in a real world teaching situation, the students were echoing many of the “lessons learned” voiced by teachers in their first years of teaching. Thus, this immersion experience proves invaluable for teacher candidates in terms of both experience and confidence.

  • Key Practice Features

    Student reflections after their week of immersion teaching indicate they felt as though they had been thrown into a “sink-or-swim” situation in which they had to choose to swim. Most students became more confident in their abilities to work with others, to teach and manage children, to work more effectively and responsively with children of diverse backgrounds, and to handle a multitude of daily issues faced by new and veteran classroom teachers. In their own words, the students reported:

    • Kids ar kids, no matter where they are
    • Lesson plans don't always work
    • It is critical to understand where your students are coming from
    • Teachers on your team can be difficult
    • Attitude is everything
    • Resources may be limited, but instruction can still be engaging and effective
    • Principals are demanding
    • Teaching is hard, hard work, but exciting
    • If you love kids, it's all worth it
  • Welcome
  • About Our Practice
  • Key Practice Features
  • Full Practice Description

 

 

About Faculty Practices

Exemplary faculty practices are innovative methods of conveying both knowledge and experience to teacher candidates in such a way as to prepare them to excel as leaders in the classroom.

Such practices may be the work on one faculty member, a group of faculty members or a department-wide practice in a teacher preparation program.

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Exemplary Defined

Exemplary faculty practices are those that provide teacher candidates a deep understanding of both content and the ability to put that content into classroom practice.

The ability to effectively translate knowledge into student learning helps make the difference between ordinary teachers and exceptional teachers.

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Key Practice Elements

Exemplary faculty practices share a common thread of creativity and innovation in their design.

These practices are intended to provide the optimum environment for teacher candidates to put learning theory into practice.  Often, exemplary faculty practices sharpen one or more key teaching competencies.

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