Eighty education majors at Arkansas Tech University received helpful advice on how to be successful interns and first-year teachers during a two-hour seminar at the Doc Bryan Student Services Building on Friday, Oct. 14.
Maureen Harness (photographed), teacher induction program advisor for the Arkansas Department of Education, led a discussion that broke the art of teaching down into four categories: organizing content knowledge for student learning; creating an environment for student learning; teaching for student learning; and teacher professionalism.
The seminar was based upon the PATHWISE Classroom Observation System, a statewide initiative that was put in place in 2002 as a way of mentoring first-year teachers.
June Lawson, director of Teacher Education Student Services and assistant professor of early childhood education at Arkansas Tech, said that a similar evaluation system will be used in the near future to evaluate all teachers in Arkansas.
“This seminar gave the attendees a leg up on the new teacher evaluation system,” said Lawson. “PATHWISE is a tool that breaks teaching behaviors into domains and organizes the domains into criteria for assessment. I was very excited to bring Maureen to campus because it helped our students understand the importance of good teaching behaviors. She did a great job of relating to our students and shared that all teachers were novices at one point. She used humor as she shared some of her own mistakes as a first-year teacher, and our students really enjoyed and appreciated her presentation. Maureen shares our passion here at Arkansas Tech for producing great teachers.”
The Arkansas Tech students who attended the seminar on Friday are all seniors. The audience included early childhood, middle level and secondary education majors. All of the students who were invited to participate in the seminar have applied to serve as interns in K-12 classrooms during the spring 2012 semester.
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