Education Department reinvents annual Tempest Day

Ryan Thomas September 14, 2017 0

The Elizabethtown College Department of Education is hosting a teach-in Monday, Sept. 18. All students are invited to join the education classes throughout the day. Professors will be using their lecture time to discuss how teachers can inspire students to be active participants in learning, encourage community service, educate students on acceptance and promote problem solving and creativity.

The Anna Reese Tempest Distinguished Educator Lecture Series has been an annual event in the College’s education department that focuses on issues surrounding social justice and equity. Previous events included lectures on issues such as racial inequality and immigration and how they affect education. This past March, the education department reimagined the Tempest event as a Day of Action. March 20, 125 students and faculty gathered to discuss ways to positively change current classrooms and communities.

The event was opened by Director of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Monica Smith, who spoke about the responsibilities of all professors, teachers and pre-service educators to make a difference within classrooms and schools. Student leaders in the department, faculty, Smith, Interim Coordinator for Multicultural Programs and Residential Communities Stephanie Collins and sophomore Pleasant Sprinkle-Williams facilitated small group discussions to generate pledges of change.

Students created “bricks” to represent the positive changes that education majors are undertaking in field placements and in future classrooms. The “bricks” are hung in the education department hallway in Nicarry Hall as a reminder of how the department is building a foundation for change. The students also used the Twitter hashtag #EDTEMPEST to share their pledges and support for the event.

Students and faculty are committed to transforming the pledges into action. The Tempest Planning Committee of associate professor Dr. Rachel Finely-Bowman, associate professor Dr. Elizabeth Coyle, assistant professor Dr. Peter Licona, professor Wendy Bellew and associate professor Dr. Shannon Haley-Mize invited four student organizations to join in planning the event: Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the education honor society, the Education Club (Ed Org), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the recently reborn chapter of the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA). Spearheaded last spring by Ed Org officer Anna Downey, ’17, and Ed Org member junior Julie Weeks, the student organizations formed the basis of the continuous effort to lay a foundation for change.

Monday, Sept. 18, the student organizations, spearheaded by Weeks, now an Ed Org officer, CEC Co-Presidents junior Amy Lieberman and senior Lia Chak, NSTA President junior Ryan Thomas and KDP Co-Presidents, seniors Cecelia Hartley and Lauren Van Pelt, are facilitating more discussions at an evening event that is designed to determine the actions that the clubs will undertake this academic year.

Downey will return as an alumna to open the session and speak about her experiences as a new teacher. The education department is holding a Day of Action teach-in in conjunction with the evening event. Education professors will use Monday’s lessons to talk about four themes that the student organizations selected for the event.

The teach-in lectures are open to all students who are interested. Any student interested in attending the teach-in lectures should contact or for more information.


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