Photo courtesy of Professor Wendy Bellow
In regards to the article “Education Department Works to Lay a Foundation for Change” in the last issue of the Etownian, there are follow up details about the Tempest Day of Action. The Day of Action was a huge success in the Education Department Monday, Sept. 18. The professors reported that the teach-in went well, and the evening event was engaging and meaningful.
During classes Monday, professors used 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 evening session was introduced by NSTA President junior Ryan Thomas, who was joined by Ed Org Hours Coordinator and club representative junior Julie Weeks, CEC Co-Presidents senior Lia Chak and junior Amy Lieberman and KDP Co-President senior Lauren Van Pelt. Thomas spoke about the goal for the night, describing how students would engage in discussion that could lead to actions the four education clubs can undertake this academic year.
The leaders of each club spoke about the topics that they had presented for the event, and their club’s mission to see the goal become a reality.
When Weeks introduced the Keynote speaker alumna Anna Downey (’17), there was a strong reception. Downey, who is beginning her fifth week of teaching kindergarten, had several valuable lessons for all of the pre-service teachers about the transition they will make from college to the classroom.
After the speech, associate professor of education Dr. Elizabeth Coyle praised her former student and talked at length about the valuable lessons that Downey brought back with her.
When Chak thanked Downey, she described the lessons as “very interesting.” Chak opened a small-group breakout session, and the 60-65 students all picked the topic which most interested them from the four proposed.
The groups formulated ways to improve current and future classrooms based on the four themes Thomas introduced at the beginning of the night.
One of the major ideas for the CEC theme of educating students on acceptance was the building of diverse, multi-cultural libraries in classrooms. These libraries would help students learn by giving them accurate reflections of themselves in books.
The Ed Org theme produced seven major ways that the club could get involved in the community this semester. The KDP theme of community service and NSTA themes of creativity and problem solving also generated a list of possible club activities.
Each of the groups presented the ideas they agreed on. The four clubs will be choosing their specific goals for the next academic year over the next few days.
Downey closed out the event, and the Education Department had many thanks for the returning alumna. All of the professors and students involved in the planning of the event put forth a lot of effort, and the event was a success.