Spring 2017 semester is over, and I just completed my first year as a four-year university professor (as I previously worked at a two-year college). I am so thankful for the opportunity to grow in a different area of my education career, and so honored to be able to mentor and guide future teachers.
Not only am I proud to be helping others begin their careers, but I am a glad to work at an HBCU that welcomed me with open arms, and gave me an opportunity that other universities felt that I was “too young” for or not “groomed enough” in the traditional sense of what it means to be a professor. HBCU’s often get a negative reputation, but my goal has been to bring my passion, creativity, and professionalism to the students and faculty.
In this semester reflection, I plan to share some personal and student highlights from this semester, and most importantly showcase the outstanding student work that took place in the Texas Southern University College of Education during the Spring 2017 semester:
Courses Taught: Reading 877 (Content Area Reading Instruction), Reading 302 (Reading Skills Development/Science of Teaching Reading), Reading 401 (Reading for Diverse Populations)
Personal accomplishments this semester include: Publishing my first international journal article in the Journal for Multicultural Education, giving three presentations on literacy (Clinical Practice Seminar, TALE Conference, NAME Conference), and running for two board positions.
Reading 877- Content Area Reading Instruction
It was a new experience this semester for me to be able to teach graduate students (Master’s) AND to be able to teach a course completely online. Those who have witnessed my classroom experiences know that my teaching is pretty hands-on, and I require lots of custom touches and interaction with students. Although all of my course resources have always been entirely available online to students in the past, we always met face-to-face. My biggest fear in taking on an online course this semester, was that I’d lose the personal interactions with students, and not be able to share my real-world experiences that accompany the material being taught. We utilized the Discussion Board for weekly discussions, and I held two to three virtual meeting sessions. It was a nice start, but I plan to find ways to further engage my students online in the future.
There were a series of journals and assignments over the course of 12 chapters, but I think my students really did some outstanding work on creating a Text Set that was aligned with a grade level and subject area and/or topic. View a few of the examples at the links below:
“Dear America” (Family/Culture/Social Studies) http://prezi.com/ykqtvvhlogng/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy
“Harlem Renaissance” http://prezi.com/rwflu6s3-ytw/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0shareDownload (Social Studies/S. Asia/Ghandi/MLK)
Once student even same up with a Download
Excellent quality of work from my first group of graduate students! Thanks for such insightful weekly comments and contribution.
Reading 301- Reading Skills Development/Science of Teaching Reading
This course is always my larger group of students, but this is welcomed, as it bring diversity of majors and interests to the course. From creating literacy apps (applications), Big Five Projects, Big Books, and chapter presentations, the students were very busy. One project that really stood out was a group of students created a video over the “Big Five” of reading for their project. I appreciated the quality of the video, the team work, and their professionalism.
In addition to traditional course assignments, they took part in a Education/Literacy Advocacy Activity. They had the option to attend and help with the Black History Program or Bows and Bow Ties in support of the college and our Block I and Block II students. (See photos and links below)
Reading 401- Reading for Diverse Populations
This course is always a special course, and it deals with creating a classroom environment that is inclusive and welcoming of all that comes to the classroom. The sensitivity of topics, beliefs, ideas and opinions shared, and vulnerability that is needed when addressing student needs makes for an interesting and eye-opening experience. It is always amazing to see student growth, and I really feel that this group of students matured through the course. In added to the student created “TED Talks” I added a new element to the course this semester, and that was to have the students create an “enrichment” or community literacy program that met the needs of populations who are underrepresented, struggling, or neglected–and they REALLY rose to the challenge. I hope that the assignment leads them to take charge and develop their programs they came up with. See photos and documentation from RDG 401 below:
This ends my first year as a full-time assistant professor (no longer part-time/adjunct)! It has been a HUGE blessing, filled with growth experiences in teaching and learning for my students as well as myself. I am so proud to have seen two groups of our students graduate and BECOME EDUCATORS (as they were fully certified before ever leaving the doors of our college). Though I am still finding my way, I am so thankful that several people believed that I would be a good fit for these students, and that I have what it takes to successfully get the job done. Lastly, I am thrilled to have a summer break (that I will still be busy with working on education related writing and projects), and I look forward to another semester.
To view more photos and highlights from this semester visit: