April, 2015Page address: http://ed.mnsu.edu/infobrief/2015-04/
Dr. Lori Bird, Director, Center for Mentoring and Induction
University Supervisors Participate in Mentor Training
Thirty university supervisors participated in the Professional Learning Series (PLS) mentor development sessions during Fall Semester 2014. In past years, most participants have consisted of P-12 mentor teachers and Teachers on Special Assignment. Through recent collaborative efforts and integration of services provided by the Office of Field Experience, Center for School-University Partnerships, and Center for Mentoring & Induction, the foundational training for mentors has been expanded to include these individuals who support teacher candidates in their final, co-teaching field experience.
In their feedback following completion of the PLS series, supervisors expressed great satisfaction and confidence in their ability to utilize the formative assessment tools for supporting growth and development of teacher candidates. Of particular interest was their ability to utilize the Collaborative Assessment Log (CAL) during their 1:1 interactions with teacher candidates and the intentional use of mentoring language in a communication framework that combines coaching, collaborative, and instructional approaches to supporting teacher candidate growth. Other tools, processes and strategies that supervisors practiced were observation and conferencing tools such as selective scripting, seating chart, pre-observation planning conversation, and post-observation reflecting conversation.
PLS 1: Instructional Mentoring (2 days) provided supervisors the opportunity to:
- Employ the roles, language, and stances of effective instructional mentoring
- Build collaborative, trusting relationships with and among beginning teachers
- Use the Collaborative Assessment Log to assess and advance teaching practice
- Use standards and criteria to anchor assessments about teaching and learning
PLS 2: Observing & Conferencing (2 days) built upon the supervisors’ foundational understanding of formative assessment and included activities designed to:
- Reflect upon and discuss mentoring experiences since Instructional Mentoring
- Extend and expand upon the use of instructional mentoring language
- Use protocols and tools that support an effective observation cycle
- Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with a site administrator for beginning teacher assessment and support
In addition to the four days of training, supervisors also attend regular Mentor Network gatherings, which are included within the daylong Teacher Candidate Support Network sessions once per month on campus. TCSN is collaboratively designed and implemented by OFIE, CSUP, and CMI, in an intentional effort to create common, consistent approaches for supporting teacher candidates in the College of Education. Supervisors will continue to build upon their mentoring and coaching skills with integration of the aligned Danielson Framework for Teaching Continuum. By intentionally gathering and reflecting on evidence of their classroom practice, supervisors are contributing to and maximizing the pre-service teacher candidates’ active engagement in their own professional growth.
University faculty/instructors are welcomed and encouraged to participate in professional development sessions that are provided for supervisors, TOSAs, and P-12 mentor teachers. Creating a consistency in language, tools, and formative assessment processes will build a collective and consistent approach to supporting ongoing development of our teacher candidates and will enhance their overall experience in the College of Education. Please contact the Center for Mentoring & Induction at 507-389-5716 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about upcoming events.
When students are involved and engaged, they feel like they are a part of something. This sense of belonging fosters loyalty and pride in their institution, as well as academic achievement, and community involvement. - National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
Students are actively involved in the Department of Special Education in a variety of ways including research, teaching support, and more. In this issue of Info Brief we are highlighting state and international conference presentations, fundraising and community service activities for our student chapter of the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC), student leadership in National CEC, and recruitment activities.
CEC faculty advisor, Dr. Karen Eastman, reported that our student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has been busy this semester. Special education faculty and members of the student CEC participated in the Relay for Life in Mankato, introduced high school students to special education, disability and the ABS program at the Career Expo, and led a scavenger hunt on Light it up Blue for Autism Awareness day. We have focused on skills that are necessary to develop and carry out activities such as communication, organization, and creativity. At the Relay for Life event, we had a fundraising activity which involved sharing information about autism. The markers in the scavenger hunt also included facts and statistics about autism. Four students from the undergraduate program interacted with more than a hundred area high school students so they could learn about special education and careers in special education. We are already making plans for new events and activities for next fall!
Kaleen Schultz is a former president of our student chapter CEC. She is a graduate of the first ABS cohort, presently working as a special education teacher and in the graduate program. She is serving as a national Student Committee Member, and works with the Board of Directors to increase student membership as well as student involvement within CEC. She is one of only 7 students on this board, and is currently representing MSU Mankato at the national CEC conference in San Diego. Kaleen was proud to be representing MSU Mankato at this very large conference and enjoyed speaking on a panel about issues regarding student membership and involvement. She is currently considering applying for a position on the national Board of Directors!
Drs. Kim Johnson-Harris and Teri Wallace, an ABS graduate and teacher candidates present at the Future Teachers Conference sponsored by Minneapolis Community and Technical College and Minneapolis Public Schools. They talked about what special education teachers do, answered questions and then talked with parents, high school students, as well as MCTC and MPS students about the programs at MSU in Edina. This event highlighted the articulation agreement between MSU and MCTC.
Dr. Aaron Deris recently attended a study abroad in Reggio Emilia, Italy to visit the early childhood programs, which are recognized internationally for excellence. He was accompanied by one of his graduate students, Michelle Gregg and a cohort from Louisiana State University (LSU). He is partnering with Dr. Cyndi DiCarlo from LSU on a research project from the experience.
College of Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato is completing year three of its AVID Teacher Preparation Initiative. This joint work of preparing teachers who can prepare kids for critical thinking and engagement is at the heart of Professional Development School relationships.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is AVID?
National non-profit organization whose mission is to “close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.” AVID schools provide a system of support for students in the academic middle as they take rigorous classes in high school to prepare for college.
Why is the College of Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato involved in AVID?
Superintendents in our Professional Development Schools rank AVID as one of the top three join initiatives between the college and their districts. Our teacher candidates benefit from the AVID Teacher Preparation Initiative (TPI) where Minnesota State University faculty teach college students how to engage and challenge their own middle school or high school students during field experiences.
How are we supporting the costs of our AVID program?
$25,000 in donations during 2014-2015 from supporters who recognize the impact of designating their money toward our joint PDS AVID work. These donors supported AVID tutor stipends, AVID Student Summit on campus, and Professional Learning opportunities.
One high school principal shared that “a teacher candidate with AVID tutoring experience has demonstrated initiative and a commitment to teaching, and that definitely puts them a cut above the rest in any applicant pool.”
35 Minnesota State Mankato students served as AVID tutors during 2014-2015 This amounted to 700 hours of tutoring for local students. We hosted 3 AVID professional learning sessions this year that were attended by 50 teacher candidates, 7 graduate assistants, 20 Minnesota State Mankato faculty, 40 local school teachers and staff.
The Military Science Department held its first Resolute Leadership Challenge Event on 16 April on campus. This was a new event for our department designed to provide leadership training for intercampus and high school athletic teams and leadership groups. The Military Science Department partnered with United State Army Recruiting Command to host this event. This was a team event consisting of 6-8 members per team designed to have groups complete a series of obstacles and scenarios as group utilizing communication skills, problem solving, and critical thinking to complete them. We had a great turn-out and this was an event we plan to host annually in the Fall.
The Military Science Department participated in the Kansas Buddy Ranger Challenge Competition at Fort Riley, KS on 16/17 April. This competition pits some of the top Cadets from Midwest 4-yr schools against each other in a series of grueling events to include a Ruck March, Physical Fitness test, and other military events. We sent four teams of 2-per team. Two of our male teams placed in the top 10 overall out of 30 teams and our one female team place third overall in the female category.
The department recently finalized a new partnership with South Central Community College, which will allow South Central students to enroll into our program and take Military Science classes while attending South Central. It is our hope to continue to grow and diversify our program, providing valuable opportunities for other students.
Our Cadets will be attending a Leadership Training Exercise at Camp Ripley, MN from 23-26 April. This event is being conducted in conjunction with the University of Minnesota and St John’s University Military Science Departments. This is a bi-annual event required for our entire department, faculty and students. This event will focus on providing hands-out leadership training for our Cadets, requiring them to work together accomplish all tasks/training.
The Military Science Department will host its annual Military Ball and Awards Ceremony on 1 May at the Kato Ballroom. This is a special formal event, which recognizes student’s individual efforts throughout the academic year, while providing the Cadets an opportunity to experience formal Military events. Students, faculty, parents, and other loved ones will be attending.
The Military Science Department has been very busy preparing our 12 graduating seniors for their commissioning as 2nd Lieutenants in the US Army. This ceremony marks their official acceptance into the Army, highlighted by Cadets taking an Oath of Office and having their 2LT bars pinned on their dress uniform. Congressman Walz will serve as the guest speaker. This ceremony is on campus on 8 May at 3pm at Ostrander Hall. All departments are welcome to attend and witness this very special ceremony.
The Military Science Department has also been busy preparing 23 juniors for attendance at 30-day Cadet Leadership Course at Fort Knox, KY. This course is mandatory for all of your Junior Cadets prior to their senior year and serves as a developmental course designed to enhance leadership instruction on campus.
We have also been very busy preparing our other students for other training opportunities for this summer. This includes sending four students to overseas cultural immersion trips: Croatia, Turkey, and . Czechoslovakia. We have one student attending a Chaplain Internship in Fort Bragg, NC, one attending Airborne School (parachuting) at Fort Benning, NC, one attending Air Assault School (rappelling from helicopters (at Fort Campbell, KY), one attending a nursing internship in Fort Hood, TX, and 5 attending a Cadet Initial Entry Training Leadership Development Course at Fort Knox, KY.