Category Archives: for Teachers

Dr. Rhea Miles and Dr. Scott Rawls awarded National Institute of Health Grant

Dr. Rhea Miles

Dr. Rhea Miles, Associate Professor -Science Education, Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education and Dr. Scott Rawls, ECU Alumnus and Associate Professor of Pharmacology in the Center for Substance Abuse Research at Temple University have been awarded a four-year, $1,012,071.00 grant entitled Planarians and the Pharmacology of Addiction: An In Vivo Model for K-12 Education.

The project engages K-12 teachers and  students together with health care professionals, pharmacists, and scientists in the study of the pharmacological effects of addictive drugs and the behavior patterns that emerge during recreational and addictive drug use, using curricula and laboratory activities designed to meet the National Science Education Standards. Congratulations Dr. Miles and Dr. Rawls.

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NCTQ Recognizes ECU Teacher Quality

By Jane Dail

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A nationwide study of college teaching prep programs ranked one East Carolina University program among the top 15.

The National Council on Teaching Quality (NCTQ) released its second annual Teacher Prep Review this week after analyzing 2,400 elementary, secondary and special education programs at 1,127 institutions across the country.

ECU’s undergraduate special education program ranked 12th in the nation, tying with Fort Hayes State University’s undergraduate elementary education program, Montclair State University’s graduate secondary education program, and Austin Peay State University’s undergraduate secondary education program.

Kathi Wilhite — chairwoman of the department of special education, foundations and research in ECU College of Education — said she is proud of the recognition the program received.

“This recognition is a reflection of the dedicated professionals within the department who work tirelessly to conduct research and teach relevant practices to pre-service teacher candidates,” Wilhite said. “Our goal is to provide educational and practical experiences that will positively impact classrooms and services for individuals with disabilities.”

The undergraduate special education program has two areas — general curriculum and adapted curriculum — and about 200 students overall.

Wilhite said the nine key standards for special education are selection criteria, early reading, elementary mathematics, content for special education, classroom management, student teaching, instructional design for special education, outcomes and rigor.

ECU’s undergraduate elementary education program also ranked 188, tying with 13 other programs. The university’s undergraduate secondary education program ranked 356, which was tied with 11 other institutions’ programs.

NCTQ President Kate Walsh said in a Tuesday phone conference that the study helps to expand the national conversation on teacher quality

Walsh said though there are several areas of teaching that need improvement, there has been marked progress in reading instruction, classroom management and student teaching.

To view the entire report, visit www.nctq.org.

Contact Jane Dail at jdail@reflector.com or 252-329-9585.

Courtesy of ECU’s The Daily Clips blog.

Kenneth McKee ’13 Selected as ASCD Emerging Leader

Kenneth McKee

Kenneth McKee ’13

Kenneth “Kenny” McKee ’13 has been named to the ASCD Emerging Leaders Class of 2014. The ASCD Emerging Leaders program is designed to prepare a young, diverse group of educators for potential influence and ASCD leadership. McKee recently received his master’s degree in Reading Education from East Carolina University’s College of Education in Greenville, N.C. He is employed as an Instructional Coach with Buncombe County Schools in Asheville, N.C. Department of Literacy Studies, English Education and History Education (LEHE) Chair Dr. Katherine Misulis stated that “We (the department) are very proud of Kenny’s accomplishments and this well-deserved recognition.”

While the 2014 Class of Emerging Leaders is the largest group in the program’s history, still only 45 educators from across the nation were selected to participate in this prestigious two-year program. Dr. Elizabeth Swaggerty, Associate Professor, LEHE, remarked “This is an amazing honor.”

The 2014 Class of Emerging Leaders will receive exclusive access to a pool of grant funds. The grant program is designed to support students through innovative approaches to whole child education and to help emerging leaders grow professionally. Activities for Emerging Leaders may include serving on committees, hosting networking events for educators, advocating for sound education policy, and contributing to ASCD publications such as Educational Leadership and the Inservice blog.

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about ASCD and the 2014 Class of Emerging Leaders, visit the organization’s website: www.ascd.org.

COE Faculty Member Receives $472,000 NC Quest Award

bullock

Dr. Ann Bullock, chair of the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education, is partnering with NC Quest to expand the NC New Teacher Support Program.

Dr. Ann Bullock, Chair of the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education, received an NC-QUEST award of $472,394 titled Integrating Neuroscience into Mathematics Instruction (INMI). INMI continues the partnership with UNC-GA New Teacher Support Program (NTSP) and extends it to the Harriott College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Mathematics.

The INMI pilot project consists of an intensive scientifically-based professional development program designed to assist beginning teachers to become highly knowledgeable and pedagogically skilled in leading students to mastery of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. The INMI pilot project will target elementary schools in Edgecombe County and Hertford County that have been identified as among the lowest performing in the state.

The project will recruit thirty beginning teachers to participate in a year-long professional development program designed to increase their knowledge of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical practice, brain-compatible elements of mathematics instruction, brain-compatible instructional strategies, and whole-brain teaching techniques.

The INMI extends the professional development offerings currently provided by the NC NTSP, which include an institute/boot camp, six days of professional development, and ongoing instructional coaching. INMI teachers will attend an extended summer session at the beginning of the academic year, Saturday sessions and site-based sessions at their schools during the academic year, and a summer session at the conclusion of the academic year.

In addition, participating teachers will receive weekly on-site support from NC NTSP Instructional Coaches and monthly consultations from an ECU mathematics content expert. Through the integration of neuroscience in mathematics instruction, beginning teachers will be better equipped to engage diverse learners, offer effective feedback that leads to deeper understanding, create a rich learning environment that attends to students’ social and emotional needs, and ensure that students’ mathematical achievement is reflective of their true abilities.

Get Ready for Education Summer Camps!

ECU/PSC AIG Camp AIG camp

East Carolina University and Pitt County Schools’ AIG camp is an annual summer camp for Pitt County gifted students who are identified as academically/intellectually gifted that also provides a summer experience for ECU teachers pursuing AIG licensure through ECU coursework.

The theme for 2014 is INTERACTIONS, allowing students to learn about photojournalism, robotics, cryptography, and more, as they investigate numerous aspects of interaction sin the world. Students attending the camp will be able to select topics that match their interests and all topics will include hands-on activities and interactive use of technology. 2013 ECU/PCS AIG Camp video

AIG Camp Quick Facts

  • 105 participants attend camp: 60 elementary students and 45 middle school students from Pitt County Schools participate at Ridgewood Elementary School, our host site.AIG camp2
  • 92 East Carolina University AIG licensure students, under the guidance of ECU faculty, gain experience to prepare to teach and advise gifted students.
  • Camp master teachers are Pitt County AIG (Academically and Intellectually Gifted) teachers, who begin each camp day with a large group session and model teaching for the ECU students.
  • ECU teachers present academically rigorous units in small group learning stations. Four to ten children are in each station at a given time. All units incorporate this year’s theme “Interactions.” Small groups of campers move through two learning stations each day.
  • Campers filled out an online interest survey to choose two stations of interest prior to the first day of camp. Station topics and room locations are listed below.

For more information about the camp, visit www.ecugifted.com and for more information about the registration process, contact Carmen Webb, camp director, at webbc@pitt.k12.nc.us.

Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics

East Carolina University (ECU) is one of four UNC system campuses hosting Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics. Administered through the College of Education, the ECU Summer Ventures program invites academically talented high school students with demonstrated interest in science and mathematics to four weeks of research and intensive study in a living-learning environment on ECU’s campus. Camp participants are North Carolina residents with aspirations to have a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

MooreShawn_mooresha

Contact the Summer Ventures Camp Director, Shawn Moore, at mooresha@ecu.edu for more information.

The camp curriculum will focus on experimental design, laboratory skills, mathematical modeling, exploratory data analysis, and more. Program topics include biological, physical, and earth sciences, archaeology and anthropology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics. In addition to the rigorous academic experience, Summer Ventures students engage in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, arranged by institute directors.

Summer Ventures is a state funded program that is cost-free for participants. ECU expects to host 60 students for Summer Ventures in June and July of 2014. For more information, contact Shawn Moore, director, at mooresha@ecu.edu or Cheryl Miller, program assistant, at millerche@ecu.edu. Also, visit www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/smventures/Index.cfm.

ECU Summer Science Camp

East Carolina University is partnering with Go-Science for the eighth year to offer a range of summer day camps that engage, entertain and educate children about the wonders of science. The camps offer small group experiences for children preparing to enter 2nd through 8th grades and feature experienced teachers from Pitt County.

LeeTammy_leeta

Contact Tammy Lee, ECU Summer Science Camp director, at leeta@ecu.edu for additional information about this camp.

Current ECU students serve as camp counselors and guide children through the discovery of science principles while having FUN! With creative sessions including “Lego Explorers” and “Getting Buggy” elementary and middle grades children have an opportunity to engage their minds while enjoying a summer day camp experience. For more information, visit www.ecu.edu/educ/msite/summersciencecamp/ or contact Tammy D. Lee, Summer Science Camp Director, at leeta@ecu.edu. Online registration for 2014 ECU Summer Science Camp is now active!

Becky Taylor ’76, ’80 Featured in EC Alumni Magazine

Becky Taylor“The Early Bird Gets the Worm”—After graduating early from ECU, Becky Taylor ’76, ’80 is successfully impacting education 

Becky Taylor is no stranger to East Carolina University. Having multiple family members as ECU graduates, Taylor knew that it was where she wanted to attend.

“I knew from the beginning that I wanted to go to ECU. My aunt and grandma both graduated from ECU. It was very easy for me to make that decision. I wanted to major in special education, and I knew ECU had a really good special education department.”

After graduating in three years from the College of Education with a degree in special education, Taylor has spent the last 35 years in the education field. She is now the Sylvan Learning Center franchise owner, as well as a member on the North Carolina State Board of Education.

To learn more about Taylor’s impressive past and her goals to improve the lives of thousands of children in North Carolina, read the Full EC Alumni magazine article: Early_Bird_Gets_the_Worm.

ECU Receives Grant for New Math Teachers in Eastern NC

With $70,000 in funding from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, East Carolina University (ECU) has developed a program that trains new elementary school teachers to teach math more effectively. This cohort of new teachers hails from school districts across eastern North Carolina, many of which are experiencing some of the highest teacher turnover rates in the state. The program aims to ensure that the math performance of students who are taught by beginning teachers more closely aligns with the performance of students who are taught by veteran teachers.

New elementary teachers often find teaching math particularly challenging. ECU’s induction program helps these teachers implement the Common Core Math Standards more successfully and provides continued support for them through teacher mentors. At the same time, participants gain the added benefit of a sense of “connectedness” within their peer group of new teachers, which research shows is a major factor in teacher retention.

Catherine Schwartz

Dr. Catherine Schwartz, assistant professor of math education in the College of Education, received a grant that will support beginning math teachers in eastern North Carolina.

“Beginning teachers have a lot to manage,” says Catherine Stein Schwartz, Assistant Professor in ECU’s Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education. “Giving them the time and space to focus on mathematics teaching and learning beyond the day-to-day challenges of the classroom is important in helping them focus on their practice and their students’ understanding.”

The math-focused training program supports new teachers over the course of two years. At the start of each year, the group participates in an intensive, three-day overnight training where teachers develop a year-long vision for their math instruction, while also considering the context-specific environment of their classrooms and schools.

After the initial intensive training, beginning teachers work with a master teacher mentor specifically selected for his or her expertise in mathematics instruction. Mentors work with these teachers virtually, via phone and Skype, over the course of two years, providing guidance and advice on general classroom instruction and management as well as content-specific math support. Each year, both the three-day training and the mentor coaching are individually tailored to meet the needs of each beginning teacher.

“While it is still early in the process, the program is already seeing impacts in participant teachers’ practice and confidence in teaching mathematics,” says Schwartz. “The community and networking that has developed as a result of the professional development and mentoring is encouraging.”

The project’s first year of data is expected to be available during the 2014-2015 school year.

View original story: Supporting Beginning Teachers: ECU’s work with new math teachers in Eastern NC.

ECU Hosts Lawmakers to Evaluate New Teacher Program

Story by Sara Dodrill, WITN

Lawmakers Evaluate State-Funded Mentoring Program (full video story).

A group of state lawmakers stopped by a Pitt County school on Wednesday. The legislators spoke with teachers and school administrators about a state-funded mentoring program and whether it’s paying off.

The New Teacher Support Program was created by ECU’s College of Education. It’s designed to help beginning teachers by providing them with a coach who guides them through their first few years as an educator.

Several teachers at Wellcome Middle School said the program is a huge help.

Tonitia Langley said, “It has actually been very beneficial to me in my teaching craft by allowing me to have some instructional autonomy, but also giving me 21st century tools and resources to use to help our students become critical thinkers.”

Many eligible teachers don’t have a traditional teaching background, but have entered the field with a degree such as science or math.


Local legislators visit Wellcome Middle | The Daily Reflector

March 20, 2014

Three legislators visited Wellcome Middle School on Wednesday to see how new teachers are being supported as they begin their careers.

East Carolina University is one of four North Carolina universities offering new teachers help through the N.C. New Teacher Support Program. The program’s goal is to improve the effectiveness of beginning teachers through professional development sessions, plus individualized mentoring and classroom assessments, according to an ECU news release.

The program aims to develop beginning teachers’ classroom management skills and to assist teachers in understanding and applying Common Core standards and N.C. Essential Standards by providing immediate feedback on instruction, student interaction and classroom management.

ECU advisers are assisting 235 teachers in 33 schools in 10 districts throughout eastern North Carolina.

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Ann Bullock, regional director of ECU’s N.C. New Teacher Support Program, discusses with Rep. Brian Brown, R-Pitt, middle, and Wilson County Schools Superintendent Sean Bulson how the program helps new teachers. (Contributed photo/East Carolina University)

Fifty-one teachers in four Pitt County schools are participating in the program.

Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union, co-chairman of the House education committee, joined Reps. Brian Brown, R-Pitt, and Susan Martin, R-Wilson, in discussing how the program works.

The representatives visited classrooms at Wellcome to see how coaches work with teachers.

Research shows one-third of teachers exit the profession within their first three years of teaching, and almost half leave the profession after five years, according to an ECU news release.

Research indicates that new teachers who participate in support programs are more likely to stay in the profession, have higher job satisfaction, greater commitment and demonstrate more effectiveness, the release said.


Lawmakers consider expanding ECU’s teacher-mentorship program

Posted: Mar 19, 2014 7:46 PM EST Updated: Mar 19, 2014 7:48 PM EST
By Andrew Ruiz, Digital Journalist – email

GREENVILLE, N.C.–State lawmakers are eyeing the New Teacher Support Program (NTSP) at two Pitt County schools—they’re looking to see if it’s worth implementing at schools all across the state.

Representative Craig Horn of Union County sat down with new teachers enrolled in the program. “We’ve got a tremendous amount of talent here and this is an opportunity for us in the legislature to see what’s being done, what the challenges are and listen to the folks.”

The NTSP program hosted by the East Carolina University College of Education provides new teachers with mentors who can help them navigate tough situations on the job, like communicating with parents or developing more effective teaching methods.

John Dunning, an English teacher at North Pitt High School says, “When you go through college, you get student teaching and then they say kind of just go out there and do it, but the reality is that we need more support as teachers and we need someone who’s there for when we succeed and when we fail.”

Lawmakers say the program’s success impressed them and that they plan on taking it back to Raleigh to see if it can be expanded.

Teacher provides help, hope | The Daily Reflector

Teacher provides help, hope | The Daily Reflector.

By Jane Dail

The Daily Reflector

March 13, 2014

This year’s top educator only has been on the job for five years but has won praise for making a difference in the lives of the children she helps mold.

Eastern Elementary School third grade teacher Jami Dickerson was named the 2014-15 Pitt County Teacher of the Year at the Pitt County Farm Bureau Teacher of the Year Banquet Wednesday afternoon at Rock Springs Center.

Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year Jami Dickerson, right, is congratulated by colleague Julie Tucker after the awards ceremony at Rock Springs on Wednesday. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)

Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year Jami Dickerson, right, is congratulated by colleague Julie Tucker after the awards ceremony at Rock Springs on Wednesday. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)

Dickerson has been teaching at Eastern Elementary for three years and has been praised for building positive relationships and nurturing environments where all students receive equal love and attention.

“I believe in education, and there’s nothing else I want to do,” Dickerson said. “… I’m honored and humbled, and I’m just so overwhelmed with the love that we get from this school district, because I’ve been in other ones and it’s not like Pitt County.”

The event recognized teachers from each of the 36 public schools in the county.

The five other finalists include Kimberly Russell from A.G. Cox Middle School, Michelle Money with South Greenville Elementary School, Heather Landreth with W.H. Robinson Elementary School, Meghann Boyd with Creekside Elementary School and Russell Knight with J.H. Rose High School. Knight was named first runner-up.

Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year Jami Dickerson, right, is congratulated by colleague Julie Tucker after the awards ceremony at Rock Springs on Wednesday. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)

Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year finalists Kim Russell, left, Meghan Boyd, runner-up Russell Knight, Michelle Money and Heather Landreth.

All six finalists earned bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees from East Carolina University.

Vivian Martin Covington, executive director of the Office of Teacher Education at ECU, said she was proud of the achievements of the alumni, adding it speaks volumes for the institution.

“Our alumni continue to make a positive impact on the community, region and state through their hard work and dedication to students and families,” Covington said. “This group of finalists is representative of the high quality of all of the ECU College of Education graduates working in classrooms today. We could not be prouder to help honor them and their work.”

Superintendent Ethan Lenker said he has seen Pitt County teachers in the classroom firsthand and knows what they can accomplish.

“I can just tell you how blessed you are to have the quality of teachers we have here in Pitt County,” Lenker said at the event. “I don’t think people realize how great things are that are happening in the classroom. It’s amazing.”

Dickerson won several prizes for her achievement, including an iPad, gift baskets, gift certificates and a 2014 Hyundai Elantra from Pecheles Automotive for a year.

She said her first stop in her new vehicle would either be Chick-fil-A or to stop by Eastern Elementary to tell her students she won.

Dickerson thanked several people, including her mother who taught in Halifax County for 35 years, for the recognition and support.

“A lot of times, since we interact with students, we don’t hear praise a lot of times from adults and people in the community because you focus on your kids and in your classroom every day,” she said. “I think this is important. It always helps teachers. Whenever you can take a chance to tell them thank you, it’s always great.”

Dickerson said she uses whole-brain teaching in her classroom, which is a highly interactive style of education that she has seen makes a difference.

“Scientists have discovered if a child’s whole brain is involved in their learning, then they’re going to be more engaged and retain more information,” Dickerson said. “Whole-brain teaching is a way to get them to be auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners.”

Dickerson said she incorporates singing, moving and other ways to engage the whole brain so students can apply the information more effectively.

Honored to be named teacher of the year, Dickerson said she hopes to make positive changes.

“I’ve been wanting this so badly,” she said. “I looked over and I saw my principal tear up, and then I was through. So, I was crying. I’m just so excited. I really want to change public education for the better, and I want to be a source of help and hope.”

Business, Marketing, and Info Technology Ed Conference

ACBMITE Conference theme logo

ACBMITE Conference theme logo

The 31st Annual Atlantic Coast Business, Marketing, and Information Technology Education Conference was held at the North Raleigh Hilton on February 27 and 28. This annual event was sponsored by the Department of Information and Library Science at ECU and was huge success.

The conference theme was Digital Literacy for Developing 21st Century Skills. Approximately 150 business and marketing education teachers and librarians attended the conference. The conference consisted of over 40 concurrent sessions addressing topics ranging from technology, financial literacy, teaching strategies, and trends and issues in the 21st century classrooms. More than 12 hands-on lab sessions provided participants with experience using Windows 8.1, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Access, HTML, iAuthoring, as well as programming and other applications. NCDPI Consultants Deborah Seehorn and Kim MacDonald provided update sessions on the business, finance, and information technology (BFIT) curriculum, and many practicing BFIT classroom teachers provided presentation sessions on “Flipping your Classroom”, STEM initiatives, Financial Literacy, and “ Aligning Content with Common Core Standards”– just to name a few.

Dr. Crisianee Berry, Dr. Kaye Dotson, Dr. Maureen Ellis, Dr. Todd Finley, Dr. Timm Hackett, Dr. Elizabeth Hodge, Mr. Stephen Kirk, Dr. Eric Kisling. Ms. Ruth Lupton, Dr. Barbara Marson, Ms. Patricia Stallings, Dr. John Swope, Dr. Scott Williams, Ms. Tomegia Winston, and Dr. Elaine Yontz served as speakers along with twenty BFIT classroom teachers from across the state.

Twelve ECU students served as presiders for the sessions and one former ECU student, James Miller, was the luncheon keynote speaker challenging the audience with “Educate NOW!”  Dr. Ivan Wallace served as the conference director with the support of Mr. Luke Simonds, an ILS graduate assistant, and Mr. Desmond Brown, a department intern.  Dr. Vivian Mott, Interim Chair of the Department of Information and Library Science, brought greetings on behalf of ECU at the luncheon session and provided support for the conference throughout its development during the year.

The department received many positive comments from the teachers that benefited from attending this conference and were excited to return to their schools and incorporate their new ideas, strategies, knowledge, and skills into their classrooms.