Baylor University School of Education celebrated its Midway ISD PDS (professional development school) campuses today by presenting specialty Baylor signage to its two new partner PDS campuses and to Midway High School, which has been a PDS for five years. The two new schools are Spring Valley Elementary and Midway Middle School.
The Baylor School of Education has had a PDS partnership in the community for more than 20 years, but the special three-foot signs were developed last year. Baylor signs hang in each PDS school and in the district offices of Midway ISD and Waco ISD. The School of Education (SOE) has nine local PDS campuses, with three in Midway ISD and six in Waco ISD. Baylor signs also hang on two school campuses in Costa Rica where the SOE has partnership programs, and plans are to add signs for the SOE’s other global partners in England, Italy, and Australia.
School of Education dean Dr. Jon Engelhardt said, “The signs are a public symbol of our partnership, designed to create an instant visual link between Baylor’s School of Education and the local schools. Signage in the School of Education’s campus building, Marrs McLean Science, also highlights these partnerships. Together we are partners in an important educational initiative in our community, and the signs make that readily apparent.”
Engelhardt presented the signs to Midway Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas, BBA ’90, MSEd ’94, and to each campus principal. Spring Valley principal is Jay Fischer, BSEd ’00; Midway Middle School principal is Herb Cox, BSEd ’79, EDD ’08; and Midway High School Principal is Jeff Gasaway, currently an EDD candidate in the Baylor School of Education. Also on hand for the presentations were faculty member Dr. Krystal Goree, BSEd ’78, MSEd ’96, PhD ’11, director of the SOE’s Office of Professional Practice, and the Baylor SOE faculty representatives for each campus.
The two new partnerships were announced in April. This fall, 18 Baylor juniors and nine seniors are placed at Spring Valley Elementary, and 10 juniors and eight seniors at Midway Middle School.
Professional Development Schools are innovative institutions formed through partnerships between university professional education programs and preK-12 schools. Their mission is professional preparation of candidates, school and faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice and enhanced student learning. Baylor students (teacher candidates) will work with mentor teachers from Midway schools in the classroom to bring together experience and innovation for the preparation of new teachers and the improvement of education for children.
Through the PDS partnerships, a university liaison, who is a Baylor School of Education faculty member, and a jointly employed site coordinator work with Baylor teacher candidates on site. In collaboration with the school principal and school faculty, they work together to advance the education of children at participating Professional Development Schools.
Baylor teacher candidates begin their field work in area schools during the freshman year and spend significant and progressively more time on school campuses. During the junior year, teacher candidates serve in schools every day as teaching associates, and as seniors, they are in schools full-time on a daily basis to observe, assist, practice, and teach. This clinical approach prepares teachers with almost two full years of experience in classrooms—often in a co-teach situation with the classroom mentor—before graduation and job placement.
Mentor teachers and clinical instructors, who are experienced classroom teachers, benefit from teacher candidates’ presence in the classroom and learn new teaching techniques and technology from their interns. Students in the district benefit from all parts of the partnerships—having more time one-on-one with instructors, experiencing different teaching styles, and learning from new, creative lessons.
For more photos, visit the SOE’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/SOE.