Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

October 12, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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That Summer When . . . How teachers can “warm up a cold, virtual space” [10/12/2020]

Faculty Guest Blog by Tracey Jones

Tracey Jones, who teaches Spanish Education and ESL (English as a Second Language) in the School of Education, shares creative and successful teaching strategies she has employed in the current online environment. Jones taught ESL to SOE students this summer during Baylor’s “Summer of Discovery” and is a Baylor Lecturer in Modern Languages & Cultures.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2020 Newsletter of Texas TESOL
(Texas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)


It seems likely that one could begin a narrative with “That summer when…” and launch into a description of high temps, high anxiety and trips canceled, with images of teachers pivoting, prepping and re-prepping, and anyone who lived through it will nod knowingly and say: “That had to be Summer 2020.”

Many of us made an abrupt shift, beginning last March, to fully virtual teaching. I have been an online student in various programs since 2011, and this seemed to work to my advantage a bit. When colleagues were discovering the wonder of Zoom, I had been fortunate enough to be a student on Zoom since the application came out in 2013. I have experienced varying levels of teaching effectiveness from an online student perspective, and that background has afforded me a unique view as I put on my Online Teacher Hat. Continue Reading →

October 5, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Kelly Johnston Receives Laska Award for Doctoral Research [10/05/2020]

Dr. Kelly JohnstonDr. Kelly Johnston, Assistant Professor in the Baylor School of Education, won the 2020 John Laska Distinguished Dissertation Award in Teaching from the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum (AATC) for her recent dissertation research. Johnston joined the Baylor SOE faculty in 2018 and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

Johnston’s dissertation, (Re)Imagining Possibilities for Youth in Schools: A Rhizomatic Exploration of Youths’ Affective Engagement with Literacy, focuses on youths’ different forms of literacy engagement in the classroom and how these understandings can be used to rethink literacy teaching and learning in and out of schools. Johnston’s dissertation was part of her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching, which she earned in 2018 at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She previously earned her M.Ed. in Reading Education from Texas State University in 2011 and her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Baylor in 2004. Continue Reading →

August 19, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Lessons in Online Teaching and Learning from the Pros [08/19/2020]

Online teaching

Baylor SOE professors, including Dr. Brooke Blevins, are equipped to build community in online as well as in-person courses, and the SOE’s EdD Online has proven to be very successful at that.

Baylor School of Education’s EdD Online in Learning and Organizational Change (EDD-LOC), launched in 2018, has quickly become the university’s largest online program and also the university’s largest doctoral program. The program has more than 400 students, with a class of 100 expected for fall 2020, and will graduate its first students in August of 2021.

Cece Lively

Cece Lively, a doctoral student in Curriculum & Instruction, is studying online learning for her PhD while she serves as assistant program director for Baylor EdD Online.

While Baylor’s residential students are returning to campus for in-person learning for the fall semester, Baylor has moved 25 percent of courses to an online format, and it’s possible that some aspects of in-person courses may happen in virtual spaces. And in addition to learning online, students in the School of Education might also be teaching online as they serve in local preK-12 schools.

In light of this new normal, we reached out to Cece Lively, assistant program director for the EDD-LOC, for some insight. She works closely with professors in the program and with Baylor’s partner 2U to create the most enriching student experiences. Lively is also a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, which houses the EDD-LOC, and her dissertation research explores learning communities in online programs. Continue Reading →

August 11, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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First Year Teacher Reflections — How Did Baylor SOE Grads Do in the Year of COVID? [08/11/2020]

Every future teacher dreams of the day they will have their very own classroom, so we like to check in and find out how that pivotal first year went. Well, this year was different, to say the least.

The Baylor School of Education program in teacher education is designed to prepare graduates thoroughly  through rigorous coursework as well as intense faculty-guided clinical experiences in schools. But can anything really prepare them for their first year of teaching? And how did our newly minted teachers navigate this spring’s historic disruption?

Read the reflections of five of our 2019 graduates after their first year in their own classroom — or wherever they were this spring, reaching their remote students in creative ways!

Ashley NockAshley Nock, BSEd ’19
The Amazima School

Jinja, Uganda
Transition Year

“Teaching through a phone and sending all work on paper has challenged me to look at the learning practices I learned from Baylor in a whole new light. Visiting students in their villages has been an invaluable experience to build relationships with students and know how I can better teach them. Drawing graphs in the dirt, working on multiplication and area by counting bricks, and helping a family to budget for the first time have been memories I will never forget.”

READ ASHLEY’S REFLECTION


Jamie WongJamie Wong Baesa, MSEd ’19, BSEd ’18
Lorena Middle School, Lorena ISD
Seventh Grade Math

“This season also opened my eyes to the questions: ‘What really matters? What is really important?’ Clearly, STAAR testing was not an answer. Neither was homework, nor students’ timeliness of turning things in, when they were at home all day, sharing a computer with their four siblings as their parents juggled work and tried to make sure their students finished their schoolwork at home. I am thankful for what this pandemic has revealed. It certainly makes me nervous for what this next year will look like, but I know I can move forward with confidence that in the end, relationships will be built, and students will learn.”

READ JAMIE’S REFLECTION


Conor AustinConor Austin, BSEd ’19
Jinjam Middle School and Gasuwon Middle School
Daejeon, South Korea

Seventh, Eighth & Ninth Grades

“If there is anything I have learned from teaching this year, it is to be adaptable. Not only did I have to adapt my teaching style to fit the students, but I also had to adapt to the school culture in Korea. It may not come as a surprise, but Korean schools differ from American schools. . . . COVID aside, I enjoy my life in Korea. I have found an English church and have been able to make many friends (other foreigners and Koreans). Now I have friends from all different countries. My favorite thing to do in Korea is to go to cafés. There are more cafés in Korea than you could ever imagine. Plus, the cafés usually all have themes: animal cafe, pink cafe, Emoji cafe. You name it, and they probably have it in Korea.”

READ CONOR’S REFLECTION


Julianne VoigtsJulianne Voigts West, BSEd ’19
Sigler Elementary, Plano ISD
First Grade 

“My first three weeks at school flew by. I had learned so much from my team and was starting to find my own groove as a teacher. I’ll never forget that Thursday afternoon on the third week of school when my principal asked me to come to his office. My principal told me that, due to low numbers in my class, I was being ‘rifted’ to another school to teach first grade. The move would happen in two days. Immediately I felt like my world was falling apart. I was in love with my school, my students, my team and truly could not believe this was happening. Soon my room was packed up and I was driving to my new home campus.”

READ JULIANNE’S REFLECTION


Lauren HornbeakLauren Hornbeak. BSEd ’19
Cypress Creek High School
Cypress Fairbanks ISD
Ninth-grade Biology 

“Baylor is a special place, there is no doubt about that. The School of Education not only prepared me to step into my own classroom as a confident teacher, but it also prepared me to step into education as a team player, an advocate, and a safe place to land for my students. It prepared me to see my students as children of God and not just a name on a role sheet. . . . The first semester was a long one filled with ‘learnable’ moments, but nothing could have prepared me for the spring.”

READ LAUREN’S REFLECTION

Continue Reading →

July 29, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Trevor Taylor, BSEd ’17, Takes Leadership Role in San Antonio Protests [07/29/2020]

Trevor Taylor

Baylor SOE graduate and high school teacher Trevor Taylor in San Antonio / Photos by Kendrick Washington

Until this summer, Trevor Taylor’s “activism” was confined to a ninth-grade English classroom at San Antonio’s Wagner High School, where he teaches. But the 2017 Baylor University School of Education graduate said that when protests started in San Antonio over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, he stepped out of his comfort zone to become part of something bigger than himself.

“I guess I’m an activist in the classroom,” he said. But protesting in the street was something new. “In my classroom, I talk about these things, and I encourage my students to use their voices and to share their stories, because they have power. But it’s a different thing to show them as well.”

After joining peaceful protests in San Antonio, Taylor quickly became a leader and organizer, leading chants and speaking to crowds numbering in the thousands. He has been featured in San Antonio news coverage several times:

Continue Reading →

July 27, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Ryan Erck Named Baylor’s “Student Advocate of the Year” [07/27/2020]

Ryan ErckRyan Erck, Program Director of the Impact Living-Learning Center (LLC), received the Student Advocate of the Year Award from the Baylor Division of Student Life. Impact LLC is a residential learning community located in South Russell Hall and founded by the School of Education in 2015 in partnership with Campus Living and Learning. As a Baylor SOE staff member collaborating with Campus Living and Learning, Erck is responsible for the recruitment, marketing, admissions, and programming for Impact LLC.

According to the 2020 Baylor Student Life Staff Awards virtual ceremony, the Student Advocate Award recognizes “a staff or faculty member who works outside the Division of Student Life but who helps us significantly accomplish our work in students’ lives.” Erck received the award after his first year in Impact LLC.

“Each year, we identify those staff members who have served so well, above and beyond what they’ve been called to do,” said Dr. Kevin Jackson, Vice President for Baylor Student Life in announcing the award, noting that Erck was nominated with “glowing recommendations.” Continue Reading →

July 23, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Rishi Sriram Elected to Azusa Pacific Board [07/22/2020]

Rishi SriramDr. Rishi Sriram, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in Baylor School of Education, was elected unanimously as a member of the Board of Trustees of Azusa Pacific University. Azusa officials spent six months vetting Sriram for the position, which was announced on May 29. Considered one of the top Christian colleges in the country, Azusa is a private, evangelical Christian university in Azusa, California. As an alumnus of the university, having earned his Ph.D. in higher education from Azusa in 2010, Sriram kept in contact with the university post-graduation, serving as a guest speaker at several events and even as a visiting professor for higher education classes.

Sriram said he was honored by the fact that he was even considered for the position, let alone appointed. His appointment began May 29.

“It’s not a role I ever thought I’d be considered for,” said Sriram. “The reason they approached me is because they wanted someone who believed in their mission and was also an expert in higher education.” Continue Reading →

July 16, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE and Museum Studies Offer Informal Education Minor [07/16/2020]

Alex and Rachel

Alex Sudduth (left) of the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler and Rachel Moore or the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco are Baylor graduates with careers in informal education.

Baylor graduate Rachel Moore had somewhat of an epiphany after her junior year of studying education. While working at a zoo, she discovered that education can occur outside of traditional classrooms.

“I had always wanted to be a teacher,” Moore said, “and I thought that meant I would be in a classroom. But after working at a zoo, I became passionate about informal education, and fortunately, two of my School of Education professors were eager to help me become an unconventional teacher.”

Alex and Baloo

Alex Sudduth with Baloo

Alex Farrell Sudduth had a similar experience. In a junior course on elementary mathematics, professor Dr. Sandi Cooper took the class to Baylor’s Mayborn Museum to create a mathematics lesson based on the museum’s exhibits.

“It was so fun and exciting to be creative and craft lessons that related to our TEKS but also kept the students engaged in the topic,” Sudduth said. “I found the museum to be more inspiring than a traditional classroom.”

Sudduth pursued a master’s degree at Baylor SOE, which professors tailored to coordinate with Baylor’s Museum Studies Department, allowing her to develop the expertise for her current job as education manager for the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler. Continue Reading →

July 2, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Spring/Summer Issue of “Baylor Impact” is Online . . . Only [07/02/2020]

Meet the new SOE dean, learn about faculty research, and find out about new programs in Baylor School of Education in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Baylor Impact newsletter. This issue of Impact is online only. If you are a graduate of Baylor SOE and did not receive an email with the newsletter, please let us know by emailing BaylorImpact@baylor.edu. You can also update your information online at this link: Update Your Information

In this issue, you get two deans for the price of one! Read all about the SOE’s new Dean, Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke, who arrived July 1, and see the farewell message from Dr. Terrill Saxon, who has been SOE Interim Dean for three years.

This issue features research profiles on faculty members in each SOE department:
Curriculum & Instruction: Dr. Sandi Cooper’s early mathematics program leads to student success.
Educational Leadership: Dr. Bradley Carpenter and Dr. Jon Eckert bring new research focus to K-12 leadership studies.
Educational Psychology: Dr. Nick Benson’s research on assessments makes “testing” a good thing.

Don’t miss an inspiring Q&A with Baylor SOE alumna Lisa Fuentes ’96, whose Focus Behavioral clinic is helping hundreds of children with autism and their families. And there’s more inspiration from Baylor supporters Ryan and Karen Liles, who know that investing in a teacher’s education helps the education of many others. Plus, all sorts of exciting news about awards and new programs is tucked into the SOE news briefs.

Thank you for keeping in touch with Baylor SOE!

 

June 30, 2020
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Terrill Saxon Completes Term as SOE’s Longest Serving Interim Dean [06/30/2020]

Terrill Saxon

Tuesday, June 30, marks the final day of Dr. Terrill Saxon’s service as Interim Dean of the Baylor School of Education. He has served for three years and is the longest serving Interim in the School’s history, with a tenure that equals or exceeds two of the School’s permanent deans. On July 1, Baylor SOE will welcome Dr. Shanna Hagan-Burke as its 15th dean (including interims).

Saxon joined the Baylor faculty in 1995 and is also Professor of Educational Psychology and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education. He earned his BA in psychology and MSEd in educational psychology from Baylor and his PhD in educational psychology at the University of Kansas. Continue Reading →