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Dr. Kathleen (Kathy) Staudt
University of Texas, El Paso
Email: kstaudt@utep.edu

In this course, we deepen the preparation of teachers in training, focusing on schools as organizations in specific political communities wherein people exercise more or less democratic voices in public policies that govern their economic, housing, and education opportunities. Teachers make and influence policies in their classrooms, at their campuses, and in the institutions and/or districts in which they work. We ask these fundamental questions: how are schools organized and what leadership strategies govern their operations? how are parents engaged with school campuses, districts, and state government? what are some fundamental policy issues that confront educational stakeholders? how do teachers prepare students to engage in democracy?

The following outcomes are expected:

  • Preparation of Parent Session on site, focusing on use of the Internet for gaining knowledge about school campuses and Texas government.
  • Reports on three home visits, for which training will be provided.
  • Completion of School Board Observation Instrument.
  • Reflections from each chapter in Guillaume, with evidence that you have read, used, and applied insights from the material (engage with one or more charts and "today's talk" points, visit two websites and download/highlight interesting findings, and indicate which readings you have or would like to consult).
    Note: Interns will meet in rotating small groups to download/print website materials, discuss them plus the "today's talk", and present in each class.
  • Lesson Plan preparation/delivery on site, focusing on service learning with a social studies emphasis.
  • Work Folder (a.k.a. Portfolio) containing your accomplishments in this course, including the reflections, home visit reports (above), and those described in the schedule below:
    • One-page personal stance toward teaching and education.
    • Two-page letter to an incoming teacher about the role of teachers in democracy.
    • TEA/AEIS downloaded and highlighted about your school feeder pattern.
  • Participation in PTA Fairs: Augment with Civic Fair component? Engage PTA in KidsVoting?

Your writing should be free of errors. Students with chronic spelling and grammar "issues" through the end of the class will not likely earn an A. (Writing form alone will not earn an A either!) If this is an issue, you are expected to visit the Writing Lab in the library to improve skills. (Engaged attendance = 10% of grade). Notes from class should also be inserted in the portfolio (also, you cannot do the exam or letter without these notes). Absences will be excused for emergencies; please notify me in advance. Think about this! After 10% absences, Texas K - 12 students face the threat of grade retention and notification of judicial authorities. Thankfully, universities are not so harsh, but the choice to ditch a class does have serious consequences.

Book
Classroom Teaching, Andrea Guillaume

Schedule of Activities

By 9/8
AG, Nature of Teaching Ch1

By 9/15
AG, Developing a Personal Stance toward Education, Ch2
Bring/report your one-page statement. Schedule your attendance at a school board meeting. Meier, preface and Ch 1 through p15.

By 9/22
AG, Planning Ch3
Download data from the Texas Education Agency website, specifically from the AEIS (Academic Excellence Indicator System) on "your" school. Highlight intriguing scores and figures and report your analysis to class. Meier Chs 2-4

By 9/29
AG, Instruction, Ch4 Home Visit training

By 10/6 (NAFTA Conference)
AG, Instructional Strategies, Ch5

By 10/20
AG, Learning Environment, Ch7; School Board Observation instrument due

By 10/27
AG, Learner Diversity, Ch9 Home Visit reports due

In November, I will try to schedule visits at your campuses
AG, Behavior, Ch 8 (reflect on your own; no UTEP classes)

By 11/22
Bring me your two-page single-spaced letter to a new teacher about the role of teachers in democracy. Be sure to explain campus, district, and state governance and teachers' potential to make change therein. Also discuss how teachers can prepare students to engage in democracy. Five exemplary letters will be selected and passed around to everyone on the final class day.

By 12/1
Present your portfolio AG, Growing in Your Profession, Ch 10

Free. Available online only.

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