Education Students Named to “30 Under 30” List

Photo by Patrick Verel

Photo by Patrick Verel

Two Fordham Graduate School of Education (GSE) students have been honored by the International Literacy Association (ILA) for their efforts to advance literacy for all.
Alex Corbitt, 26, FCRH ‘12, GSE ‘13, and John Maldonado, 25, FCRH ’13, a doctoral student, were named to the ILA’s second annual “30 Under 30” list, an honor bestowed to teachers, authors, volunteers, researchers, social entrepreneurs, and leaders from 12 countries.

Maldonado, a Rego Park, Queens native who graduated with a double major in psychology and English, became a NYC teaching fellow and taught special education at P368K Star Academy in Brooklyn. He is working towards a doctorate in contemporary learning and interdisciplinary research while teaching English at his alma mater, Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens.

He said being named to the list is a validation of what he called the “ugly hours” that all teachers put in—time when they put in extra hours at home, trying to figure out how to best convey information to their students and how to attend to their additional needs.

“As educators, we don’t often get the credit we deserve,” said Maldonado, who is interested in equity and culture, and the roles they play in education. He noted that, beyond his teaching he worked to increase his students’ technological literacy, “in order to give them more career and life opportunities.”

“To be recognized for that work is really validating,” he said. “I’m lucky to be the recipient. But a lot of teachers are doing the same thing.”

Read the full post at Fordham News.

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Fulbright Scholar Victoria Chatfield ’10 To Study Multicultural Youth Theatre in Scotland

Victoria Chatfield

Victoria Chatfield ’10 (Adolescence English) will be studying how UK national youth theatres cultivate multicultural communities at the University of Glasgow in Scotland via a grant from the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Program.

How did you get interested in your research topic?
I’ve been interested in the UK’s national youth theatres since high school. Reading about how these organizations brought together students from such diverse geographic, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to create original art was a major inspiration for me. I committed myself to creating a similar program in the US and, in 2012, I founded the National Theatre for Student Artists (NTSA). For the past three years, we’ve brought students from across the country to New York City to create world premiere off-Broadway productions together. However, managing this organization has been challenging and, having stagnated in terms of growth, I decided that now would be the best possible time to learn firsthand from our progenitors.

What do you hope to learn through your Fulbright research?
One of our biggest challenges at both NTSA and my school has been getting students from high-income and low-income communities to work together successfully. My school recently received a letter from an alum who enrolled in a private college upstate. She recounted how, on the first day of school, she was confronted with a situation she’d never been in before: being the only African-American student in the classroom. She struggled to fit in and even wrote that she’d been “robbed” of a good college experience because of what she looked like. This convinced me that we need to give our students more opportunities to collaborate with their peers from divergent backgrounds throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school. We don’t want them to be blindsided on their first day of college.

Through my observations at the UK’s national youth theatres (which have a strong tradition of integrating students from different social classes), I hope to learn how we can successfully expose US students to a broader population of their peers — both inside the classroom and through extracurricular programming. Specifically, I want to focus on how teachers can build meaningful partnerships with schools from other communities, facilitate discussion and decision-making processes that lead to thoughtful artistic and academic work, and resolve tensions that might arise between students based on cultural differences.

Why did you want to be a teacher? What motivated you to apply for Teach for America?
The Great Recession turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me. After years of studying business, I’d been convinced that I would start a bright career as a management consultant after graduation. But when all of the major firms started laying off their employees as opposed to hiring new ones, I started looking for temporary alternatives. Teach for America was only a two-year commitment, and I’d always been interested in working with young adults. So I signed up.

It only took a few months for me to realize that I wanted to stay in the classroom indefinitely. When my students brainstorm how to make a stop-motion phoenix fly through the clouds (and then execute their ideas with our industrial fan as a makeshift wind machine!) or choreograph and teach an entire dance routine to their classmates, I’m filled with such pride in their accomplishments. There’s not a single day when I don’t look forward to getting up and going to work.

What do you find most rewarding about teaching? Most challenging?
I stay in this profession because my students are endlessly creative and give me a mental workout. Whether it’s comparing Lois Lowry’s The Giver to the Garden of Eden mythos in reading class, or designing a 1920s feminist interpretation of Eurydice in drama class, I’m in awe of what my students come up with on a daily basis.

For me, my schedule has been the biggest challenge. I teach over 330 students, and I only see them once a week. No matter how committed I’ve been to making short films with them or producing a whole-school musical, the reality is that, sometimes, those end-of-year projects just don’t get off the ground. I see my students so infrequently that absences can put a huge glitch in a well-planned rehearsal. One cancelled class period can be the difference between a smooth opening night and an all-out disaster. It’s a tough predicament to explain to students, and some of them always close out the school year feeling disappointed with what we weren’t able to accomplish.

What qualities make a great teacher?
If you walked into my classroom, it might look like low-grade chaos to you. Students are out of their seats. They’re talking to one another. They’re taking materials from the supply closets without asking. But for all of that freedom, there are countless structures and systems in place that enable my students to be successful. Every great teacher needs to be a phenomenal operations manager. You need to be able to plan logistics down to the smallest detail. During my first year of teaching, my desks were organized in rows, hands were raised for every question, and each class had a structured packet. It really helped me get the basics (like classroom management) down. Nowadays, my students have much more autonomy and independence, but that’s because I’ve become a stronger planner, and my classroom systems have gotten much better.

What advice would you give to future Fordham GSE students?
Every year gets easier! I remember working 14-16 hour days as a first-year teacher.  It used to take me hours to write a single lesson plan, and earning the respect of my students was a constant challenge.

Now, going into my ninth year, teaching still requires a lot of work — but nothing that I can’t manage during my prep periods. I’m able to have both a personal life and a successful classroom. So if the going gets tough during your first and second years, don’t quit! You’ll eventually hit your stride and never look back.

Madison Payton ’13 Named Rising Literacy Leader

Adolescence English alumnus Madison Payton ’13 was selected as a rising literacy leader for the International Literacy Association‘s first 30 Under 30 list. The ILA’s list highlights innovators who are changing the field of literacy. Madison will be featured in the September/October issue of Literacy Today.

Madison was also recently chosen for the Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship which recognizes “highly motivated early career teachers.”

Congratulations, Madison!

Allison Schulze on Teaching and Teach For America

For over five years, Fordham GSE and Teach For America have partnered to help corps member earn a master’s degree while teaching in local schools.

Allison Schulze is a Teach For America corps member and GSE Adolescence Social Studies student. Here, she discusses her background and motivations for teaching.

“Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World”

Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner's new book "Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World"Dr. Kristen Hawley Turner and Dr. Troy Hicks of Central Michigan University published a new book Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World.

As readers of all ages increasingly turn to the Internet and a variety of electronic devices for both informational and leisure reading, teachers need to reconsider not just who and what teens read but where and how they read as well. Having ready access to digital tools and texts doesn’t mean that middle and high school students are automatically thoughtful, adept readers. So how can we help adolescents become critical readers in a digital age?

Read the full description and listen to an interview on the National Council of Teachers of English website.

Drs. Turner and Hicks published a companion wiki with additional resources and discussions.

 

Advanced Placement Institutes at GSE: Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Now in its 23rd year, Fordham’s summer AP Institutes offer training and networking opportunities for beginning and returning teachers of Advanced Placement high school courses. Dr. Anthony Cancelli, AP Institutes Director and School Psychology Professor, discussed the AP Institutes and Fordham GSE, and gives advice to future GSE students.

The Institutes cover 17 subject areas and run from July 7-25. Register.


Why are AP Courses important for adolescent education?

It is really important to challenge those who need to be challenged. For many, the regular curriculum is not challenging enough. Our youth can be challenged more than they are and they are up to that task. I think AP courses provide them with additional study skills that work as a grounding to survive at the university level.

The courses advance a level of knowledge of our high school students, which is not only important for their being good citizens but for their later participation in college.

AP continues to grow and is one of the favored curriculums for challenging students. When a teacher is going to start teaching AP courses – it’s a big step. They are looking for a place to receive additional training.

“I would enthusiastically endorse the institute for the breadth and depth of materials, quality instruction, and practical application of skills.” – George Gallagher

How are current GSE students involved in the AP Institutes?

I have been blessed with graduate assistants who have been competent and capable, which enables them to ensure that nothing is falling between the cracks. So while I do things like make contact and recruit new teachers, my graduate assistants handle all the scheduling and coordinating. Right now, I have two excellent students, Rachel Larrain, the Associate Director, and Sudanë Del Valle, the Associate Director who handle the day-to-day operations.

We’ve also had a handful of students from our Teacher Education program who take Institute courses as part of their program. If they see themselves teaching AP Courses in the future, they can make the case for including an Institute in their plan of study.

Who are the AP Institute teachers?

All teachers who teach in our Institutes are endorsed by the College Board. The people who teach these courses not only need to be familiar with the subject matter but also with the curriculum, the exam, etc.

A lot of the reason people come to the Institutes is because they need to be updated and talk about the curriculum, and want to learn from experts and each other.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas, methods, and strategies. The instructor’s vast knowledge provided excellent resources and practical applications related to the course.” — Sharon Vogt

Who should attend the Institute?

The Institutes draw both beginning and advanced teachers of AP courses. Over the years, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Institutes provide a real service for these teachers.

For example, if you’re teaching an AP English literature class in high school, you have your colleagues in your high school English department but they are usually outside of the AP community. So it really is a value for these teachers to train at an Institute and network with other AP teachers. Our participants are highly motivated to get together and talk about what they’re doing in their AP classes.

There are also a lot of new teachers stepping up to teach AP courses and they need to learn about the curriculum and about the different instructional methods and lessons used. They are here to learn as much from the other participants as from the instructors. . It’s a nice community of people who get together to talk about their subject matter and the AP curriculum, and it’s been a great addition to GSE.

We have people who come year after year to the same Institute. There was an instructor from Fordham Prep who must have come for about 18 years to the AP Calculus Institute.

“Great experience, very worthwhile for a new AP teacher. An excellent opportunity to meet with peers and discuss ideas and topics!” -– Jack Fitzgeorge

If you could tell us one thing about the Institutes, what would it be?

If you teach or plan to teach an AP class, you will certainly learn and do a better job if you attend an AP Institute.

If you could tell us one thing about Fordham GSE, what would it be?

You not only receive a quality professional education but there is value added because of the Jesuit tradition and the focus on social justice.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

I’ve been a proponent of higher education all my life. The more education you have, the more options you open yourself for in the future. While you have the opportunity, I recommend getting all the education you can. It opens up doors. It creates networks. It allows you the flexibility to do as many things as possible.

Learn more about and register for the AP Institutes.

College Board®, AP*, Advanced Placement Program* and Pre-AP* are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.

Teacher Education Scholarship Opportunities

GSE is offering teacher education scholarships for

Early Childhood Special Education Scholarship Program: EEL Project

The EEL Project scholarship is a federally funded scholarship program designed for certified early childhood teachers who seek to become educators and leaders in the early childhood special education field.

Students will gain knowledge and skills in

  • early identification and intervention,
  • differentiated instruction,
  • IFSP (individualized family service plan)
  • IEP (individualized education program) development,
  • emergent literacy and math,
  • inclusion,
  • family-centered practice,
  • assessment,
  • collaborative consultation, and
  • culturally and linguistically appropriate and responsive instructional and assessment practices in inclusive early childhood special education settings.

Students will earn an MSE in Early Childhood Special Education.

Contact
Project Director
Dr. Chun Zhang
czhang@fordham.edu
212-636-7236

Admissions Office
Linda Horisk
Assistant Dean of Admissions & Enrollment Services
horisk@fordham.edu
212.636.6400

Teacher Residency Scholars Program (TRIP)

The TRIP program is designed to help aspiring middle and high school teachers make a difference, for their students and for themselves.

Combining academic coursework with a sustained residency in a classroom setting, candidates engage in clinical assignments at high needs New York City public schools, where they learn through hands-on experience how to effectively impact the growth and achievement of their students.

Students will earn an MST in

  • Adolescence Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Mathematics, or Physics, or
  • Exceptional Adolescents with Subject Area Extensions: English Language Arts, or Social Studies.

Contact
Dr. Patricia Shea-Bischoff
Clinical Professor of Education
(212) 636-7545
sheabischof@fordham.edu

Linda Horisk
Assistant Dean of Admissions & Enrollment Services
(212) 636-6401
horisk@fordham.edu