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emily & drew
March 16, 2017 : OUC teacher candidates share experiences in instructional strategies at NAPDS conference


OUC teacher candidates share experiences in instructional strategies at NAPDS conference


Two Ohio University Chillicothe students, Emily Richard and Drew Brown, recently attended the National Association for Professional Development Schools conference in Washington, D.C. to share their experiences in the classroom at Chillicothe High School while conducting clinical field hours.


The focus of their attendance coincided with a joint presentation on instructional strategies, teacher retention and effective teaching by Karen Corcoran, program coordinator for OUC’s middle childhood education program, Dr. Jeffrey Fisher, principal of CHS and Lindsay Burns, a teacher at CHS.


Both Emily and Drew conducted their required clinical field hours for a semester at CHS as a part of the middle childhood education curriculum and were introduced to the bell ringer instructional strategy.


“We focused on the bell ringer process which is a review, preview or test prep question,” said Emily Richard, who’s concentration will be in math and language arts. “Each day the teacher cued the bell ringer process, which starts the class as soon as the bell rings and includes the big ideas and essential questions derived from the learning standards. Once completed, the teacher goes over the learning gap with the students and in turn builds rapport through the process.”


The bell ringer, one of many instructional strategies presented as best practices at the conference, challenged both Drew and Emily during their semester at CHS while also building their confidence in the process along the way.


“I struggled with the cueing at the beginning,” said Drew who’s also pursuing a concentration in language arts and math for his teaching licensure. “Getting the class started right away was difficult since I’m the type that likes to chat at the beginning. The learning gap was also challenging because I didn’t want to tell someone they were wrong, but it provided a good opportunity to correct their mistake and explain how to be successful going forward.”


The two were able to take these experiences and share with other educators from across the country about building relationships for success.


“At the conference, I talked about how I saw these relationships build throughout my semester at CHS. I also discussed the learning gap that we need to tell our students about,” said Emily. “I mainly spoke on the relationships that we need to build with our students in order to have a successful classroom for our students.”


Dr. Jeffrey Fisher described working with both students and the importance of this pilot program in instructional strategies.

“Drew and Emily were two of our best in the pilot program.  Despite pursuing licenses in the 4-9 grade levels and wanting to focus more in the lower grade levels, both teacher candidates bought into these instructional practices at the high school level understanding effective teaching strategies spans grade levels, ages, students, and schools,” he said.  “Because of this partnership and the opportunities gained through their experience, I believe both Drew and Emily are much more prepared to be effective teachers the first day they enter a classroom as a professional educator.”


The partnership between CHS and OUC was monumental for the two future teachers, who noted they would be taking what they learned and applying it in their classrooms.


“it makes us honestly better teachers because we got to personally see it [instructional strategies] and do it ourselves,” Drew stated.


Emily continued, “A lot of stuff we’ve learned about doing in our future classrooms have been in a textbook and we haven’t gotten to see it in person. But, we’ve seen this [instructional strategy] in person and we’ve actually done it ourselves and we know its successful.”


“The Chillicothe Schools partnership that helps OUC train the next generation of teachers is exemplary, which both Drew and Emily found out by attending sessions and talking to other students from across the country,” said Corcoran, who oversees the middle childhood education program. “They now know first-hand that our teacher preparation program with the partnership like the one we have with Chillicothe City Schools has set them up for a successful career in Education.”


Fisher, who was the 2015 Ohio Principal of the Year, described the partnership as one focused on teacher retention in American and one that answers the fundamental question, “what is good teaching?”


“The teacher candidates at OUC were placed at CHS to observe our teachers and their implementation of a set of research-based instructional practices,” he noted. “Effective teaching is the goal and these practices the teacher candidates were able to learn about, observe, plan, and eventually implement provides future educators a much deeper understanding of the intentional decision making that must go in to becoming an effective teacher.”


Karen elaborated that the relationship between the two schools is valuable in so many ways.

“Our teacher candidates certainly benefit by being immersed into a clinical field setting that models best practices in instruction which results in high student achievement,” she said. “Having the teacher candidates actually plan and implement some of these strategies gives these candidates practical skills prior to their internship in teaching. It certainly sets them up for success in the profession. I thank Dr. Jeff Fisher, Principal at Chillicothe High School for initiating this partnership.”


Both Drew and Emily described their experience at the conference as one that was unforgettable, a great opportunity and allowed them to learn, grow and mature through their attendance.


The two OUC students will be pursuing their internships in teaching, or student teaching, in the fall and will be graduating at the end of the semester in December 2017.