The McNeese State University Burton College of Education’s vision of changing lives through education is by empowering students, investing in communities and impacting the world.
“This is a powerful reminder of the strength of educators as we celebrate each of them May 6-8 during Teacher Appreciate Week 2020,” says Dr. Angel Ogea, dean of the college.
Even though the Coronavirus pandemic has changed daily life for many people, both McNeese education students and graduates who are now teachers continue to reach their students in innovative ways.
Early childhood, elementary, secondary and K-12 education majors have created digital learning opportunities that include guided practice activities with instructions, a form of assessment and additional resources as part of the college’s Education Roundup, an online repository of academic lessons for families to use at home.
Kierra Malveux, a 2018 graduate and Oak Park Elementary teacher, uses her class website to provide video tutorials, worksheets and other study materials for her students to use at home. She says many of the resources she uses today are those she first learned about as a student teacher at McNeese.
Since 1998 McNeese has had a partnership with the Calcasieu Parish School Board Technology Training Center that allows students to gain hands-on experience with electronic devices that can be used in the classroom.
2004 graduate Ashley Mier is using Blackboard as a virtual classroom to teach math to her R.W. Vincent Elementary students in real time. The Blackboard Collaborate program offers an interactive space for both Ashley and her students to write and solve problems while verbally communicating.
“Under normal circumstances, students thrive in educational environments that are safe, engaging and responsive to their needs,” says Ogea. “Teaching and learning in the time of COVID-19 looks and feels different for teachers and students. Being able to use technology to continue the relationships they have created over the past school year helps to bring some sense of familiarity for their students.”
Some educators have also found a way to bring a smile to their students’ faces.
Moss Bluff Middle School teachers, including 2009 graduate Savannah Foreman, created a Faculty Song Fest competition on the school’s Facebook page. Faculty members dressed in disguises and danced to original lyrics set to the beat of popular songs.
Tiffany Schatz, a 2014 graduate and F.K. White Middle School science, technology, engineering and math teacher, has incorporated astrological phenomenon and the Star Wars movies into class activities. One assignment focused on the recent meteor showers in the area while a Star Wars-themed coding activity offered hands-on learning and participation in “May the Force Day.”
“These are just a few of the examples that demonstrate how our graduates are problem-solving educational challenges through creative activities. Planning activities that are relevant to their students’ lives, as well as engage and support all learners, is the true reflection of a flexible and effective educator,” says Ogea.
For more information on the programs offered within the Burton College of Education, visit www.mcneese.edu/education.