Aligning induction supports with teacher preparation curriculum
There are wonderful opportunities to redesign induction models so we differentiate induction supports to better meet new teachers where they are. Did they complete the entire teacher preparation program, including student teaching, in their division? Somewhere else? Did the division hire them before they completed the teacher preparation program? Did they accept a position and begin their teacher preparation program at the same time as their teaching career? I would welcome opportunities to more closely align induction supports and teacher preparation curriculum based on new teachers' varied experience levels.
Unique role at VCU
I began my teaching career as a music education major at the University of Maryland in College Park. My elementary student teaching experience reinforced my interest in equity; I split my time between a very well resourced, diverse school and a second school that housed a nearly 100% Latino student community and had far fewer resources. I then taught in Arlington and continued my own education, earning an M.Ed. in social foundations of education while working with a diverse group of students and fantastic colleagues. I returned to College Park for a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction where I focused on teacher preparation and curriculum studies. During the last ten years in higher education, I've enjoyed opportunities to partner with schools and divisions to strengthen clinical practice, design coaching and mentoring courses, and collaborate with colleagues in educational leadership to strengthen teacher and leader preparation as parallel processes. I was thrilled to join the faculty at VCU in fall 2019! My role is unique; thanks to an incredible gift from Anna Lou Schaberg, this endowed professorship allows me to teach future teachers, future teacher educators, and partner with school divisions with a specific focus on teacher induction and retention. The VCU centers that support teachers of color, research practice partnerships, and community engagement provide a collaborative structure for this important work.
A love of nature
There is nothing I find more calming than going hiking or kayaking with my family and friends. It is such a treat to live so close to Shenandoah National Park, and I spend as much time there as possible! I also really love to eat good food, so I spend as much time as I can in my vegetable garden and kitchen during the spring, summer, and fall.