As someone who deeply believes teaching is a commitment to life-long learning, I am always seeking opportunities to extend my knowledge. (I guess that is why I chose to obtain a Ph.D. at Chapman.) I work with new teachers and that has me directly in the midst of this life-long learning reality; I must model this reflective mindset and demonstrate the implications of dedicating ourselves to never-ending learning.
All-too-often, new teachers are overwhelmed with the realities of teaching. The day-to-day responsibilities are usually a surprise: record keeping, dealing with student behavior and motivation, lesson planning, serving on committees, attending staff meetings, reviewing assessment data, and more. The result is often a story of survival. For this reason, attending seminars and workshops with others can be an opportunity to refocus and engage with others who are excited about the content they are teaching. In some ways these events bring us back to our center and remind us why we chose this profession.
These activities are also opportunities to reframe the prevailing view of “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” (some silly expression like that) As educators we must articulate the art and science of teaching. Good teaching takes work and commitment, and our involvement with scholarly endeavors is one way to demonstrate our commitment. What we learn impacts our students; it improves our practice.
Recently, Chapman Libreria Martinez events have provided great opportunities for professional development. With Luis Ruan, the topic of fatherhood and youth gangs was recently the focus, and soon (March 1, 2014) Rafe Esquith Libreria Event Rafe Esquith will offer advice for teachers across the spectrum, from beginning to veteran. In addition to these professional development opportunities, I am shouting from the rooftops about the upcoming (March 7, 2014) opportunity to learn from national experts on evolution and climate change. Bill Nye (the science guy!) will host this open-panel discussion, which features our very own Brian Alters, Ph.D., Director of Evolution and Education Research Center and President of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE).
The forum will take place at Chapman University’s Argyros Forum Room 202, at 4 p.m. A reception will follow from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in Argyros Forum 209AB. It is free and open to the public. No tickets required.
For more information on the event, contact Alters at firstname.lastname@example.org, 714-744-7071.