I come to Elon with a variety of experiences, ranging from broadcasting to working in corporate America. However, it is in educating students that I have truly found my purpose.
As I contemplate my portrait hanging in the halls of Mooney, I realize my mission as a teacher educator has surpassed the quest for instructional prowess and theoretical knowledge, to include, most centrally, the plight of marginalized, poor, and minority students in our nation's schools. Confronting and diminishing the widening achievement gap and dropout rates among these students have become my "raison d'être."
To this end, my instruction focuses on teacher candidates' need to see the pedagogy of poverty as an accursed thing, to learn the importance of valuing the voices of all students regardless of who they are or whose they are, to ensure that leaving no child behind is what teacher candidates prepare to do, because of personal principles not political pressures.
I thank the Elon community for providing a place for my activism to flourish as I search for solutions to the complexities involved in educating marginalized, poor, and minority students.
Photograph courtesy of Barbara Tyroler