Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Secret to Becoming a Better Teacher

Pictured Left Victoria Reid Pictured Right Shawndra Reid holding awards
Shawndra Reid (r) with her daughter Victoria Reid
The opportunity to grow as a teacher is as easy as the click of a mouse, bringing new information to your fingertips. With so many tips and tricks, it can be difficult to know what works and what doesn't. Learn the secret to becoming a better teacher from someone who has experienced it first hand, Rio Salado's Shawndra Reid, Program Supervisor for the Teacher in Residence Program:

I’ve always considered teaching to be a performance profession like actors, professional athletes, or musicians.  In order to become a master of their performance, teachers must continually strive to perfect their craft through coaching. You need someone to watch you teach and give honest feedback with clear pathways to improvement, which did I mention doesn’t have to be your formal evaluator? 

Some of the best feedback I have ever received was from colleagues I invited in to my classroom to watch me teach. You can ask someone to observe to give general feedback or for something specific like questioning strategies, management style, or even how many times “um” slips out during a presentation.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses so take the opportunity to decide what you want to improve and have someone help you! 

We also need to watch ourselves teach. Yes – that means we need record our own lessons and watch them which can be painful, I know. Just remember, our students watch us teach every day, we should be able to watch ourselves teach without cringing! 

When you see yourself doing something amazing, take note so you can be sure to do it again next time. When we watch ourselves doing something clumsy, keep practicing and improving!  We need to celebrate big (think: end zone dance!) when we do well and conversely, we need to own up when we don’t do well (think: awkward TV interview) and reflect on how we will improve. It’s easy to avoid this kind of reflection and feedback because it can make you feel vulnerable, but this is the only way to truly improve – take it from someone who knows. 

Teaching is a performance which requires an audience. Can you imagine a professional athlete who never watched their own games to see how they did? Or an actor who never watched their own plays/movies to analyze their performance? Of course not! True performers are never done learning, never done improving, never done honing their craft.  This type of focus and determination keeps you fresh and on the front edge of the teaching profession. 

So, what’s the next step? Pin point the area you want to improve (most likely whatever made you cringe) and seek out the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed.  I typically have two areas of focus at all times, one instructional strategy and one content area and I hope that this technique will work for you, too.

Recently, I have tried Socratic Seminar as an instructional strategy.  It wasn’t perfect, and I will do things differently next time I hold a seminar, but I will keep trying! I have also started teaching Shakespeare.  I was intimidated in the beginning, but I focused on overcoming my nervousness through learning. I read teaching guides and analysis, watched movies, and attended several live performances at the local theatre.  I developed a love for Shakespeare and my enthusiasm spreads to my teaching. 

What will your focus be?  What will you choose to improve? Who will you choose to watch you teach? 

Contributed by Shawndra Reid, Program Supervisor for the Teacher in Residence Program

Monday, March 20, 2017

St. Mary's Mobile Pantry @ Rio Salado 3/22 & 3/30

top image: mobile pantry logo with text" bringing hope to the hungry" "st mary's food bank alliance with image of truck with food items in it. bottom image: man holding box and bag of food text" programs serving our community

Rio Salado College is proud to partner with the Maricopa Community Colleges and St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance® to host two Mobile Pantry special events at Rio Salado Northern and Southern locations-- to distribute free fruits and vegetables to people in need.

If you or someone you know is struggling with food insecurity, please join us for these free, community events:


Rio Salado – Northern
Wed. March 22, 2017 

10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
1715 W Northern, Ave. Phoenix AZ, 85021

Rio Salado – Southern
Thurs. March 30, 2017 

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
3320 S Price Rd. Tempe, AZ 85282


Open to the public.  No identification required.

You can make a difference in the lives of people in need-- and earn tax credits. Visit St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance to learn more.  Together we can work to end hunger!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Shape the Future - Be a Teacher

two children writing in a notebook

Do you want to positively impact your local community? 

Do you have a passion for learning and sharing knowledge? 

Do you believe that people deserve to be empowered by education to pursue their dreams? 

Text: Learn How To Be A Teacher with man in tie with hand on face and illustration of book, A+ and appleYou might be a teacher at heart if you said yes to any of those questions. Teaching is more than smartboards and books - it's about helping students succeed and shaping future generations. 

The need for preK-12 teachers is greater than ever, especially in Arizona. There’s an even larger shortage looming. Approximately 23%, or 26,000 educators, will be eligible for retirement by June 2018.


Ready to answer the call?

Rio Salado College offers Arizona Department of Education approved Educator Preparation programs that provide convenient and cost-effective ways for undergraduate students and working individuals with a bachelor’s degree transition into teaching.

Undergraduate Bachelor's Degree Pathway
This is a unique, innovative educator preparation program that allows students to complete 90+ credits at the community college level and then transfer to Northcentral University for the remaining courses toward earning a bachelor's of education degree.

Post-Baccalaureate Programs 
Designed for individuals who have a bachelor's degree or higher (in any area) from an accredited university and would like to complete an educator preparation program that leads to certification.

Teacher-In-Residence  
This unique program allows individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university to receive employment in a preK-12 classroom while simultaneously completing their teacher certification coursework.

Photo of crayons

Join us for free orientation, in person and online to learn more.  Here’s a look at the next available sessions.

Teacher-In-Residence In-person Orientation
April 05, 2017
Rio Salado Conference Center
2323 W. 14th St., Tempe, AZ 85281
Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Teacher-In-Residence Virtual Orientation 
April 26, 2017 
Time: 6 – 8 p.m.

Post-Baccalaureate In-Person Orientation 
March 27, 2017
Communiversity at Queen Creek
21740 South Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, Arizona 85142
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.

No need to wait.  Get started today!  For more information visit www.riosalado.edu/teachers or contact a Rio Salado College Academic Advisor at (480) 517-8580. 

Check out this blog for expert advice on how to become a teacher.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Site Coordinator Wanted at Communiversity

Image of a rio employee at Comm QC working with a student

Are you looking for a full-time position that puts your management skills to good use? 

Rio Salado College is looking for a full-time Site Coordinator at the Communiversity at Queen Creek to assist with management, planning, scheduling, evaluation and supervision of location staff and facility operations, including instructional programs and services, testing center, computer commons and community events.

A Day in the Life of the Site Coordinator:
  • 30% - Oversees the day-to-day operations of the center in collaboration with academic partners; assists in hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating assigned staff; resolves site operational issues in collaboration with other departments.
  • 30% - Administers educational programs; coordinates staff professional learning/training opportunities.
  • 20% - Schedules use of facility for classes and events; implements procedures for registration and assessment; maintains accurate program records; evaluates programs; prepares reports and invoices, analyzes data to inform decisions.
  • 10% - Assist with developing workplace revenue partnerships.
  • 10% - Functions as a liaison with other College departments and personnel; Communiversity education, business, government, and community partners; serves as site contact for area civic, school and community agencies/organizations.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Two (2) years' work experience in program planning, implementation and/or oversight
  • Demonstrated work experience preparing reports and tracking data
  • Demonstrated work experience initiating and expanding partnerships in the community
  • Excellent written communication skills

Photo of building with communiversity at queen creek banner/flag

To apply, please visit hr.maricopa.edu/jobs and search for Site Coordinator (Specially Funded) job posting 309520.

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Acrobatiq Discussion About Personalized Learning

Photo of Michael Medlock
  
Michael Medlock, associate dean for instructional design and technology at Rio Salado, was recently interviewed by Acrobatiq for this March 2 article, Designed for Diversity: Lessons in Instructional Design at Rio Salado.

“We want to move students to early actions that we know are successful,” said Medlock. “If we could just get them to complete their first set of assignments on time, that really is a head start for the most part toward being successful in the end.”

Medlock and his team of instructional designers map the intended course outcomes to individual learning objectives using learning science to create practice activities, and assessments aligned with student needs.

“Even though it’s the same set of competencies, the same set of learning objectives in any given module, the way a student moves through that learning experience is different from other students taking that same course, because of the dynamic nature of the platform,” said Medlock. “That takes it even farther away from that awful ‘canned course’ term.”

Monday, March 6, 2017

EvoLLLution Discussion About Student Success

screen capture of evoLLLution article online
    
Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante was interviewed by The EvoLLLution team for this March 3 article, Student-Centric and Data-Driven: Designing the Institution to Support Success.

The feature discusses the ever-changing needs of students and how Rio Salado is helping students succeed by adapting to the shifting landscape of higher education.

headshot of Dr. Chris Bustamante

"Helping people obtain meaningful jobs that matter for your community is one major reason why we are here, so if we can connect all those dots, it is really about investing in our students and our communities. Sometimes that takes a lot of restructuring, refocusing and retooling, but if you’ve got your sights set on the right things, and you learn a lot along the way, and you do more of what works, you will succeed." - Chris Bustamante

New Rio Salado Courses Help Paralegals Stay Relevant in the Legal Field

Photo of the Supreme Courthouse

Rio Salado has added three new electives to its online paralegal program. The classes include environmental law, immigration law, and legal investigation

A class in e-discovery is coming soon. These classes will offer students more specialized course content that is socially relevant and can help established paralegals meet continuing legal education requirements.

Image of Angela Kwan
“The new class options provide students with areas of interest to explore and may help them focus their career paths,” said Angela Kwan, Rio Salado’s faculty chair for Administration of Justice Studies and Paralegal.

Rio’s curriculum prepares students for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) certification exam.


Classes focus on fundamental skills such as legal research, writing and analysis, IRAC writing, Bluebook legal citation and Westlaw training.

Image of a courtroom

In addition to the substantive coursework, Rio Salado’s program offers professional development opportunities through partnerships with private law firms, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and corporate businesses.

image of a law library
Qualified candidates have the opportunity to intern and apply their legal education in a legal setting. For more details, visit www.riosalado.edu/paralegal.