Teachers in Residence (TIR) are experienced
Milwaukee Public Schools teachers who are currently on special
assignment at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. With
a mission of creating a link between academic teacher preparation
and urban classroom practice, each TIR joins a team of UWM
faculty to help promote enhanced teacher recruitment, preparation,
retention, and support.
Before I became a Teacher in Residence, I worked as a middle school educator in the areas of Social Studies, Language Arts and Reading at an arts-based middle school in the Milwaukee Public School district. I have had the pleasure of seeing the potential for innovation in teaching and learning that exists in a large urban district like Milwaukee Public Schools. I am consistently amazed at the ability of the Milwaukee Public Schools to provide exciting offerings such as arts education, language immersion, bilingual education, Montessori, Waldorf, Small High Schools, business/technical education, International Baccalaureate programs and more. These offerings for students of the Milwaukee community are promising and needed in a district that operates within the reality of large system that struggles with issues associated with a large post-industrial city in a changing economy. Milwaukee is a city on the verge of a re-birth and being a part of two educational systems critical to this is both an empowering and humbling experience.
I am excited to be a part of the Teachers for a New Era project at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee . I view it as a way to weave in my experiences as a teacher to influence teacher education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and as a way to create positive change in Milwaukee Public Schools. I will provide prospective teachers with the insights needed to carry out the knowledge they possess using successful and practical strategies in the area of Social Studies, Language Arts and Reading. It is also my hope that through my presence and discussions with the College of Letters and Science and the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and my close experiences to the classroom and to the Milwaukee Public School District will bring insight to preparing course work for pre-service teachers. Additionally, I am excited about the possibilities the Teacher in Residence position holds to connect me with organizations and work groups like the Milwaukee Partnership Academy to bring positive change to Milwaukee Schools. As a person and educator I am dedicated to issues of learning, equity and justice. I am excited to impact the field of education through a program and institution that are also committed to these goals.
Passion and arts education goes hand and hand, and I have been able to explore this as a drama specialist for Milwaukee Public Schools. I knew I needed to jump on the opportunity to be a Teacher in Residence in the Arts. This position is a part of the Teachers for a New Era project at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I am excited to have this chance to explore teacher education reform, particularly in arts education classrooms. Based on my experience as a classroom teacher for 11 years (teaching 4th grade, 5th grade and drama) I have recognized there needs to be systematic reform in curriculum and instruction, and I am pleased to be a part of a team that is designed to increase the quality of teacher education programs.
Using the arts in improving pedagogy is what I will focus on this year. I hope to help to provide classroom teachers with tools to use the arts in their curriculum and instruction. I will also support arts teachers in their endeavor to provide culturally relevant and challenging arts instruction. I think I am in a unique position working with both the School of Education and the School of the Arts. I hope to make connections in meaningful ways between the respective schools by exploring university coursework for preservice teachers that emphasizes using the arts in their classrooms. I consider this an honor to work with these teachers as they embark on their teaching career. I will also provide teacher induction support for arts education teachers in MPS and in the Milwaukee area.
Recognizing that arts advocacy was an important activity for myself as a drama specialist, I will be working with preservice and induction-level arts teachers to advocate for arts programming for their schools and districts.