Director of School-Based Experiences
What is the Director of School-Based Experiences?
The Director of School-Based Experiences at UPS represents a non-traditional academic role within the School of Education. Besides teaching MAT courses, my university role aims at:
- coordinating and supporting successful school-based placements for MAT students throughout the year
- creating opportunities and structures to build connections across school & university sites (developing learning experiences at the intersections of our program)
- building capacity within the School of Education for supporting the learning of beginning teachers in relation to school-based experiences
Specific dimensions of this work include:
1) Collaboration with, and support of, the UPS instructional supervisor team
2) Mentor teacher and school site selection & development
3) Shaping school-based placements as learning experiences for MAT students
4) Supporting communication and generative learning experiences for faculty within and across school & university settings
Recent school-based initiatives include:
Mentor Teacher Advisory Council
This council consists of 1) experienced mentor teachers from local schools with standing relationships to the University of Puget Sound, 2) instructional supervisors at UPS and 3) designated MAT students.
Advisory Council purposes and goals include:
- to support communication, understanding, and information-sharing between school of education and school based mentors (without overload)
- to better identify and understand relevant mentoring issues and questions
- to recommend supports for new and beginning mentors
Members meet on campus twice per semester during internship placements to discuss mentoring issues and to advise the program.
Minutes from a recent meeting are included here: MTAC 3.30.06 minutes.doc
Intentional Partnerships with Pt. Defiance Elementary and Lincoln High School
The aim of an "intentional partnership" site is to build from existing relationships with mentors and principals at a particular school to learn more about the expectations and forces that affect practice at local institutions, particularly those with whom we work often. We also aim to create opportunities for collaboration & classroom coordination – e.g. co-teaching, lesson study, artifact exploration.
Our goal is to “help make visible and accessible everyday school events and practices and the ways they are differently understood by different stakeholders in the educational process” (Cochran-Smith, 2000). We are particularly interested in how the “crossing” of multiple voices (pre-service teacher, mentor, university faculty, principal, supervisor) generates new thinking about practice.
A description of our intentional partnership work is found in a paper co-written by three UPS faculty and one teacher & principal from Pt. Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma: Intentional Partnership Paper -- BC conference.doc