Teacher Mentorship (ELA)

English Connections in EDUC 490: Special Methods in High School Subjects

Why Is This Course Significant?

EDUC 490 prepared prospective secondary teachers (PSTs) to plan and facilitate effective lessons in their content areas: English (40-50%), Social Studies (30-40%), and all others combined (10-20%). As the instructor of this course, I helped to prepare PSTs by modeling effective teaching techniques and strategies, providing extensive feedback on written and implemented lesson plans, and addressing their strengths and weaknesses through individual coaching sessions. Supporting the professional growth of PSTs–at least 73 of whom were English Education majors–not only improved my teaching skills, but also afforded me a deeper understanding of English content. As a result, I am also better prepared to plan and deliver effective literacy instruction.

To further illustrate the relationship between my preparedness as a literacy educator and my responsibilities as instructor of EDUC 490, I share details regarding three important elements: (1) course specifications (e.g., objectives, resources), (2) techniques and strategies related to the teaching of integrated literacy, and (3) data concerning the extent of my work with PSTs of English. For each of these elements, I provide a brief description and a link with additional details.

Course Overview: Description, Objectives, and Resources

While enrolled in methods, PSTs were required to attend two class meetings per week and complete 40 hours of fieldwork at a designated high school. The class meetings and field experiences were designed to support the course objectives, which centered on the concepts, skills, and dispositions associated with effective secondary teaching.

For course objectives and resources, click here.

Teaching Practices: Transferable Techniques and Strategies

During class meetings, I modeled an array of instructional techniques and strategies (see image). These techniques and strategies not only incorporated two or more literacy processes (e.g., reading, writing), but also fostered active engagement and effective collaboration. As such, they can be utilized in the teaching of integrated literacy.

For descriptions of four such activities, click here.

Instructing, Evaluating, & Coaching Prospective English Teachers

A Word Cloud from English PSTs’ Lesson Plans

During my six years as instructor of EDUC 490, the majority of the PSTs with whom I worked were English Education majors. My work with these PSTs enhanced my knowledge of English content and teaching methods, and better prepared me to deliver effective literacy lessons.

For details regarding the nature and extent of my work with PSTs of English, click here.