Winner of the 2015 Apple Award - Allie Van Hooker

Posted by Eric.Nygard on Wednesday June 3, 2015

Allie Van Hooker, a May graduate, recently received the highest honor from the Nyack College School of Education, the prestigious 2015 Apple Award as the most outstanding graduating student teacher of all teaching majors.The Apple Award culminated a truly remarkable four years at Nyack College for Allie: graduating with a 3.96 GPA Summa cum Laude; eight straight semesters of high honors; membership in two national honor societies and the Excellence in Teaching Award. Allie achieved this while completing a rigorous double major in Early Childhood/ Childhood and an English specialization.

Allie has also done exceptional volunteer ministry and service work locally, domestically and internationally in youth and children's programs.Allie has been described by faculty and classmates as not only a wonderful student, but a young woman of the highest character- a role model for all. SOE Dean Dr. JoAnn Looney has stated : Allie’s Apple award confirms all of her qualities-knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be an asset to any school district which hires her.

-James N Nichols, PhD,D.Min

Self-Regulation and the Common Core

Posted by Eric.Nygard on Friday May 15, 2015

A​ newly released ​book in the Routledge Eye on Education series by Dr. Marie C. White with coauthor Maria K. DiBenedetto ​provides educators the support they need to apply the principles of self-regulated learning in their teaching for success with the Common Core. In this book the authors ​present information on how to apply academic self-regulation by integrating two models: one which addresses how students develop self-regulatory competence, the other which focuses on the various processes within the three phases of self-regulated learning. In addition, Self-Regulation and the Common Core provides specific lesson plans for grades K-12, using the standards and the integrated framework to promote higher order thinking and problem-solving activities.

Laura Rodriguez, Former Deputy Chancellor of NYC Department of Education Speaks at the Urban Education Center

Posted by Eric.Nygard on Thursday May 7, 2015

The Urban Education Center in NYC welcomed the former Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, Laura Rodriguez, to their chapel service on February 25, 2015. Current students and alumni attended and participated in the chapel service. Andre Hayes ‘13 and Kathy –Ann Rodriguez ‘16 provided special music.

Our speaker began and ended by citing Jeremiah  29:11. She shared with the alumni and current teacher candidates that God had a good plan for her life and at this stage in her journey the most important thing to do is to be in the center of his will.The focus of the message described her professional journey as an educator in the NYC Public Schools and how she grew in the Lord during those 34 years. The purposes of the talk was divided into three phases of her journey:  Preparation/Implementation/Connection. The speaker referenced the 3-Dimensional (Heads/Hands/Heart)  Kingdom Class Education model we have been discussing in The Cause, (a group that supports the Christian educator in the public school settings),  with parallels to the 3 phases she went through in her diverse teaching and leadership roles during her tenure in the NYC DOE. 

When Ms. Rodriguez retired from the NYC DOE in 2012, she was a Deputy Chancellor, one of the ten Regional superintendents selected in 2003 to bring change to the NYC DOE. The remainder of the evening was a small group meeting with Ms. Rodriguez who is now the Chair of the NYC CAUSE, an initiative that we will learn more about in the near future. The alumni spent time learning more about The Cause and the speaker's journey, sharing their experiences, and meeting their new mentor! 

We are blessed to have Ms. Rodriguez as a Christian sister and professional who gladly shares her time and energy with the Urban Education Center. She will be returning for other events in the near future.

Value and Flexibility of a Nyack School of Education Degree within and beyond the K-12 Classroom

Posted by Eric.Nygard on Monday April 20, 2015

Dr. Turk recently shared that a graduate degree in education is a growing opportunity, since many older teachers are retiring in the next few years and teaching positions will be available. In addition, the Nyack School of Education (SOE) program also qualifies its graduates for vocations above and beyond the K-12 setting for those interested in ministry, missions, and corporate training positions. Some examples follow:

A 2013 SOE Adolescence Education/History major is employed by AT&T and is doing extremely well financially and professionally after about a year. His supervisor has advised him that his teaching background has prepared him well for a position as a corporate trainer.

Professor D’Amato’s son has an MSED in Adolescent Education Mathematics. Although did not get a teaching position he works for United Water as a Professional Program Manager. He was recently promoted because his boss noticed he had actually been over-qualified for his existing position. His new position is extremely prestigious and challenging. He passed the certification test on the first try.

Dr. Nichols’ daughter is AGAPE (Campus Crusade for Christ UK ) National Communications Director and MOVE journal editor-in-chief. Her preparation for this missionary position: Adolescent Education/English. She has shared that many countries (China and others) no longer accept people as missionaries, but eagerly accept qualified teachers from the United States.

A recent communication from an overseas missionary placement organization confirmed that hundreds of students and their families in China and other countries are being led to Christ by Christian teachers.

As I have stated previously, an education degree is very valuable and flexible, whether a graduate teaches in a K-12 setting, does missions or teaching overseas, or works in a corporation in planning or training. Dr. Tim Keller in Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work supports the idea that if we are properly prepared can also serve Christ in positions outside of traditional ministry or missionary roles. Graduating with an educational degree as a Christian educator from the Nyack SOE superbly prepares us for that role.

-Dr. James Nichols, PhD,D.Min.

Lessons Learned while Teaching in India

Posted by Eric.Nygard on Wednesday January 28, 2015

I spent the second half of the Fall 2014 semester in New Delhi, India, student teaching at an international school. I thought I went to India to teach, but I learned so much more about myself as an educator, friend, and child of God.

Coming into student teaching, one of my biggest goals was to find my teacher voice, one that would incite respect and love in my students. Like the other lessons that I learned in India, that desire blossomed both inside and outside of the classroom. I am finding my teacher voice, and I am finding so much more. I learned that finding my voice does not mean always having the exactly right, most beautiful thing to say, but it is having something to say that reflects who you are. My voice reflects who I am -- secure, loved, and provided for. 

In the classroom, I quickly discovered that I couldn't do it all, and no one expected me to. It is not realistic to be perfect 100% of the time, and to believe the opposite is to set myself up for madness. It's okay to ask for help, or to say no to something that I can't do alone. Outside of the classroom, I learned to relax and be blessed by others through cups of coffee, rides to school, or a bed to sleep in. In India, I was as helpless as an infant. I came with nothing to go on but a few emails and a recommendation from a friend, yet I was met with more hospitality and love than I ever thought possible. It was incredible to see God's faithfulness and provision through the undeserved love of others.

There are a thousand more lessons that I learned, but I would be writing for days if I recorded every single one. What I can share is this -- God is good. He provided for my every need while student teaching so far away. It wasn't easy, and I know that it won't suddenly become easier post-graduation, but I am so thankful for all that I have learned. I welcome the lessons that will continue to mold me into the woman God made me to be.

-Jessica Hannon  Childhood Education Class of '15


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