teachers

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First-generation graduates show their gratitude

April 22, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

It was a heartwarming opening to a week of Commencements at GCU. At Thursday night’s first of 11 Commencements to honor the work of College of Education and College of Humanities and Social Sciences graduates, first-generation students expressed gratitude to their parents who never got the chance to go to college but sacrifice so much for them. And GCU President Brian Mueller shared thoughts that echoed that theme, reading the University mission statement that ends with “placing the needs of others before their own.” Rocio Cigarroa said her parents did that for her, moving to the U.S. for her education. She thanked them with some loving words on her graduation cap.

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COE leaders share value of teachers, books, friends

April 20, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

College of Education Dean Dr. Meredith Critchfield likes to tell teachers in training a story, one that can serve them well as they graduate and go forth to teach. It’s about how a former student reached out to her 10 years later and gave her a gift. The books that Critchfield taught her in class changed her outlook, and she wanted to give Critchfield the children’s versions for her newborn. Now Critchfield has passed the books forward – to her friend, Associate Dean Dr. Emily Pottinger, and her children. It’s a story of the value of teaching and books and friends.

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Panel of educators focuses on character, culture

March 10, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Nancy Parra-Quinlan, the 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year, and other panelists explored character education, lessons of the pandemic and advice for new teachers in the Dean Speaker Series held virtually by GCU College of Education on Tuesday. “We need to really build relationships with students and really understand their community and family life,” Parra-Quinlan said.

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GCU students fill new roles at neighbor school

March 03, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

GCU has helped a neighboring charter school through its astounding decade of growth with graduates and student teachers filling vital roles. Now, it’s filling the hallways at Empower College Prep even more. Fourteen GCU students are serving as teaching associates, taking an active role in the classroom while earning pay and experience. “It’s not your typical school,” said GCU junior Rebecca Lange, who helps teach seventh grade math. “I get to know the students by name, I get to know their stories.”

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GCU students help fill need for substitute teachers

January 28, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

When the situation in Arizona schools gets tough, GCU students and graduates come to the rescue. The latest example arose when the lingering pandemic and ongoing teacher shortages left a system lacking enough substitute teachers. College of Education Assistant Professor Claudia Coleman quickly worked with Phoenix school districts on an initiative to get GCU junior teacher candidates certified as subs and trained to fill a need so dire that the state board on Monday expanded its certificate eligibility. Nineteen GCU students are already in classrooms with more to come. “I’ve learned more from a couple days of subbing than in all of my practicum,” GCU junior Hailey Pawley said.

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Conference aims to bring love back into community

December 14, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

A conference on character education Monday at GCU Arena started with a story of how College of Education Dean Dr. Meredith Critchfield’s half-hour classroom activity inspired students for years afterward. It was all about love. A pair of international speakers added their own inspirations, including how Clifton Taulbert has led an astounding life on the legs of the ordinary people in his Mississippi sharecropper family. He told more than 2,000 attendees, both at GCU Arena and virtually, that the virtues they gifted to him changed his life.

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Educators share their passions behind teaching

November 19, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Jason Cantanese, a math teacher at Pueblo Del Sol Elementary School in Phoenix, learned early in his career that the school didn’t offer algebra. He knew his students needed it to succeed, and he came up with a creative way to make it happen. Cantanese was one of four panelists at the College of Education’s Virtual Dean Speakers Series Wednesday, and his story revealed why he wanted to teach, a theme of the event. “If you are in a classroom and see a problem, don’t wait. You can be part of that change,” he said.

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Wishes come true for alums via Fiesta Bowl Charities

November 09, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

GCU alumnus Kennent Sandoval was discouraged. He had a lot of students at Maurice C. Cash Elementary School who wanted to join band but not enough instruments. He wished for more and made the wish to the right people. The Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers granted him $2,500 in its program that supports teachers who often use their own money to equip classrooms. Sandoval joined 38 GCU alumni granted wishes last week and several who shared their wishes in a celebration on Zoom with COE leaders.

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GCU alum wins Diamondbacks’ teaching award

October 04, 2021 / by / 1 Comment

Ali Nelson found herself standing on a professional baseball field Sunday, right in front of high-priced professional athletes warming up for the Arizona Diamondbacks game. She teaches fourth grade at Sunnyslope School in Phoenix. The GCU alumna was among 10 teachers honored as Diamondbacks Most Valuable Teacher in STEM, an award inspired by Honeywell. She was given $1,000 for classroom supplies, a jersey featuring her name and cheers from the crowd in a pre-game fete. But she says it’s what she picked up GCU that helped last year during the pandemic, her first in teaching: It’s all about caring for students and making sure they know you believe in them.

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Faculty chair looks to make teaching changes click

August 06, 2021 / by / 0 Comment

Dr. Alicia Kozimor has had a big summer. She was named faculty chair in the College of Education and in late July earned her doctorate. It comes at an interesting time for future educators whom COE is training, and Kozimor is asking them this question: “How are you going to change education, especially at this time when everything is changing? How are you going to make the profession better?”

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