Archive for the 'Learning' Category

New to Peru

This summer marks the third College of Education faculty-led study abroad trip to Peru. Dr. Melissa Gibson and 11 of our students are studying and learning in Lima while also traveling the country. Their blogs are originally posted on Marquette Meets Peru, and we’re excited to share them with you!

By Gabriela Oliveras-Bonaparte

Buenas Tardes de Peru,

Those that are reading this may know that I am in Peru for a month through the education program at Marquette University. What you may not know is what exactly I am doing while I am here. In what feels like the shortest week of my life, I have been wondering the same thing. We read a piece called “The Voluntourist’s Dilemma,” which talks about the dangers in going somewhere for one or two weeks and working on some sort of project like building a school. The issue with this is that often when people do this they are not properly trained and are taking away work from locals who are more qualified. Also, more often than not these voluntourists do not think about the future like, for example, who would be staffing these schools. Fortunately, I know for a fact that this is not what we are here to do. This past week I have gotten to know the city in which I am staying, played sports such as soccer and other games for the international day for the right to play which was this past Saturday the 25th. We have also listened to many stories from various community members. I have come to the conclusion that I am here to learn as much as I can from the people I will be working with and meeting. I am also here to reflect on my experiences and connect them to what I already know and dig deeper to find a greater understanding.

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Pamplona Alta, a pueblo joven

Coming on this trip, I think I have a bit of a different perspective than my peers because of my Puerto Rican background. Not only do I compare and contrast Peru with the United States but I also do so with Puerto Rico, which is a territory of the United States. Since Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, we depend a lot on the States for aid and protection when we need it. But since we are not recognized as a state, we do not really get a say when it comes to the United States government. I never really put two and two together to realize Puerto Rico is not the only place that depends on the United States for things. Here in Peru I was having a conversation with one of the students from the University with which we are partnered on this trip. This student was asking me about my opinions on the U.S. governments and how I felt about certain political issues. Finally I asked how they knew so much about a country that felt so far away. This student informed me that Peru depends a lot on the States for certain kinds of aid. I never realized how much the United States impacts other countries but it has been interesting to see what kinds of things the people of Peru do when depending on one another.

First things first, I want to share some things I have observed during the time I have been here. We were fortunate enough to visit Pamplona Alta, which is said to be a pueblo joven (young town); this is where some of the poorest people live near the city. These towns are created usually by people migrating from the jungle trying to get closer to the city for better educational opportunities for their children and better health care. While visiting this pueblo I was very impressed with the amount of innovation I saw, such as people building their homes out of scrap metal. Although things like electricity and water pumps are more scarce than in the city, the people of Pamplona Alta seemed to have high spirits, or at least the people with whom we interacted. Our first visit was with an older woman who had a little tienda (store) with some basic snacks and fresh fruits. She originally worked long days in construction, which was rare for a woman, but then decided to open a shop close to home to protect her two daughters during the day. Her graciousness and openness to tell us her story was something that I admired and am thankful for. Next, we visited a casitas program near the store. Casitas (which translates to little house) is an after school program. Our visit to Casitas was very brief, but in the short time we were there you could just feel all the love, joy and excitement that was in the room. We were greeted by hugs and smiles from several children from the program as I am sure they were happy to have a distraction from doing their homework. Even though we were only there for maybe five minutes they wanted to show off their English skills so one boy said to me, “Libro es book, si?” Their eagerness to learn seemed so pure. Even though these people had very little material-wise, they seemed rich in so many different ways.

In terms of power, I tried to analyze this community and how power is inflicted on them and ways they are able to take back power. According to Nyberg, “A Concept of Powe,” there are 4 types of power: force, fiction, finance, and fealty. I believe one type of power to be inflected on pueblo jovenes is force and finance. In terms of force, there are literal walls built separating these communities from more affluent areas which are put there to prevent them from infiltrating. Also it is apparent that the poor stay poor so I would believe something as well known as the poverty cycle might reflect what I would say is force in terms of power. The government seems to want to have little to do with these communities except to keep them away and on the outskirts of the city. Although force is being acted upon pueblo jovenes, we know that this type of power is not sustainable, which we have seen before with terrorist groups in Peru like the Shining Path who killed in efforts to try and get the government to recognize their needs. So if this type of power is not sustainable, I wonder what lies ahead for these pueblo jovenes and the city of Lima in general.

Wise Words From Our 2019 Commencement Speaker: Dr. Phillip Ertl

On May 19, 2019, the College of Education and all of Marquette University celebrated the graduating Class of 2019. At our college ceremony, we were inspired by the words of Dr. Phillip Ertl, Superintendent of the Wauwatosa School District. We are grateful for his wisdom and would like to share his speech with you, our readers!

0011_optimizedCongratulations to the Marquette College of Education graduates from the class of 2019 – and congratulations to all the family and friends of the graduates as I know nobody does this alone, and you have all had an impact on these graduates.

I would like to thank Dean Henk and the rest of the College of Education at Marquette University. I am incredibly honored to be here with you today on the most exciting day of the year for any educational institution–graduation day. We all know commencement means “a beginning or a start.” But of what? That is up to each of you and THAT is what makes graduation so exciting.

For me, being able to see what the students of the Wauwatosa School District do in the years after graduation is very gratifying–knowing that in some way we have had an impact. This year’s graduation has an extra special meaning for me- not only is my oldest son graduating from Wauwatosa West High School, but his time in Tosa schools also coincides with my time as Superintendent of the Wauwatosa School District. So, I guess I am the only one the class of 2019 can blame if things do not go well for them!

I have had the good fortune to be in education for over 30 years with 19 of those as a superintendent of schools. My path was certainly not linear. I struggled as a student and, as many that have a similar story, was not encouraged to attend college by some staff in my school that I think should have been doing that. My real motivation for going to college was to play football. It was not until a couple years into my college experience that something clicked–I really wanted to become a teacher. After graduating from UW Lacrosse, I left for Texas for my first teaching and coaching position and loved it. I had some incredible mentors, in particular Tommy Rhea, my principal. He encouraged me to follow my dreams. I guess my dreams took me back to Wisconsin after a year, and I landed in Tomah where I also had the opportunity to work with some top-notch administrators who encouraged me to get my Master’s Degree in educational administration. After completing that degree, I thought I would give my new license a try and applied for two jobs. I interviewed and was offered an associate principal (AP) position in Menasha. I spent one year as an AP and was promoted to the middle school principal position the following year. My superintendent, Bill Decker, saw something in me that I did not. He encouraged me to pursue my doctorate, something that honestly never crossed my mind until I understood that he really believed in me.

Principals and teachers that I have worked with over my time in education have had such a profound impact on me–I could talk about each of them, but I am sure you would like to get out of here today at some point–but I think you get the jist, I had a lot of great mentors and I think it is important for all of us to serve as mentors so that others have the same stories. There are a few challenges we face in education–funding, public perception, declining numbers entering the teacher workforce, testing accountability, increasing demands on our time and energy, and mental health issues. One could argue that most of these are longstanding challenges we have faced for many years in some way, shape or form.

However, mental health concerns have become one of the most prevalent. More and more students are coming to school with significant mental health challenges, that if not addressed, will stand in their way of learning and succeeding. Everything is not known why more and more students are facing those challenges but what we do know is that we must find new and innovative ways to address those needs. I am thrilled to hear that there are a number of graduates here today in clinical mental health and counseling. We need more of you working with and supporting our students. But…with all the challenges in education there are a few things that I have learned that have made a difference in my career to help me overcome those challenges and others.

First: we are in a relationship business. We don’t make widgets or ball bearings—we create relationships that lead to greater learning. Each and every person involved in education is creating relationships every single day–multiple times a day. I believe the most important relationship is the one between teacher and student. The ability to be a great teacher is based on the ability to develop and sustain positive relationships with students. To have the type of impact that we want with students we need to engage with students on many different levels (mentor, expert and friend). The old saying that “students really do not care what you know until they know that you care” is so true. Other relationships in the educational arena are critical as well. Principal leadership matters, and that leadership can only be developed through relationships with many constituencies including staff, students, parents, and the community. Find me a great principal, and I assure you their stakeholders will talk about the relationships they have with that principal. School Boards need to gain the trust of the community and have to have trust in the superintendent. Those relationships need to be healthy for a school district to thrive. There is a reason we have moved to a more collaborative model in education– it is a critical skill that all students need before they leave our doors, and in life–and we must be committed to making sure everyone understands, supports and values strong relationships to help realize that goal.

Next: every interaction will have an impact — you have to believe that! We have all been in a meeting or class or professional development activity where we are asked to think of someone that has had a great impact on our lives. Often times the people we think about never knew that they made a difference in our lives. I, personally, have gone out of my way to make sure that those people in my life, know it. For each of them it was things they said or did that they did not think were a big deal–but really did have a profound impact on me. They were simple interactions with people I looked up to and trusted. I try to think of that when I talk with students—as well as colleagues, parents and community members. You never really know what people take away from each and every conversation or interaction—- I always want it to be something positive.

Treat people with compassion and respect as it will come back to you — In 1992 when I was teaching in Tomah, I also served the school as the head football coach. We had great student athletes that I was able to get to know and work with. I had this one young man that was our starting right tackle. He was also a hockey player, really good student and a great overall kid. That student, Dr. Eric Jessup-Anger, is now my School Board President in Wauwatosa! Of course my first question to him when he came on the Board was “did I ever make you run or yell at you too much–or is that why you wanted to be on the Board?” I really do believe that what goes around comes around with how we treat people. I think that holds MOST true with how we treat students. If we don’t show them respect–those relationships that I talked about earlier will never be as good as we would like.

Be the voice for others – The focus on equity in schools may be one of the most important shifts to ever occur—and one of the most difficult to implement. Everyone says they believe all children can learn but very few schools have been able to raise expectations for ALL students and meet those expectations. Our previous school structure was not set up for all students to be successful, it really was for “many” to be successful. We must raise expectations for all students and do everything humanly possible to ensure they meet those them. We have to change societal beliefs, challenge our own biases, and push like we never have before. It is not easy work, it is not quick work, but it is work that we need to do to be successful. There are too many students that do not have a voice in their education and we need to be that voice for them by believing in them, having high expectations and helping them meet their goals. I am proud to say it is the overriding focus of all our work in the Wauwatosa School District- and it is making a difference.

Know your “why” – We really need a strong conviction and understanding of why we are in this business. For some folks, their why is to make a difference in the world or simply that they love kids. I still have never gone to a day of work: I am still going to school. I love approaching every day with the opportunity to make a difference and that is my why. In education we are tasked with selling the why to everyone. Students say “why do I need to learn algebra?” Teachers will say “why do we need to change the reading curriculum?”, school boards say, “why should be adopt this policy?”, community members will say “why should we pay this amount of taxes?” We spend our days talking about the why so we better be pretty clear on what our “why” is and what our school communities’ is.

Failure is critical for success – This is a statement I make in every interview and ask for a response. Most of the success I have had in life is because of learning from mistakes. We must encourage students to be risk-takers and not be afraid of failure. “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” I am not big on living by quotes, but this is one that I believe is important for living with a growth mindset. Too many students come to us without the willingness to take risks or the ability to deal with adversity, and we have an obligation to teach them.

Celebrate successes – People that go into education generally are humble and want to serve others. Often what goes along with that is an unwillingness to talk about accomplishments. We need to take every opportunity we can to celebrate the great things going on in our schools, whether it is an individual accomplishment of a student, a group of students accomplishing something they never thought they could, a team winning a competition that was unexpected, a whole school reaching a milestone, or a whole district implementing a new policy well. We need to make sure everyone knows the great things happening in our schools. Simple emails to parents about the good things their children are doing may be the most effective communication you make!

Focus on controlling what you can control – There are so many things that we deal with that are out of our control. As I get further along in my career, I understand that there are more things we may not have control over, but we still can impact. There are a lot of state statutes that impact what we do on a daily basis, from minutes of instruction, school start dates, standards, standardized testing, how much money we have to use in schools, as well as what subjects must be taught. I have learned even some of THOSE have flexibility in them! More importantly I think we need to understand that we don’t control who the kids are in our classes – with all the intelligences, attitudes, backgrounds, and beliefs that come with them. We need to meet them where they are and take them to greater heights. All parents send their children to us hoping and expecting us to give them our best. And we owe it to the parents to do just that.

I don’t often take the opportunity to reflect on my career as I still have a long time left, but taking this opportunity to do so has reminded me of how fortunate I have been to be around some great students, teachers, administrators and school supporters – and even better people. I hope all of you have the same experiences as you go through your career.

So, as you leave here today, I challenge you to do one thing: to be THAT person, that person that makes a difference for each and every student —every day. YOU may not know you were that person—but they certainly will!!

Congratulations again and best of luck to you in the future! And if that future involves applying for a job in the Wauwatosa School District, give me a call or shoot me an email to remind me that we met today!

Thank you.

Reflections on my First Year of Grad School

downloadBy Jordan Mason

As spring begins to make its appearance, a semester draws to a close. While there are still a few projects and assessments to be completed, I find myself in awe of how quickly this past year has flown. As a graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program here in the College of Education, I have almost successfully completed two of our four semesters. In that time, there have been several people and things for whom and which I have been grateful. I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

  • Our top-notch faculty: I have been thoroughly impressed with the quality of faculty I am taught by. Dr. Jody Jessup-Anger is an outstanding wealth of knowledge; she encourages us to think critically and pushes us to explore other perspectives. Fr. Andy Thon brings his years of experience in Student Affairs and on Marquette’s campus to provide us with a better understanding of how institutions of higher education operate. Dr. Karen Evans provided our cohort with a solid foundation of research concepts to utilize in our courses and careers to come, and Dr. Jodi Blahnik of Marquette’s Counseling Center has prepared us to navigate the world of helping students more effectively. I am grateful to our faculty.
  • The opportunities this program provides: I have also been impressed by the immense opportunities available to us as SAHE and COE students. For example, a cohortmate of mine is taking advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland. Two of my classmates serve on executive boards for higher education organizations. Our practicum requirement ensures we will gain valuable experience in a Student Affairs environment, and the variety of assistantship opportunities allow us to explore our interests and passions. I am grateful for the experiences I have had in the SAHE program.
  • My wonderful cohortmates: Most importantly, I am grateful for the individuals I am experiencing this program with. I appreciate the conversations we have regarding topics in higher education. I appreciate the support we provide one another during a stressful week. I appreciate the laughs and the friendships built to last long after graduation. I am grateful for my cohortmates.

I am grateful every day for choosing Marquette University as the institution to pursue Student Affairs. Thank you, Marquette!

On the Tenth Anniversary of the College of Education: Rebecca DeBoer

This year, the College of Education is celebrating its 10th anniversary since becoming a college! In commemoration, our undergraduate students were invited to participate in an essay contest with the following prompt:

Given our rich history, (1) Why do you think it is important that we are designated as a College (for instance, within the University and to our community partners) and (2) Why is our being a College important to you professionally and/or personally?

Read on for our next essay, and you can catch up with all the entries in other posts!

teacherBy Rebecca DeBoer

If you asked me 10 years ago about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I can guarantee that I would have never said teacher. I would have said I wanted to be an famous artist or someone who works with animals. Yet, here I am today; an Educational Studies and Psychology major in Marquette’s College of Education. Over the course of my life so far, I have volunteered and worked with children in a variety of settings. I have learned the joys a child can find in the words of a book, and the fun a child can experience with hands-on activities at a museum. Instead of finding passion in the arts or animals, I have found passion in the idea of helping to develop young minds and cultivating their God-given talents.

Just as I learned and grew throughout these past 10 years about what drove, inspired, and made me unique, so did Marquette’s College of Education. By education’s standing as a separate college, Marquette gives students like me a specialized opportunity at furthering my career, which in turn, furthers my quality of life. Components like Service Learning and internships help expand my experience and knowledge of what is to come in the adult world we are about to take on. Another major importance of having the College is the community it instills. Meeting people within Education ensures you have a community of students and professionals you can turn to for advice or simply a friendly face. Along with the relationships you build comes life lessons. In Dr. Lorentz’s class (my first education class of my life), I learned that “mastering” a talent or idea is never true mastery. As a teacher, we do not always truly know everything. It is okay to not know and accept new ideas. As Education majors, our careers are that of learning about learning, so how can we not ever be faced with developing ourselves along the way?

Having a separate College of Education shows current and incoming students who want to go into the field that there is a place to cultivate their goals and future careers. Through this, we see that the professional importance and personal importance of becoming an educator is intertwined. We as educators (and soon-to-be educators) take our various qualities and passions and put them out in a professional manner, after years of cultivating and “mastering” them. Thanks to the College of Education, we have the ability to “master” this knowledge and grow into the best version of ourselves.

Interested in learning more about the College of Education and our ongoing service to our community? Or about our undergraduate programs? Check us out online today!

On the Tenth Anniversary of the College of Education: Thomas Schatz

This year, the College of Education is celebrating its 10th anniversary since becoming a college! In commemoration, our undergraduate students were invited to participate in an essay contest with the following prompt:

Given our rich history, (1) Why do you think it is important that we are designated as a College (for instance, within the University and to our community partners) and (2) Why is our being a College important to you professionally and/or personally?

Read on for our next essay, and you can catch up with all the entries in other posts!

Marquette_University_campusBy Thomas Schatz

Marquette’s College of Education is reaching the ten-year anniversary of its designation as an individual college. A designation worth celebrating because of how it has affected the curriculum, and more importantly, the people who are invested in the Milwaukee educational system and education as a whole. The separation from the College of Arts and Sciences has allowed for countless new opportunities to be discussed and implemented. This includes new educational experiences such as the college’s summer Peru trip and even a new major, Educational Studies, to become part of the College’s offerings. It has certainly been a great ten years, and there is no better time to be a student, faculty, or supporter of the Marquette College of Education.

The world needs great leaders to enter the teaching force more than ever now. Because of this immense need, there also needs to an emphasis on calling people into the vocation of teaching. The individual status of our college has allowed for outreach to ensure this need is met by qualified teachers across the country. Even looking at just my freshman education class, I see students from coast to coast come here looking for a truly unique curriculum that not only will prepare us to teach but prepare us to become transformative leaders for the next generation of students. This means more educators, and well-prepared educators at that, are now schooling in Milwaukee. This effort is only greatened when you factor in how being an individual college allows for more funding for student scholarships. This is something that as a student I am eternally thankful for, and I am certainly not alone in this sentiment. This is a grand gesture in a time where money has become such a strong deterrent for amazing students considering the life of a teacher. The college has been an undeniably powerful source at dispelling this issue.

Lastly, I cannot discount all the ways in which the college has personally affected me beyond even what is mentioned above. I truly feel as if there is one thing that everyone looks at as a beacon of light and hope in a world that can be so dark sometimes. This beacon of light is education. Education is a gift that needs to be shared and given by those best prepared. The College of Education truly buys into this thought of teaching for social justice, a theme very in line with the Jesuit values of Marquette. I come to Schroeder Complex every day knowing that I am being surrounded by professors and students alike that feel the same way as I do. Marquette educators are not mere teachers. No, far from it. Rather, we are leaders that go out to set the world ablaze and change lives everywhere. So, on the tenth anniversary of our outstanding college, I thank the college for all it offers me, and I hope everyone joins me in thanking them for what they do to Be the Difference.

Interested in learning more about the College of Education and our ongoing service to our community? Or our undergraduate programs? Check us out online today!

 

 

A Word About Our CECP Diversity Scholarship

gala 2018By DJ Ferrer

My name is DJ Ferrer, and I am the recipient of the 2017 Diversity Scholarship in the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology (CECP) program. When I decided to return to Marquette University as a graduate student in the program, my goal was to work with Asian immigrants who are having trouble adjusting to the culture of the U.S. Receiving the scholarship was part of the foundation that helped me as I progressed towards that goal, as the scholarship money was used to help pay for the textbooks that would guide what I learned in the classrooms.

Being the 2017 recipient was also a title that stuck with me throughout my time as a graduate student as it was a reminder of why I was on campus. During the second semester of my graduate studies, I found myself applying to Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center in order to be an intern therapist at the site during the rest of my time in the College of Education. This site focuses on aiding homeless and runaway youth by providing crisis services and therapeutic interventions so that they can have their own foundations towards a healthier future. It was at this site that I learned how much a person’s culture can impact not only that person’s current environment, but also that person’s development as a human and how they got to where they were today.

Whenever I met with the youth at the shelter, I made sure to be as culturally competent as I could be so that I can better help the youth through their situations. I even ended up winning the 2018 Student Volunteer of the Year Award at the site during the second year of my program, which is a testament of how hard I worked to aid the youth at the site. Also, during my second year, I became the Diversity Chair for the CECP’s Graduate Student Organization (GSO). It was during this time that I took the Multicultural Counseling course, which is a required course for Marquette’s curriculum. As the Diversity Chair and a student who was learning more about diversity, I learned just how multifaceted the subject of multiculturalism and diversity can really be. As my time at Marquette comes to a close, the monetary value of the Diversity Scholarship is long gone, but the honor of having the title as the 2017 recipient has stayed with me and will continue to stay with me moving forward as a professional counselor.

My resumé showcases accomplishments such as 2018-2019 Diversity Chair for the CECP GSO and the 2018 Student Volunteer of the Year at Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center, but earlier than both of those achievements, I am proud to list the 2017 recipient of the CECP Diversity Scholarship. My current plans after graduate are still to work with Asian immigrants who struggle adjusting to the U.S. culture, but I am now aware of the other cultural aspects of these individuals and how they affect each other. I would like to incorporate all aspects of the cultures of my future clients in order to best provide therapeutic interventions. This is a value that was stated when I applied for the Diversity Scholarship and that was further expanded upon because of my Marquette experience.

The CECP GSO would like to cordially invite you to attend the 2019 Diversity Gala on May 4th where we will announce to 2019 recipient! Tickets can be purchased ahead of time and help to fund the scholarship for deserving students like DJ!

On the Tenth Anniversary of the College of Education: Claire Bernatz

This year, the College of Education is celebrating its 10th anniversary since becoming a college! In commemoration, our undergraduate students were invited to participate in an essay contest with the following prompt:

Given our rich history, (1) Why do you think it is important that we are designated as a College (for instance, within the University and to our community partners) and (2) Why is our being a College important to you professionally and/or personally?

Read on for our next entry!

scienceBy Claire Bernatz

One of the things that brought me to Marquette was its mantra, “Be the Difference.” With this in mind, I know I chose a university that would do everything it can to make sure I can make a positive impact onto this world. As a freshman, I started out as a Biomedical Science major in the doctoral program in physical therapy (DPT). I chose DPT because I wanted to help the younger generations find and get back to a passion they discover.

Reflecting, that doesn’t sound like someone who should be in the medical field, but it does sound like someone who should be a teacher. With the College of Education being its own college, I was able to get one-on-one advice and guidance on my future and what it would look like if I made the switch into education. The attention and care the College of Education offered me is priceless. Because of the college’s influence, making the switch to education was a no-brainer.

The college’s attention to detail in their community through service learning and student teaching only confirmed that I was in the right field of study. I have the ability to still follow my passion for biology with a double major in secondary education and broad field science. The ability to double major gives me the confidence to go into any classroom and be able to teach the necessary instruction needed. Being a woman in broad field science, I feel even more confident in my ability to be diverse and to inspire those from all backgrounds to find their love in discovery.  The development of my professional life is priceless, and I am proud to say I will be a graduate from the College of Education. The skills given to me are life lessons that will continue to impact me for the rest of my life. I am extremely grateful for my time at Marquette University and the constant love and support the College of Education shows me. With the college being its own college, I know I will graduate with the tools needed to “Be the Difference.”

Interested in learning more about the College of Education and our ongoing service to our community? Check us out online today!


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