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Driven to Discover


January 31, 2014

TERI partner school in the news

The Anne Sullivan school was featured in a January 25th Star Tribune article titled "Minneapolis school tries new path to accelerate immigrant learning." Read the full story.


January 10, 2014

Great Lesson 7: "Family & Community Partnerships that Support Learning"

On Wednesday January 8, teacher candidates in a TERI course, "Cultures, Schools, and Communities," visited Brooklyn Center High School. The school visit was planned as a key class component of the 7th Great Lesson, entitled "Family & Community Partnerships that Support Learning."

Michael Goh, co-instructor of the course, emphasized the importance of taking teacher candidate students out of a lecture hall, and bringing them to an authentic setting like Brooklyn Center Community Schools.

"We are constantly studying our design of the Great Lessons to amplify [teacher candidates'] learning experience. To that end, it is especially vital that we are able to bridge theory and practice, and future teachers are able to experience what they read and discuss from our Great Lessons beyond the abstract. We have a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in a school district that epitomizes family and community partnerships [through] one of the exemplary Brooklyn Center Community Schools."

Upon arrival, our teacher candidates were warmly greeted by Dr. Carly Jarva, principal of Brooklyn Center High School. The candidates were then met by a group of high school seniors and school staff who graciously gave us school tours showcasing a multitude of integrated services, including an onsite Health Resource Center which provides health, dental, and mental health services for students as well as any community members who are birth to 18 years of age.


Teacher candidates tour Brooklyn Center High School.


Panel members (L to R) Dr. Mark Bonnie, Superintendent; Dr. Carly Jarva, Principal; Jackie Starr, Family and Community Liaison; Willie Finley, 21st Century Grant Coordinator.

During the panel discussion, teacher candidates listened to powerful stories of the panelists' commitment to creating and strengthening community partnerships that support student learning. Through authentic dialogue about the challenges as well as the opportunities to make students the core of family and community partnerships, our future teachers engaged in deep reflection on the critical role they play within these partnerships.

Many future teachers felt empowered to learn that classroom teachers are an integral part of community building. And their engagement process begins within their own classroom by creating a trusting and supportive community with students and their families. Here are some of student comments after the visit:

"I was totally captivated by the panel of speakers at Brooklyn Center High School. They were so generous with their passion and their time, and I am energized by their words. What I like most of all is that the school and district leaders are rolling up their sleeves and "humbling" themselves in order to precipitate real change in the community and for the students."

"Brooklyn Center Community School is where I am currently placed, and my first day was the day of Great Lessons. I had done some research prior and have been very observant of the things that BCMS offer to their students including an extensive after school program, health facilities, and supportive/extensive staff. At Great Lessons, I got an even better picture of the services they provide. I am glad that the school values building community and implemented such a great system."

"I have heard about community schools, and it is great to work in and see one in action. I think such an idea also creates a great school environment with staff, students, and families. I learned a great deal about the concept and can only hope to work in such an environment in the future."

"As a future teacher, sometimes I get so caught up in how I'll explain my content or how I'll manage my own classroom, that it's easy to forget that students have lives outside of the walls we share, that may affect their academic success. My time at Brooklyn Center, and the panel of speakers, candidly addressed some of these issues, and reminded me that wrap around services in schools can help, not only the student body, but the entire community. It's a powerful reminder for everyone; until a student's basic needs are met, they cannot learn."

Submitted by Shuji Asai, Licensure Officer

January 6, 2014

DirecTrack to Teaching

DirecTrack to Teaching students have been active in several schools in our partner districts this fall. DirecTrack is a program for undergraduates at the UMN-TC who intend to become secondary (math, social studies, science, English language arts) or k-12 (art, ESL, world language, special education) licensed teachers through our post-baccalaureate initial licensure programs (ILP).

One of the requirements of DirecTrack is to take a course titled Exploring the Teaching Profession. A key component of this course involves service-learning in local schools. This fall, 27 students have been participating in service-learning in several of our partner districts.

• Columbia Heights High School, AVID tutors: 4 students
• Roosevelt High School (MPS), classroom tutors: 9 students
• Wellstone International High School (MPS): 1 student
• Lucy Craft Laney K-8 School (MPS): 2 students
• Adolescent Girls and Parenting Education (AGAPE) (SPPS): 3 students
• Murray Middle School (SPPS): 8 students

A student quote says it best:

"The most rewarding aspect is in the countless number of times I have seen a student that I am tutoring begin to understand something after I explain it to them. I have heard comments from my students that they finally understand something after I explained it to them. To just know that I am actually making a difference in these students' lives is an incredibly rewarding feeling."

The staff and students in DirecTrack wish to extend a big thank you to these schools for their support of our students as they continue on their path towards becoming teachers!

December 18, 2013

Fall 2013 Road Trip Summary

Road trips for Elementary Education, Curriculum & Instruction, and EDRC staff so far this year include visits to partner sites:

• St. Paul Public Schools: Saint Anthony Park, Frost Lake, and Linwood/Monroe (both campuses)
• Minneapolis Public Schools: Dowling, Lucy Laney, Hall, Andersen, Marcy, Pillsbury, Barton, Roosevelt, Sanford
• Columbia Heights Public Schools: North Park, Highland and Valley View
• White Bear Lake Area Schools: Otter and Lincoln
• Edina: Highlands

Other school sites visited specifically by Elementary Education's Kathy Byrn include Sioux Trails in Burnsville, Brimhall in Roseville, and XinXing in Hopkins.

We also visited district teams and representatives in Saint Paul, Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, and Forest Lake.

Next semester we plan to visit the following partner schools that we did not get to this fall:
• Vadnais in WBL
• Nokomis/Sheridan in SPPS
• Crossroads in SPPS
• Lino Lakes in Forest Lake

Also included are these other practicum sites, cluster sites, or potential cluster/PDS sites:
• Harvest, charter
• Harambee, Roseville
• Kenny, MSP
• Kenwood, MSP
• Creek Valley, Edina
• Soujourner Truth Academy, charter

If we haven't already been there, we look forward to seeing you soon!

Kathy Byrn, Elementary Education Clinical Coordinator
Amy Jo Lundell, Curriculum & Instruction Clinical Placement Coordinator
Jehanne Beaton, TERI/MPS Partnership Liaison @ RHS
Tiffany Moore, TERI/MPS Induction Coordinator
Bob Utke, Clinical Learning Coordinator
Stacy Ernst, School Partner Network Coordinator
Deborah Dillon, Associate Dean of Graduate, Professional and International Programs

December 17, 2013

Highland Elementary featured in Twin Cities Daily Planet

Highland Elementary in Columbia Heights was featured in a December 15th Twin Cities Daily Planet article titled "Taking teacher training seriously: A medical-style residency program at UofM." Read the full story.


December 16, 2013

TERI Partner Network Day: Perspectives

Martha Bigelow moderated an exciting, celebratory panel of recent graduates from CEHD to hear from each their perspectives on how TERI has impacted each as a new teacher. Panelists included Jennifer Eik, Second Languages and Cultures '13, currently teaching at Roosevelt High School; Callie Moylan, Elementary Education '13, currently teaching at Lucy Laney K-8; and Ahmed Amin, Social Studies '11, currently teaching at Roosevelt High School.


Panelists Jennifer Eik, Callie Moylan, and Ahmed Amin discuss their experiences.

What they said:

"What has prepared me for my teaching was first, and foremost, the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) that we did in the Great Lessons in the Post Bacc program. We did a lot of identity work and at first, I was resistant... because I just felt like 'what's the relevance' and 'this isn't what I signed up for.' But we did a lot of work on: how we viewed the world, what biases we walked into the classroom with, and how that affects our instruction. Now, looking back on that year, I have to say it was one of the most positively influential years of my life. I learned so much about myself and that's positively influenced my first year of teaching as I've been able to reflect... be more conscious and aware of how I view my students and how I should change my instruction too."
- Jennifer Eik

"I can attribute my success to the edTPA which very comparable to the Standards of Effective Instruction (SOEI) in Minneapolis Public Schools... the rubrics are almost identical and so having to go through the edTPA and really think about how to create and film a high quality lesson.... That really helped me a lot for as far as knowing what to do, what to have ready, and how to prepare my class. Also, my success as a white teacher in a predominately black school is that-- as my principal says -- 'you have to be comfortable with yourself'... and I know I'm a white teacher in a predominately black school but I'm here for the right reason, I'm ready to teach, I want to teach these kids, I believe in these kids, I know they're smart, and I hope that that attitude is what is reflected in my students' achievements."
- Callie Moylan

"By having Jehanne there, placed as the TERI school liaison... doing some work with teachers in research partnerships there on critical pedagogy she came into my class and took that research opportunity to really transformed it so it was student centered and students were creating authentic intellectual work. We were doing fabulous work by the end of that research opportunity.... Having Jehanne there and people like Jenna has really helped my development and has turned around plenty of other classrooms at Roosevelt High school. It's sort of an invaluable experience having the student teachers come in and see how those methods they're learning in their program are actually being practiced in the classroom. I think that helps them out also."
- Ahmed Amin

Transformation through Partnership

Sometimes when you enter into a partnership, you know it'll be great and that everyone will learn and grow in amazing ways. Sometimes you know it will be good for you, but you're a little worried. Sometimes you have no idea what will happen, but you just go for it and take a leap of faith. What we know is that transformation through partnership is possible.

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, I was reminded of the word and the concept of "ubuntu" As you know, it's South African word from the Nguni Bantu language. It is one of those words that can't be translated into a single word in English. Ubuntu expresses recognition that we are all bound together in our humanity in ways that are not always self-evident, that we can be our best selves by sharing ourselves with others and caring for those around us. Ubuntu if often understood to mean that each of can be who we are because of who we all are, as a unified community.

I feel a sense of Ubuntu through our partnerships. In partnership spaces, I see we are learning about and nurturing the best in all of us. We're becoming who we are, we're transforming, because of who we are in partnership.

In partnerships of all sorts, we are persisting through misunderstandings and believing and trusting each other, under assumptions that we are all acting with the best of intentions, despite challenges. We're doing it for our teacher candidates, for our own growth and we're especially doing it for Minnesota students and their families.

As you will see from our introductory panel, partnership relationships mean a lot more than merely placing teacher candidates in practicum experiences.
Teacher education programs, like other institutions that are part of the education ecosystem, have the responsibility to respond to immediate challenges and prepare for future needs. Now school partnerships are an inextricable piece of this ecosystem. For example, demographic changes in P-12 schools far outpace changes in the educator workforce. There is widespread under-education of students in mathematics, science and wholesale under-education of students with disabilities and English learners. Furthermore, we need teachers with sufficient training in college and career ready standards and who can use technology to promote engagement and learning. We can remedy these issues through partnership.

Respectful reciprocity based on mutual need is how partnerships in life and in teacher education enable us to change and grow. With the best intentions, the will to see each others' strengths, move beyond assumptions about who we are, we learn and grow and develop relationships within formal partnerships. It is in through these experiences that partnerships are transformative.

Submitted by Dr. Martha Bigelow, Interim Executive Director of the Educator Development and Research Center

December 15, 2013

TERI Partner Network Day: Induction Partnerships

At the December 13 event, there was a breakout session on Induction: Mentoring and Support for new teachers. The session focused on the important role of liaisons to support the induction continuum from pre-service through in-service. Currently, there are six liaisons in partner district schools; Highland Park Middle and Senior High, Southwest High, Earle Brown Elementary, Dowling Elementary, Hall Elementary and Lucy Laney Elementary.


Breakout session participants discuss TERI partnerships.

The liaisons' role is to supervise, mentor and support the teacher candidates and coach the cooperating teachers as mentors. They observe practice, support co-teaching, and hold new teacher support sessions. All of the liaisons are assigned to work at one site and focus on supporting teacher development by working with the leadership teams, supporting PLC's and offering PD sessions.

The liaisons were able to share stories of success and challenges during the session. A highlight was when one liaison shared that she had co-observed a teacher candidate teaching a lesson with the cooperating teacher. During the post-conference, she shared with the teacher candidate that she could continue to grow in the area of differentiation. The cooperating teacher said that he could also work on differentiation strategies, so they could do it together. This story shows the impact that coaching from liaisons can have on both pre-service and in-service teachers.

Current liaisons: Tiffany Moore (MPS/UMN-TC Induction Coordinator); Marjorie Nadler (Lucy Laney Liaison), Mary Mandel (Earle Brown Liaison), Shaun Flandrick (Southwest Liaison), Danaya Franke (Highland Park Jr/Sr. Liaison).

TERI Partner Network Day: IPad Integration

Terry Wyberg (CEHD faculty) and Jim McComas-Bussa (RHS teacher) shared how the iPad integration in Math at RHS has expanded to peer-coaching using technology. Jim is pictured on the right co-facilitating the discussion with TERI Partner School and CEHD representatives.


TERI Partner Network Day: Progress Report

Deborah Dillon, TERI's co-PI and Associate Dean of Graduate, Professional, and International Programs in CEHD, presented an overview of our progress on areas of focus as a network these past 3-4 years. 2013TERI_PartnerNetworkEventDec13.pdf
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TERI Partner Network Day: Collaborative Conversations

103 individuals registered to attend the TERI Partner Network Day on Friday, December 13th. Nearly half of the attendees were district and school level teams from our six partner districts (Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Forest Lake, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and White Bear Lake). One of our charter partner sites, Laura Jeffrey Academy, was also represented. Download agenda for details: December13_2013FinalAgendaShortVersion.pdf


CEHD dean Jean Quam started the day by welcoming all participants and identifying what each has contributed to the TERI Partner Network in the last 3-4 years. She expressed gratitude to each in an overview. Read below or download here: DeanQuamGratitude4TERIDecember13_2013.pdf

December 14, 2013

Elementary education and school partner sites meet

On December 13th many elementary and K-8 principals, instructors, supervisors, and teachers representing both our university courses and our partner schools engaged in conversation about next steps. This very committed group of people are working collaboratively to prepare the best adaptive experts for today's schools. Great support remains for our yearlong clinical placement yet many elements that are already in place need improvement. The group discussed what to do collectively and at school sites to deepen the partnership in ways that are win-win-win-win for U of M faculty, elementary school faculty, U of M teacher candidates, and the k-6 students we are all teaching.


Elementary and K-8 principals representing four districts (White Bear Lake Area Schools, Forest Lake Area Schools, Columbia Heights, and Minneapolis) engage in cross-district conversations at the TERI Partner Network Day.

Submitted by Kathy Byrn, Elementary Education Clinical Placement Coordinator

December 6, 2013

TERI holds December mentor training

The TERI program held another mentor training on Thursday, December 5th. Each partner district invited a team to attend the training, which was facilitated by the TERI Induction Coordinator, Tiffany Moore. The focus of the day was the current state of induction programming in the state of Minnesota. Every year, MDE collects data from each school district to tell the story of statewide induction programming. Each team had the opportunity to work together to discuss the state of their own induction program by using the components of induction from the Teacher Support Partnership (TSP) handbook. TSP is a group of representatives from the University of Minnesota, MSNCU, MDE and EdMN, who have worked tirelessly to advance the work of induction in Minnesota. Visit for more information.


The afternoon consisted of discussion of mentor standards, including mentor recruitment, selection and assessment. The feedback from the partner districts show that the day was a great success, including one district saying that they have changed their entire vision of induction for the 2014-15 school year to include mentoring for all first and second year teachers. Research shows that mentoring and support for two years can affect student achievement, so this is a goal for induction programs.

December 5, 2013

CEHD hosts screening of documentary BULLY

On Wednesday, December 4th Education Minnesota (University of Minnesota Student Chapter) in collaboration with DirecTrack to Teaching and Autism Speaks U-UMN put on a screening of the documentary Bully. The movie, followed by a discussion, attracted over 150 students at the U, despite the snowy conditions. Students who attended ranged from education majors to chemical engineering majors. Families outside of the University also participated in the screening and discussion.

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Many students were moved by the film and innovative ideas were generated during the discussion. As a collective unit, the group discussed the reasons for bullying and ways to stop it. Some shared their personal stories and connections to bullying. The discussion concluded with the group brainstorming ways that bullying could be stopped. Students concluded that awareness was one of the main ways that bullying could be put to an end - not only increased awareness about bullying, but increased awareness of differences and local laws. Also, appropriate training for teachers is a concern as students discussed what role educators play in preventing bullying. In the film, there was a lack of school involvement due to the educators being unsure how to address bullying in their own school.

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As a result of the event, The National Bully Project reached out to the group in search of a partnership. The goal of the partnership will be to reach out to schools in the Twin Cities area to help promote an anti-bully movement and educate both students and teachers about the importance of safe school environments.

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November 5, 2013

Saturday Scholars

The TERI Partner Network was well represented at the November 2nd CEHD Saturday Scholars. Jehanne Beaton and Stacy Ernst presented a session on school district and university collaborations that close gaps for P-12 Learners.


Stacy Ernst and Jehanne Beaton

Roosevelt High School principal Michael Bradley participated in the closing panel along with Brenda Cassellius and moderator Michael Rodriguez. The panel focused on meeting the learning potential of all students.

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Michael Bradley, Brenda Cassellius, and Michael Rodriguez

Over 180 CEHD alumni and friends attended the event. For information on future Saturday Scholars events visit

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