National education expert addresses Adams State Boettcher Teacher Residents


"Real teaching is interactive and reciprocal," said nationally recognized education expert, Dr. Pedro Noguera. He gave the keynote luncheon address at a symposium presented May 28-29 by Adams State University's Boettcher Teacher Residency Program. Symposium participants included the second cohort of graduate students in the BTRP, as well as their mentor teachers and area school superintendents and principals.

Offered in collaboration with the Boettcher Foundation and Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC), the program helps prepare teachers for low-income, rural and urban public schools. Adams State joined the partnership in 2012 and is the sole educational partner in awarding master's degrees for program participants across the state. At the symposium, Boettcher Foundation President Tim Schultz presented an award to Adams State president David Svaldi, in appreciation of his work to establish the BTRP at Adams State.

Boettcher Foundation President Tim Schultz (right) thanks President Svaldi for his work to establish the Boettcher Teacher Residency Program at Adams State.

The evening of May 29, teacher licensure was conferred on the 63 graduate students who recently completed their residency year at schools in the San Luis Valley and southeastern Colorado, the Durango region, and urban Denver. After spending the past academic year working alongside a mentor teacher, they will assume a classroom of their own next year. They will then complete a Master of Arts in Education with an endorsement in culturally and linguistically diverse education. Participants will then make a service commitment to teaching in their respective districts.

Excellence & Equity in Education

Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. A sociologist, he focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions. He has written several books and published widely on topics such as urban school reform, education policy, conditions that promote student achievement, the role of education in community development, youth violence, and race and ethnic relations in American society.

His presentation was especially relevant to the Boettcher residents, who work at high-risk schools with culturally and linguistically diverse students. He said it is imperative to combine the educational goals of excellence and equity.

"These two goals are often at odds, but if we are to truly teach all kids, we have to commit to both. If we leave out the kids with the greatest needs, it will only reproduce inequality and cause huge problems for the country," he said, adding, "In this country, we often confuse giftedness with privilege. We can't erase advantages, but we need to be aware of needs."

Pointing out, "The biggest obstacle to improving teaching is the isolation of teachers," he listed five ingredients for successful teaching:

  1. Professional capacity of educators
  2. Coherent curriculum
  3. A culture/climate that supports teaching and learning
  4. Parental involvement
  5. Distributed leadership

"We don't provide teachers with examples of how to meet the needs of all kinds of students," Noguera said, describing the importance of differentiated instruction. "Not all kids learn in the same way or at the same pace. The easiest way to teach - lecturing - is the least effective way to learn."

The best teachers "teach the way kids learn," he said. "Good teachers are well organized, have a command of subject matter, and focus on performance, like a coach. They make learning fun for kids, stimulate them. They also create an environment where it is OK to make mistakes. You'll then find kids supporting each other."

Teaching is both "art and skill," requiring creativity, Noguera added, "Academic engagement is the best classroom management.

Last fall, PEBC was awarded a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Teacher Quality Partnership Grant program. The five-year grant will enable the BTRP program to serve more Colorado school districts and add a focus on training teachers for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).

Boettcher Teacher Residents

Teacher licensure was conferred upon the following Boettcher Teacher Residents:

  • Belinda Apodaca
  • Melissa Armenta
  • Hannah Bowman
  • Nycole Bradshaw
  • Owen Brown
  • Mark Brown
  • Alexis Campbell
  • Brooke Claunch
  • Drew Cool
  • Chrystina Crown
  • Patricia Decoster
  • Alison deKay
  • Nick Dionisio
  • Samuel D'Souza
  • Michiko Essad J
  • ackson Eubank
  • Constance Filipell
  • Andrew Finholt
  • Kyle Forster
  • Robert Foster
  • Margaret Fox
  • Monica Garcia
  • Loraine Glidewell
  • Jolene Goerend O
  • mar Gonzalez
  • Arcelia Griego
  • Travis Hall
  • Kristin Harmon
  • Lindsay Huskey
  • Koli Jamerson
  • Lindsay Jantzi
  • Taylor Johnson
  • Sara Kappel
  • Mark Kimball
  • Rebecca Knox
  • Vicki Kuan
  • Catherine Lawrence
  • Elizabeth Leenhouots
  • Alyssa LeFebre
  • Sarah Lindquist
  • Casey Luebbert
  • Rebecca MacVaugh
  • Anne Mitchell
  • Marcus Mortensen
  • Derrick Parker
  • Alcides Ponciano
  • Ponce Penaloza
  • Brittany Petsche
  • Robert Readmond
  • Bridget Reichelderfer
  • Daniel Runkel
  • Jessica Seal
  • Derek Smith
  • Megan Snead
  • Madison Specht
  • Boone Starr
  • Colton Stephens
  • Kimberly Rae Tibbetts
  • Bruce Velasquez
  • Linda Vigil

By Julie Waechter