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Theory and Practice Blog

Fabiola Fadda-Ginski: A Story of Empowerment Through Language

March 29, 2024

March combines the celebration of National World Language Month with Women's History Month, offering a unique opportunity to spotlight leaders who are shaping the future of education through language and empowerment. We had the privilege of speaking with Fabiola Fadda-Ginski, a beacon of inspiration in the world of language education and the Director of World Language Programs for Chicago Public Schools.

Instructor Spotlight: John O’Connor

March 1, 2024

John O'Connor is an MSEd adjunct instructor currently teaching English at New Trier High School, who has decades of experience in education and a PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. We are sharing his story in celebration of National Reading Month

Dr. Paula Hooper Featured on NPR

August 16, 2023

Dr. Paula Hooper, Assistant Professor of Instruction for MSED, was featured on WBEZ Chicago's NPR segment Reset. She was asked to weigh in on summer learning loss, also known as "summer slide."

Period Positivity Statement

May 24, 2023

Alumna Erin Swank (M.S. Ed, Class of 2021) created this Period Positivity Statement to display in her classroom. Please feel free to download this and hang it in your classroom! Posted in celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day.

School Safety Panel: Learn How Teachers Can Build a Culture of Safety

May 10, 2023

On May 4th, 2023, the Master of Science in Education Program held a panel discussion about violence prevention in schools. Three panelists from local school districts spoke about their approaches to safety and supporting students during and after crises. The panelists included Jadine Chou, Chief of Safety and Security for Chicago Public Schools, Mary Kalou, Assistant Superintendent for Maine Township School District, and Angelica Schab, Director of Family Services for East Maine School District. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Timothy Dohrer, Director of Teacher Leadership and former principal.

Designing a Middle School Classroom

March 15, 2023

Claire Koster (Alumna, B.S. Ed., Class of 2022) writes about how she designed her 7th Grade ELA classroom. Posted in celebration of Middle Level Education Month, 2023.

A Gaggle of Geese: A Guide to Gallant Leaders

February 20, 2023

While leadership posters often boast a majestic picture of the bald eagle, the type of leadership that is more successful is not the watchful eye of a solitary eagle, rather the community of a gaggle of geese. Ironically, although many school mascots are an eagle, the type of school leadership that is truly effective has the spirit of a flock of flying geese.

SEL is Critical for Success, So Why Are We So Critical About It?

February 7, 2023

The fact is that social emotional awareness and competence is not simply an inherent trait. It is knowledge that needs to be taught, acquired, and practiced to achieve success not only on an academic and professional basis, but also in our personal relationships. How can we expect students to learn to manage their emotions, be emotionally intelligent, and problem solve in an appropriate manner when we are not explicitly teaching these skills as a collective community?

Leaders: Are you being disrespected?

August 19, 2022

Are you being disrespected? Maybe. But maybe not. Better to show patience and suss out the truth than assume malintent. Time to stay curious...

Student Spotlight: Rana Becker

June 30, 2022

"I look forward to serving students in a classroom setting while instilling a love of learning. I also want to give students the knowledge and skills they need to be successful as they learn to navigate the world and shape our future." Meet Rana Becker, a secondary social studies candidate in the MSEd program. Rana previously worked as a coordinator and program administrator for a city-run space focused on teen arts, culture, and all-ages music. Read more about Rana's future goals as a social studies teacher.

Practical Empathy

June 15, 2022

Empathy is essential to strong leadership. It is similar to “perspective-taking” and has become nearly synonymous with “care”. A leader who lacks empathy, it is suggested, cannot lead well… at least not for long (McKee et al, 2017; Reiss, 2017).

Practical Empathy: False Consensus

June 15, 2022

True leaders create a vision, pick a direction, then align the motives and needs of their team toward a shared purpose. Alignment with another’s motives and needs takes empathy. In a previous article, we made the case that empathy is essential to effective leadership.

The Real Reason to Teach SEL Skills

May 5, 2022

By teaching social and emotional skills, schools and families are building the skills necessary for success in school, work, and life. These are the building blocks upon which ALL other learning rests!

What is Teacher Leadership?

April 15, 2022

Quite often, I end up explaining teacher leadership through what it is NOT, rather than what it IS.

How Can We Empower Young Girls? An Interview with Asha Ntim

March 18, 2022

In celebration of Women's History Month, we interviewed Asha Ntim, author of the Dark Brown Girl book series and founder of the Chrysalis Program. Read our interview to learn about Asha and her work empowering young girls to love themselves!

Instructor Spotlight: Cheryl D. Watkins

March 4, 2022

"Be open to varying perspectives, anchored in the thought that equity is the foundation, but that justice in education is the 'north star.'" Learn more about Cheryl D. Watkins, instructor in the Teacher Leadership program, and her advice to students.

Lesson Plan: Baldwin and Ellison

February 17, 2022

"As an educator, it’s my responsibility to teach about systemic racism when I teach critical thinking in my classroom." MSEd Instructor and English Teacher Liz Shulman writes about the value of teaching Ellison and Baldwin together to facilitate important classroom discussions.

Staying Connected with Education News

January 12, 2022

I am an avowed “education geek”. I love reading about any issue that impacts schools, teachers, students, and parents. I’ll even read drafts of legislation being proposed in the state capitol and I get all excited when a new 200 page report is issued by the Department of Education! Total. Education. Nerd.

Master's Project Spotlight: Henry Lang

December 8, 2021

How can teachers support students with ADHD? Read about Henry Lang's (MSEd '21) Master's Project “'U the GOAT, u get it': The ELA Teacher’s Role in Supporting Learners Who Have ADHD."

Student Spotlight: Katherine Miles

November 30, 2021

"I am excited to teach and coach, but then I want to take everything I learn in my classroom to our government to advocate for our students and teachers." Meet Katherine Miles, a secondary social sciences candidate in the MSEd program. Read more about Katherine's goals as a future teacher, coach, and leader in education.

Student Spotlight: Miles Meijer

November 16, 2021

"I believe that language learning is a central foundation for building a future that is more empathetic, more understanding, and more equitable." Meet Miles Meijer, a Spanish K-12 Education candidate in the MSEd program. Miles previously worked in higher education in residential life. Read more about Miles's goals as a future Spanish teacher, and his experience in the MSEd program!

Student Spotlight: Priyana Kumar

November 9, 2021

"Teaching, to me, is not about getting students to worry about achieving a good grade, but to practice self-growth." Meet Priyana Kumar, a Secondary Math Education candidate in the MSEd program. Priyana previously graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Read more about Priyana's goals as a future math teacher and leader in STEM education, and her experience in the MSEd program!

The Call for Compassionate Discipline

November 2, 2021

Though the concepts might seem paradoxical, it is clear that both compassion and discipline are needed to get systems of education back on track.

Student Spotlight: Pilar Ricke Zegers

October 26, 2021

"As educators, we plant the seed but students make it grow." Meet Pilar Ricke Zegers, an Elementary Education candidate in the MSEd program. Originally from Chile, Pilar previously worked as an art teacher. Read more about Pilar's goals as an elementary educator and her experience starting this year in the MSEd program!

Master's Project Spotlight: Karolyn Walch Cutler

October 6, 2021

History teachers have the power to choose whose stories they wish to emphasize and which sources they want to invite into the classroom. Read about Karolyn Walch Cutler's (MSEd '21) Master's Project, "'I think everyone should stand up for people': Examining the Impact of Centering Marginalized Voices in a Middle School Social Studies Classroom."

Teachers Believe in SEL

October 1, 2021

A new study reports that more teaches than ever are implementing SEL programming and belive it can improve student lives and learning. But is belief enough?

Master's Project Spotlight: Nikki Whittern

September 22, 2021

If I allow students to choose between meaningful formative activities, how will this impact student learning? Read about Nikki Whittern's (MSEd '21) Master's Project "Looping through learning: Influence of choice on student learning through meaningful formative activities in the 11th grade science classroom."

The Anti-Racist Professional Learning Community

August 11, 2021

Teacher Leaders Virginia Nguyen and Stacy Yung share how to integrate anti-racist pedagogy into your Professional Learning Communities ahead of their two part online workshop on Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture, history, and resources in your classroom.

Master's Project Spotlight: Kelsey Morton

August 4, 2021

How can teachers make mindfulness activities more meaningful for first graders, and will doing so increase student participation in those activities? Read about Kelsey Morton's (MSEd '21) Master's Project "In the Minds of First Graders: Understandings of Mindfulness and Engagement in Calm Classroom Activities."

Master's Project Spotlight: Sarah Purow-Ruderman

July 27, 2021

For her Master's Project "Discussing & Questioning: Examining Possible Mechanics of Reading Enjoyment," Sarah Purow-Ruderman (MSEd '21) researched whether two popular classroom techniques would make students more interested in reading.

The Intersection of SEL and DEI in Our Schools

June 11, 2021

As we reconceptualize schools in the 2021-2022 school year, it is clear that equity and mental health need to be at the core of our reconceptualization. Read more from Timothy Dohrer, Director of Teacher Leadership.

Developing Teachers as Mentors in New Teacher Induction

April 29, 2021

New teacher induction has become more popular across the United States and is proving to be effective in reducing teacher turnover. Schools need to become better at training teachers as Mentors through high-quality professional learning and a focus on instructional coaching.

Leading from the Front of the Classroom

March 31, 2021

A few years ago, I was lucky to be invited to a summit on teacher leadership set up by the Department of Education and a number of educational organizations.

Objective Grace: A Practical Guide

March 24, 2021

Leaders – everyone within an organization, for that matter – will want to incorporate Objective Grace. It is connected to empathy. It is essential for complex problem solving. And once you get good at it, it makes day-to-day interactions feel a whole lot better.

Student Spotlight: Ali Lidbury

February 19, 2021

We are so excited to feature Ali Lidbury in this week's Student Spotlight! Ali comes to the MSEd program having previously studied musical theatre and has worked as an independent dance contractor and as a substitute teacher. As a career changer, Ali is excited to teach students Secondary History. Read on to find out more about Ali's journey!

Student Spotlight: Michelle Ryoo

February 9, 2021

Everyone, please give a virtual welcome to Michelle Ryoo! Michelle is in her second year of the MSEd program, studying to teach students Secondary Biology. Take a moment to read about Michelle's journey through the program and her goals as a STEM educator.

Student Spotlight: Michelle Foster Everly

January 21, 2021

We are so excited to feature another student spotlight, this time highlighting Michelle Foster Everly! Michelle started the MSEd program in the fall and is concentrating on teaching students Secondary Mathematics. Please welcome Michelle and read on to learn more about what brought Michelle to the MSEd program and all that she is looking to achieve within education and beyond.

Surviving and Thriving in a Remote World

October 2, 2020

As we come to terms with our new "normal", read Dr. Tim Dohrer's thoughts on how we can all move beyond survival mode and find ways to experience the joy of learning and connecting.

E-Learning for Children: A Plan for Families and Caregivers Part I

August 10, 2020

Adjunct Teaching Instructor in SESP Teacher Education Program at Northwestern University Dr. Bahareh Sahebi shares supportive strategies for a smoother transition to distance learning, and to help adults meet the needs of the children in their care.

Mindfulness in the Classroom

February 14, 2020

See how Sarah Crawford, a current Teacher Leader candidate, has implemented mindfulness into her classroom!

Student Spotlight: Tianzhou Ye

December 13, 2019

Tianzhou is a member of the MSEd Teacher Leader program and is a current Mandarin teacher (and previous Latin teacher) in Chicago.

Graduate Assistant Blog: Tanya Trivedi

December 2, 2019

What makes the MSEd community fascinating, are the different ways in which we all find our way here. Read about Graduate Assistant Tanya Trivedi's journey here! Tanya is a current member of the MSEd community and a future English and Economics teacher.