TeachLINK Revised
Making the Connections
Issue: # 6
Fall 2012
The Oklahoma Teacher Connection 
 A Division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
A Message From the Former Director:

New Beginnings!


What a pleasure it's been implementing the TeachLINK E-newsletter and helping with its publication for the past couple of years!  This note is a quick good-bye since I have now changed positions (I'm an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Central Oklahoma for those of you who might not know).


Thank you for your past contributions and for the readership of this publication.  Our initial mission was simple:  Provide an outlet for positive stories about our wonderful university teacher preparation programs.  So... in that vein, university folks, please keep up the submissions!  We can never have too many positive stories about the outstanding candidates, programs, and graduates of our institutions!  Now more than ever, your stories are needed. 


I'm also happy and honored to introduce you to my former colleague and now successor, Mrs. Goldie Thompson, the new Director of Teacher Education and the Oklahoma Teacher Connection at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. I am more than comfortable leaving this E-newsletter in her capable hands.  Of course, none of this publication could happen without the hard work of the editor, Deena Thomas!  Thanks so much to both of you ladies!


Have a great school year, and enjoy this edition of the TeachLINK! I know I will...


Lisa signature


A Message From the OTC Director


The fall semester is coming to a close and, as we enter the holiday season, it is important to reflect upon the positive work being done in education.  In this edition of the TeachLink, it is our hope that you are inspired and encouraged by the passion Oklahoma educators bring to this prestigious field.  

Smaller image of Goldie
Goldie Thompson,
Director of Teacher Education and the Oklahoma Teacher Connection

 Also, I'd like to introduce our newest staff member, Melissa Michie. Melissa is a former Oklahoma City Public Schools elementary teacher, who will serve as the Oklahoma Teacher Connection Coordinator.  Please join me in welcoming Melissa.  


Melissa Michie

Melissa Michie,

OTC Coordinator


Finally, we hope that you enjoy reading about the vast array of activities taking place across our state to help improve teaching and learning.  As always, the field of education is ever changing and the work we do in this profession must always reflect what is best for our state.  As we continue this journey together, I look forward to working with each of you in collaborative partnerships to support educators and students throughout Oklahoma.





Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!




new goldie signature 

Goldie Thompson 

From the Editor's Desk


Greetings Colleagues,

Welcome to the fall 2012 edition of TeachLINK! The Oklahoma Teacher Connection is excited to announce three new features.   

Deena pic
Deena Thomas, Editor
First, as we venture out into new territory, we have embedded the Professional Oklahoma Educators' new video, Teachers Care,  a digital message that speaks volumes. 

And finally, we take great pleasure in parading two new feature columns, tagged Synthesizing the Practice and Creating New Discoveries, borrowing an old version and a new version from Bloom's Taxonomy terms to leverage  Oklahoma's incredible teacher preparation process , as well as the results driven clinical practices mastered in common education.

Creating New Discoveries will premiere in the spring, which will feature educators, who make their own dreams happen - Proactive and Progressive!

As always, the TeachLINK is your vehicle of communication, and we enjoy showcasing Oklahoma's teacher education programs and initiatives.

Making the Connections,

 Deena signature




Synthesizing the Practice


Muskogee High School Recognized as Oklahoma's First State and National School by the Character Education Partnership

Data Driven Results Highlight Success


In 2011, Muskogee High School has been named and celebrated as Oklahoma's first 2012 State and National School of Character - an honor driven by data, transforming a school culture.


"We don't have a curriculum. It is not about what you buy. It's about who you become," according to Madison Tomlinson, Director of Leadership and Character Development.


Muskogee High School has become the recipient of the Character Education Partnership (CEP) in Washington, D.C., and the Character Education Partnership of Oklahoma awards, receiving three Promising Practice awards in addition to the State and National awards. CEP has also rendered to the Muskogee School District another eleven Promising Practice awards, recognizing the district and its other schools for their innovative practices to develop good character in K-12 students.


Accolades for Promising Practices in character education have gone to  Muskogee High School, Sadler, Whittier, and Pershing elementary schools, and the Rougher Alternative Academy (RAA). RAA also received an Honorary State School of Character in 2012, positioning the school one step closer to being named and recognized as the nation's first alternative school of Character Education.


Conquering Challenges, Changing the Mindset

Left to right: Jack Reavis, Debi Gould, Michelle Perkins, Diane Walker, Troy Stoutermire, and Baylee Williams.


There are four signature promising practices Muskogee is known for, and they are the Lesson Plan: Creating Classroom Rules; R.A.I.D. - Roughers Alliance for Intelligent Decisions 2011; and Rougher 300 Club 2012.


However, according to Tomlinson and Sheril Morgan, Muskogee High School's Prevention Specialist, the premiere program that sets Muskogee a part, changing the mindset of the students and their community is the Advocacy Program.


Defying all odds of homelessness, poverty, addictions, low test scores, and virtually, operating in survival mode, the Muskogee High school and its district has changed the culture of their schools and community, according Tomlinson.


"The single most phenomenal instrument of change is our Advocacy program, and it doesn't take up any class time," Tomlinson said.


"Advocacy is my most valuable part of the week. We create our family; it's as though we adopt the students," Morgan said.


Morgan explained during their Advocacy program time, teachers build their group, blending low performing and high performing students, creating one family, and together, they participate in team building, forming a bond with their family members.


"We check to see if the student is going to class. How the grades are going. Where they are with their credits, preparing for college, test prep, and we talk about what's going on in their world. We share stories, because we all have stories where we've been through some things, but we overcome our challenges. We form a support group, and if they face challenges, then we are there for them," Morgan said.


A Changed Climate and Culture


The Advocacy Program began with 15 teachers and 150 students in 2008; however, today, the program's involvement has mushroomed to 105 teachers, administrators, and over 1200 students, a 600 percent overflow. 


R.O.A.D. Respect, Opportunity, Achievement, and Determination


Muskogee administrators say their success is also attributed to operating from their Character Education theme - R.O.A.D., Respect, Opportunity, Achievement, and Determination in collaboration with the state and national CEP's 11 Principles of Effective Character Education.


Implementation of 11 principles has resulted in improved attendance and test scores; a culture of caring; increased student involvement in school activities; decreased behavioral problems; increased parental involvement with schools; and improved community perception of schools.


"Our entire school district and community has changed, and our superintendent, Mike Garde, and Muskogee High School's principal, Dewayne Pemberton, whole heartily endorse and support Character Education. We have improved the learning environment for all students by implementing CEP's 11 Principles of Effective Character Education," Tomlinson said.  


As a result, the data reports show that Muskogee has enjoyed improved student achievement, attendance, and behavior. More students are members of the national honor roll, and the school has made sizable academic gains on ACT scores, as well as EOIs.


Data Driven Results


Since Muskogee implemented Character Education in 2001 with 10 Character Clubs, the data backs up and validates that the practice has changed the public's perception about the school, heightened student achievement, and significantly reduced behavioral incidents, cultivating a school culture marked for success.


End of Instruction


From 2008 through 2012, Muskogee High School's End of Instruction (EOI) percentages improved in all seven core subject areas across the board. Freshmen and sophomore honor roll students swelled by 87 percent.




Attendance improved by 4 percent since 2006.


Behavior: Incident Reports


The number of behavior incident reports show that suspensions decreased by 21 percent from 2008 to 2009, and that number continued to drop by 47 percent between 2009 through 2011, producing an overall 58 percent suspension reduction since 2008.


From 2008 through 2012, the Roughers have seen a 45 percent reduction in security contact, and from 2008 through 2010, fighting conflicts were cut in half. However, the most encouraging data report surfaced in 2012, citing a 104 percent reduction in fighting referrals from 2008 through 2012.


Relationship Building Key


Jack Reavis, Diane Walker, and Debi Gould, all teachers, agree that the reform Muskogee now enjoys is because of relationships - relationships between students, teachers, administrators, parents, the community at large, and throughout the country.


"When we first began the Advocacy Program, I was astounded in a good way and in a bad way that parents found out information about their children that they didn't even know, just by opening up and joining the conversation," Walker said.


Baylee Williams is a senior at Muskogee High School and a student advocate stated, "I am overjoyed and excited to visit other states and attend conferences and hear people from around the country say that you go to a good school."


Representatives from the award winning Muskogee High School will be the featured keynotes at the upcoming 2013 Summer Institute for Teacher Candidates, scheduled for July 11, 12, and 13 in 2013 at Oklahoma City's Bricktown Hampton Inn. 

OTC News


Uncommon Teaching Practices Make for Purposeful Writing


The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments, the high quality common set of K-12 assessments that measures the Common Core Standards will alter how in-service and pre-service teachers teach writing in an uncommon way.


"The biggest challenge in teacher education today is getting people unstuck from the practices that they have experienced. Teaching writing really does need to look different now," Dr. Nell Duke said.


Duke, a professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Michigan, was the fifth annual reading conference keynote speaker this past fall.


The 2000 International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation of Year Award recipient addressed this year's theme, Writing Across the Curriculum, advocating that there are four relevant themes critical to the success of PARCC. 

Nell Duke Reading Conf
Dr. Nell Duke, Professor of Language,         Literacy, and Culture University of Michigan


A Different Preparation Process Needed


Jump starting the PARCC discussion, Duke coined her own theme, Purposes Worth Writing For, explaining that Schools of Teacher Education across the country must take a different approach to how they prepare pre-service teachers to teach writing.


"We have got to help teach teachers how to teach writing differently than the way they were taught," Duke said.


Popular Curriculum Not Meeting the Needs


Secondly, Duke stressed that it is equally important to also help the current teachers, the master teachers, and the pre-service teachers move forward in their pedagogy.


"Current popular writing curriculum approaches, while they have much strength and are packaged well are not good enough for meeting the Common Core State Standards in writing, and they are not good enough to motivate our kids to become lifelong writers," Duke said.


A Better Understanding of Text


Thirdly, more needs to be done to help educators know more about text, according to Duke. "We must do more in teaching text, and I'm saying that I must do more in my own teaching as well," she said.


Ted reading 2
Mr. Ted Gillispie, the Former Executive Director of the Oklahoma Commission
for Teacher Preparation, paid tribute to
the late Dr. Teena Nations for her 
tireless work supporting education.
Nations passed away on August 4. The conference was dedicated to honor the woman and her work.

The Harvard graduate said teachers lack knowledge about genre in general, and its specific features and characteristics, as well as the purposes of different kinds of text, and their understanding of text is not where it needs to be.


"As much as we begin to understand the relationships between sounds and letters, which our teachers need to understand, there is also a lot about discourse in which we as teachers need to understand. We just haven't been able to address these issues in our teacher education programs," Duke added.


To model and illustrate her point, Duke asked the audience to examine three different types of text, asking why would a reader would read each text - a cookbook recipe, a novel, and an informational text, and what types of challenges would a reader face?


In general, Duke said, "research shows that readers read the different types of texts in different ways, but now, we know what goes on in the mind of a good reader, the processes are quite different. To better understand the processes, we need to move to a more genre sense of teaching."


Integrate Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening


Finally, Duke noted that educators must target, incorporate, and align their instruction with reading, writing, speaking, and listening, which extends ideas found in text and demonstrates fluency and comprehension in reading.


"All around the country, our schools are separating out reading and writing, and we know that's not the way to go. We've got to do more to integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening," Duke said.


Relevant Service Projects Enhance the Learning Experience


The reoccurring theme of re-teaching all teachers a new writing pedagogy served as the focal point of the discussion. However, the uncommon practice Duke weaved into the conversation was how student driven service learning projects, shifted and shaped students' learning into a personal, more relevant, and life altering experience inside and outside of the classroom.


One example Duke shared was a story about two Girl Scouts, who discovered that palm oil was an ingredient in Girl Scout cookies. "Palm oil is almost single handedly responsible for the destruction of the Orangutan monkey, and they set out to persuade the Girl Scout organization to stop using palm oil in their Girl Scout cookies," Duke said.


In their pursuit to stop the use of palm oil in Girl Scout cookies, Duke explained that the two conducted research, interviewed people, created a website, they were on public radio, and they garnered wide range news coverage.


"This is persuasive writing. How can we create situations in our classrooms where kids can create this type of learning? Service learning projects actually impact reading comprehension and effectiveness, saving teachers an enormous amount of instructional time, while kids engage in valuable life lessons learned," Duke said.


         Elaine Hutchison  Named the 2013 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year


State Superintendent, Janet Barresi announced Elaine Hutchison as the 2013 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year in September at in the Carriage Hall at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. 


OKTOY 2013
        State Superintendent, Dr. Janet Barresi congrats Elaine   Hutchison for being selected as the 2013 OKTOY - Photo compliments of the Oklahoma State Department of Education

Hutchison, the 19 year veteran, is an Algebra II, trigonometry, pre-calculus and AP calculus teacher who splits her time between Fairview High School and Chamberlain Middle School in the Fairview Public Schools District and the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Regional Center.



Professional Oklahoma Educators


Teachers CARE


In a statewide effort to celebrate and say thank you to Oklahoma teachers, the Professional Oklahoma Educators have managed to capture a glimpse of the unconditional commitment educators' exhibit statewide on a daily basis. Please take a few minutes to view the video Teachers Care. 


Oklahoma Teachers Care


Pre-Service Teachers Learn to Combat Bullying By Speaking and Modeling Character Education


Bullying in America's schools has reached epidemic portions, and in some instances, bullying has turned deadly.


Oklahoma, along with 42 other states has passed anti-bullying laws to combat the various facets of the anti-social behavior. The three most prevalent forms of bullying facing schools today are verbal, physical, and the newest form- electronic bullying or better known as cyberspace bullying.


The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in collaboration with Character First, Christian Heritage Academy, Oklahoma City Community College, and the University of Central Oklahoma set out to offset this problematic behavior that has gone viral by honing in on topic at their third annual Summer Institute for Character Education.


Cultivating a Culture of Respect, the conference theme, was the framework for a select group of pre-service teachers from across the state, who attended the training at Bricktown's Hampton Inn this past July.


The Class of MMXII made up of 44 junior and senior level pre-service teacher s came together to learn and explore practical strategies and tools that addressed and dismantled the ill effects of bullying, designed to keep all students, teachers, and administrators safe.


Also, during the three day conference, the future teachers participated in interactive sessions, which provided training on how to bridge cultural differences, build character with praise, classroom management skills, and they gained insight into why bullying is not just a classroom issue.


Choctaw Middle School's, assistant principal, Danny Clifton and Donna O'Neal, Special Education teacher shared research, resources, and engaged the future educators in problem solving activities that involved real life bullying, case studies.


"Bullying is a nationwide problem, but when teachers and administrators are trained to implement strategies, tools, and practices that address, intervene, and prevent bullying, you create a climate of self-respect," Clifton said.

Summer Institute
Southern Nazarene University (SNU)  Summer Institute pre-service teachers show off an iphone photo of SNU professor, Dr. Beverly DeVries, during the  Summer Institute conference banquet held at the Petroleum Club in OKC.  


Alexander Boyd, a University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, said, "I can use what I learned at the Institute when I become a teacher, at my university, with my youth group at church, and within my own life. I want to become the type of teacher who helps my students in and out of the classroom, and Character Education will build those types of relationships, so that I can make that happen."


To live and model a life of Character is a natural progression to speaking character, according Dr. Earlene Smith, character educator and author of Speaking Character.


Each student was given a copy of Speaking Character, a book that informs the reader of how to use the 49 character traits in everyday conversations when talking to others. Throughout the conference, the students engaged in speaking character exercises, allowing them the opportunity to practice and grasp the concept.


"When teachers make speaking character a part of their everyday lives, the practice of speaking character transcends all socioeconomic and cultural divides, creating a universal method of communicating with everyone," Smith said.        



Colleges of Education are Dedicated to Oklahoma's Education Goals


While the approach to educating children is under much debate, the importance and demand for qualified teachers remains certain. The Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE) shares the goal that every child graduate from high school "college, career, and citizen ready" and is dedicated to high-quality education for all student learners.


Each member institution of OACTE has taken the proactive approach of providing every teacher candidate with experiences in a variety of settings that include diverse student populations to reflect real classrooms. These experiences allow candidates to apply and adjust classroom knowledge based on the needs of the students in each setting before they become full-time teachers.


The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO, Oklahoma City University (OC), the University of Tulsa (UT), and Northeastern State University (NSU) have developed programs that specifically target the preparation needs of teachers in urban settings. Oral Roberts University trains teachers in an online virtual experience for students in grades 3-12. UCO participates in a partnership for autistic children, while teacher candidates at Oklahoma Baptist University, Oral Roberts University (ORU), and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma often receive dual certification in fields that prepare candidates for working with children with specialized needs including English language learners, special education students and deaf students. These are only a few examples of the innovations occurring at virtually every program in Oklahoma's teacher preparation institutions.


Oklahoma colleges that prepare teachers understand the challenges involved in helping all children learn. The effort expended is commendable, and Oklahoma's children deserve nothing less.


James Machell, Ph.D., Dean, College of Education and Professional Studies, University of Central Oklahoma and President of the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.


Editorial Policy:


The editorial views printed in the TeachLINK do not necessarily reflect the editorial policies and beliefs of the OTC staff or the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education agency. All submissions must include the author's name and his/her institution. All editorial views are subject to editing; however, every effort will be made to maintain the author's essential meaning.


Bacone University


New Bacone Instructor Inducted Into NBA Hall of Fame


After observing Glenda McClain teaching physical education at the Early Learning Center in Fort Gibson, former Dean, Rosalyn Gates, knew she was observing the best physical education instructor she had ever seen. It was no surprise that McClain had been named Teacher of the Year for the school district during her tenure.


In September of this year, the former physical education teacher and the famed All American Red Heads basketball player along with 62 other former Red Head basketball players were inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.


When McClain announced her retirement, it became Bacone's good fortune that she accepted a position as a teacher education professor. McClain has served as a part-time instructor at the School of Education, teaching methods courses and supervising student teachers in Health and Physical Education since 2004. 

Bacone Basketball Player

Glenda McClain, Bacone Professor

and NBA Inductee


Teacher candidates say that Ms. McClain models on a daily basis the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a highly qualified teacher. They also find her enthusiasm and dedication to her profession are infectious. Teacher candidates not only gain needed knowledge and skills, but gain in self-esteem and self-efficacy through McClain's effective practices.


Bacone professor and her husband, Cleon McClain often attend Bacone's sporting events, supporting her students. Many of her students respect her and have deep affection for her as she is often asked to stand in on senior night for her students' whose parents are unable to travel to the game.


What many would also be surprised to know is that she was a member of the All American Red Heads. The Red Heads were often referred to as the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters, traveling the country playing male basketball teams from 1936 to 1986. McClain was a member of the team from 1971-1975 and served as a player-coach in her final year.


While with the team, the Red Heads won 80-85 percent of their games. Becoming a member of the Red Heads allowed McClain to continue to play the game she loved and travel the country. During that era, scholarships for women were unavailable, prohibiting many to continue playing sports while seeking an education.



This year marked the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, ending inequality in sports, but unfortunately, the Red Heads' were not beneficiaries of the Title IX passage. In 1975, McClain left the Red Heads and completed a Bachelor's and Master 's degrees in Physical Education.


"I am still on cloud 19, it was an amazing experience", McClain said.


All of the students, faculty, and administration are so proud that Glenda McClain and the Red Heads have received the recognition they so deserve.

Cameron University

Cameron Professor's Practice Extends Beyond the Classroom


Stephanie White, an Oklahoma University Instructional Leadership and Curriculum doctoral candidate teaches Early Childhood and Elementary Education courses at Cameron University. She's different in an uncanny way, because she has knack for tying these courses to service learning project that has proven to be extremely beneficial to her pre-service teachers.  


White finds service learning an essential element of teaching. Her students volunteer to read aloud to children in area daycares, churches, and schools, providing models of read aloud strategies, while participating in valuable clinical experience.


White provides feedback to her students through her written reflections, communicating their growth and abilities, as well as praising them for their appropriate literature selections. As an added bonus, White also keeps her students informed, writing notes in their journals, offering counsel, recommendations, and encouraging their emerging confidence in classroom management skills and self-efficacy.


Traditionally, students in a Children's Literature course compile a notebook of book reviews as they are exposed to a variety of genres and high-quality literature for children. However, White's students take the learning experience a step further, entering their assignments into a virtual learning community called Librarything.com.


This fall, White's Children's Literature students contributed 312 book reviews to Librarything.com, the online community, and it is projected that they will contribute approximately 1,100 additional reviews by the end of the semester. These book reviews contain book summaries, personal reactions, and a minimum of two classroom extension ideas.


To learn more about White's service learning initiatives and student outcomes, visit Librarything.com.

Northeastern State University

Health Physical Education Pre-Service Educators Facilitated Non-Traditional Training


Fourteen Northeastern State University (NSU) Health and Physical Education (HPE) students and faculty sponsors Dr. Vanessa Anton, Ms. Dee Gerlach and Dr. Kathy Hixon, presented four sessions teaching skills and strategies in non-traditional physical education activities.  


HPE students Daniel Landaverde (Team Leader), Ryan Dvorak, Dallas McCutcheon, Cristy Nitz, John Petree, and Alan Stroup taught Native American Stickball during two presentation sessions; and  Kassie Kerns (Team Leader), Danny Campbell, Chad Davidson, Preston King, Tyler Lannen, Chance Bates and Rocky Staggs taught non-traditional golf (SNAG--Starting New at Golf) during two sessions to university students, PE teachers, university faculty and other professionals from across the state. 

HPE Pre-service teachers with Dr. Vanessa Anton


As a part of the NSU College of Education framework, students are encouraged and empowered to become educational leaders.  The conference facilitates the importance of offering the future educators opportunities to lead, connect and learn with and from other teachers and students from across the state.


"Go the Distance" was the theme at this year's Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance's state convention held at the University of Oklahoma, on October 15-16, 2012. 


Students from Langston University, Northeastern State University, Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and University of Central Oklahoma, came together to offer 16 Future Professional Skills and Strategies sessions to the conference attendees. 


HPE Students
HPE Golf pre-service teachers


The conference also offered health and physical educators across the state a variety of professional development opportunities with session topics such as Physical Education Curriculum, Common Core Standards, Interdisciplinary Integration, OCTP and NCATE updates, and the Coordinated Approach to Child Health.


 College Connections: KIPP Students Engage in College Coursework at NSU


Northeastern State University College of Education hosted 80 KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory Academy 7th grade students, kicking off their day with an inspirational welcome from President Steve Turner.


Kipp NSU
President, Steve Turner welcome seventh grade KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory Academy students.


They were then guided through their day with the NSU/KIPP outreach coordinator Dr. Allyson Watson. The students engaged in exciting classes and sessions with Dr. Pamela Christol, in "Project Wild, Oh Deer!"


Dr. Mike Wilds and Dr. Dave Madden presented "Forensic Anthropology," and the Cherokee Nation guest presenter, Mr. Robert Lewis, presented "Stories from the Earth."  


Several NSU students, faculty and administrators presented during the informative lunch panel and spoke about the various academic and athletic programs they offer at our institution.


This is the sixth year NSU hosted the KIPP 1st Day of School. The students are always actively engaged in the classes and truly enjoy spending their first day of school on a college campus. NSU is very pleased with the success and the event would not be possible without support from students, faculty and staff from across the university. 


  NSU's Capitola Wadley Reading and Technology Center Opens Fall 2012


A lifelong learner and educator, Capitola "Cappi" Wadley taught her students that anything is possible if they worked hard, studied and applied their intellect. That attitude dominated her life and was the driving force behind the creation of the Capitola "Cappi" Wadley Reading and Technology Center at Northeastern State University, where young students can overcome reading deficiencies and educators can become better prepared to help them learn to read.


Candidates in Northeastern State's education programs provide tutorial assistance to students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in this nearly 7,800 square-foot facility. This facility, made possible by a milestone donation from Gregg Wadley and his wife Dr. Betsy Brackett, honors Wadley's mother, Capitola "Cappi" Wadley, who was a librarian at NSU and a public school teacher.

NSU Reading
Peggs student


Here, candidates gain practical experience working in the clinic under the supervision of Northeastern State faculty, while students from Tahlequah and surrounding communities enrolled at the clinic receive additional instruction in reading and literacy skills.


One week after officially opening, Connie Reilly, Regent for the Regional University System of Oklahoma, toured the Center. Reilly said the great importance of the Wadley Center and other reading clinics is their ability to open children's minds to intellectual realms.


"If students can't read, they can't learn of new places and new ideas and delicious words through books," she said. "In many ways, an inability to read can feel like a prison. If a child can read, they can go beyond physical borders through books and reading and deciding on subjects they want to explore," Reilly said.


Currently, the Cappi Wadley Reading and Technology Center serves over sixty local elementary students. Peggs Public Schools brings children to the Wadley Center every Wednesday morning.


"Bringing tutees to the Cappi Wadley Center makes the tutoring experience an 'event' to which students look forward. My tutee seems motivated by this novelty and special time away from the regular classroom. The small rooms in the center provide a cozy place for one-on-one instruction that allow the student to focus on the task at hand without the interruptions or distractions which might occur if tutoring in the elementary school. I have previously tutored in the cafeteria of a local elementary school and it was very difficult for students to focus in such a large space with other people, announcements, and diversions. The computer in each room allows for the integration of technology (something that is generally not possible when tutoring at the school site) and further motivates students," explained tutor Angela Loyd.


Cappi Wadley
Cappi Wadley Reading Display 

"I, personally, believe that it is also a great opportunity for these students to be exposed to the college environment (even if only a small glimpse). A hidden benefit might be that it removes some of the fear from students' thoughts about higher education and makes it less of an 'unknown.' That could be enough to plant the seed and inspire some students to aim for college when they get older,"she added.


On Thursday evenings, parents and guardians bring their children who attend various elementary schools for tutoring. Bell Public School provides transportation for several of their students to receive tutoring each week. This evening session provides a unique experience for tutors to interact with parents.


"From my perspective," explains reading professor Ingrid Massey, "tutoring on site in the Cappi Wadley Center has been extremely beneficial for both our pre-service teachers and the students within the communities we serve.  Having the ability to interact with both students and parents is of great benefit to our teacher candidates.  In past site-based tutoring experiences, our teacher candidates never had the opportunity to interact with parents, gain insight or additional information, or conference with them as needed.  This opportunity allows our teacher candidates the experience of working directly with parents, discussing the tutoring sessions, each child's individual strengths and needs, and a brief parent-teacher conference at the conclusion of tutoring."


Tammy Runabout, mother of a first grader, states, "As a mother, one of the hardest things to deal with is to see your child struggle. My son would get so frustrated trying to read that it affected his self- confidence and would bring him to tears at times. Since he began tutoring once a week, he has excelled in sounding out his words and has regained his self-confidence. He brings a book home every week from school. Last night, he read his book with very little help. To see the smile on his face when he realized what he had done on his own was priceless."


Another parent, Angela Leach, agrees. "Your program and tutors have inspired my daughter to want to learn to read in the few weeks this past summer when she started participating in your tutoring program. And her love of reading and vocabulary continues to grow with each session this fall. She looks forward to Thursday every week and can't wait to go to her 'reading lesson' as she calls it. I can see her confidence growing as her eyes light up when she's able to read something, understand it and explain what it means. If we could be a fly on the wall during her sessions, I'm sure we'd be even more amazed and further in awe of the quality educators your program is producing."


"This program has been very instrumental for Alec," Angelia Swimmer states. "He is enrolled with Sequoyah's Immersion School and had never read English before beginning this program. In the little time he was there for the summer session and now this one, he has made a tremendous turn around and has really impressed us. You can tell it has boosted his self- confidence and he tries to read more and more now. I think it has been a very remarkable program and I am very thankful for him being accepted into the reading program. He has come a long way in very little time and he is eager to continue on learning and reading."


Recently, the Wadley Center received a $20,000 grant from AT&T to purchase educational technologies, books, and to fund our first Family Literacy Night to be held October 30. Local author and local illustrator, Debbie Duvall and Murv Jacob, will be speaking to area children and their families about their crafts. Tulsa Teachers Credit Union is donating pizza for the event which promises to be the first of many such Family Literacy Nights. Each child in attendance will be given a signed copy of one of Duvall and Jacobs' books.


In addition to our in-depth tutoring services, the Cappi Wadley Reading Center also offers computer assisted learning to community learners and NSU students through the Center for Study of Literacy, an ever growing library of books and audiobooks, and language development through the use of Rosetta Stone language learning software.


Transmedia Transforms Transliteracy - Librarians Create, Collaborate, Circulate, and Connect


Dr. Barbara Ray, chair of the Master of Library and Information Science program at Northeastern State University accompanied 13 library media candidates to the AASL Fall Forum in Greenville, South Carolina, October 12-13.


Transmedia goes beyond the concept of multi-media as it moves across digital platforms, bringing pieces of information to contribute to the whole.  Information is passed along as social connections are made. 


The event was an excellent opportunity for professional development, networking, and hearing about innovative uses of technology from around the country. 


The theme "Transliteracy and the School Library Program" stressed the importance of media literacy and the use of technology to improve what educators do in the classroom; not just using technology to do what they can do with pencil and paper.


When using technology, the conference stressed that librarians should ask if the technology adds value to the work. Time was spent on the concept of a participatory culture that engages all parties and values the ideas of all participants. 


Nationally known speaker Henry Jenkins' model of the 4 C's encouraged all to Create, Collaborate, Circulate, and Connect.


Broken Arrow's NSU Reading Clinic Offers Tutorial Assistance and Essential Training


The Reading Clinic at Northeastern State University (NSU) -Broken Arrow provides tutorial assistance to students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade as part of the NSU undergraduate and graduate reading programs.


NSU education majors gain practical experience working in the clinic under the supervision of university faculty, while students from surrounding communities receive additional instruction in reading and literacy skills.


"The NSU-BA Reading Clinic is essential in preparing our teacher candidates, both graduate and undergraduate, to be excellent teachers of reading," said Dr. Stephen Sargent, associate professor and coordinator for NSUBA Reading Clinic.


 "The Reading Clinic also reaches out to the community, with many families driving in from up to two hours away."


The 5,600-square-foot facility offers various teaching and learning materials, technology, multimedia devices, observation rooms and 20 separate tutoring rooms.


NSU Reading Program
The Dalmatian Organization of Tulsa (D.O.T.) brought dogs to the reading clinic monthly.

The NSU-BA Reading Clinic is a win-win situation. Not only does it help teacher candidates merge theory and practice, but it also allows the university to reach out to the community and help real people in real time with their literacy proficiency," said Sargent.


Sargent said the tutoring program's three main goals are to prevent literacy problems in the early years of school, offer a supplemental instructional program if needed and provide specialized services for those whose problems persist after intervention.


So far this fall, children have celebrated "National Watermelon Month" in August, enjoying hearing stories about watermelons and tasting fresh melons from Rush Springs. To celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday in September, children compared apple juice and cider, tasted homemade applesauce, and listened to stories about apples. For October's observance of Fire Prevention Month, Broken Arrow Fire Chief Jeff Van Dolah came to speak to the children on fire prevention and share a story with the children. Lastly, the Dalmatian Organization of Tulsa (D.O.T.) brought several well-trained Dalmatians to the clinic for Fire Prevention Month. They shared information about dog care and let each child read a story to a Dalmatian.


Affordable and local, the NSUBA Reading Clinic provides each child with an array of assessment strategies to determine the child's skill level. Once the child is assigned a professional tutor, lessons are individually designed to meet the needs and interests of each child.


"This service also gives tips for parents such as how to work with spelling words, picking out reading books for the child and getting the child to do basic writing at home," said Sargent. 

"I am confident that the NSUBA Reading Clinic one of the most unique reading facilities in the country, helping NSU to prepare the best qualified teachers of reading in the area," said Sargent. "Teachers who have experiences in the clinic repeatedly return saying that this made a huge impact in how they learn to teach children to read."


In 2011-2012, more than 350 children were served through the NSUBA Reading Clinic. Over the past ten years, NSU's undergraduate and graduate students have tutored more than 3,500 students.


The Reading Clinic is in the Education Building at NSUBA. For additional information about the tutoring program contact Clinic Director, Dr. Stephan Sargent, at (918) 449-6513. 

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Educators Convene at Northwestern for Common Core Standards Training


In a cooperative effort with Northwest Technology Center, more than 200 educators met at Northwestern Oklahoma State University to undergo a Common Core State Standards workshop to learn more about how to implement the state's new set of standards and assessments.


NWOSU Conference
Sue Gendron with the International Center for Leadership in Education recently led a workshop for area educators regarding the Common Core standards. Northwest Technology Center and Northwestern collaborated to plan and play host the event.


Educators from Alva, Burlington, Aline-Cleo, Fairview, Cherokee, Waynoka, Canton, Freedom, and Northwest Tech participated in the interactive workshop, featuring Sue Gendron from the International Center for Leadership in Education.


The professional development opportunity was made possible by a Tech Prep Grant in collaboration with Northwest Technology Center. The training was designed with all educational staff in mind, encompassing instructors, administrators, guidance staff and assessment staff to heighten their awareness to the tools, strategies, and requirements needed for the current instructional programs.


Gendron's education career spans 38 years, leading professional development trainings and consulting services for local districts, state education departments, and International Centers.


The International Center for Leadership in Education was established by Dr. William Daggett. The center actively recruits numerous nationally recognized education leaders, such as Gendron, to conduct conferences, provide professional development opportunities, and leadership trainings to improve all aspects of the educational process.

Oklahoma City University

                         Connecting Across Cultures Provide Urban Insight


For a second year in a row, a grant from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education has made it possible for Oklahoma City University to host Connecting Across Cultures 2.0, scheduled for Friday,  February 8, 2013. 


The conference 2.0 will focus on helping teacher candidates learn specific strategies for working effectively and respectfully with students from different cultures, featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Donna Gollnick, a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) consultant and former president of the National Association for Multicultural Education

Dr. Donna Gollnick

Gollnick, the co-author of the text, Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society, will also help facilitate the discussion about the difficult issues facing urban education.


Due to the overwhelming response from last year's conference, Oklahoma City University found it increasingly important to bring to Oklahoma's teacher education programs a professional development opportunity for those, who are seeking ways to broaden their teacher candidates' perspectives.


The Connecting Across Cultures 2.0 conference promises to inform teacher candidates about specific strategies to increase the effectiveness of their work with urban students, and to inspire future educators to work with diverse student populations.


Urban schools are in need of highly skilled effective teachers; however, the number of master teachers within urban schools is dwindling. With the proper support and training like that of Connecting Across Cultures, districts across the state hope to retain master in-service educators.


In turn, urban schools offer teachers the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of children from diverse backgrounds.    


For further information, please contact Dr. Lisa Lawter (405-208-5669; llawter@okcu.edu) or Dr. Liz Willner (405-208-5935; ewillner@okcu.edu).

Oklahoma State University

OSU Urban Teaching Institute Partner with TPS to Offer Future Educators  a Unique Urban Experience  


The Oklahoma State University (OSU) Urban Teaching Institute and Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) will partner to offer their pre-service teachers special preparation for teaching in an urban environment.


Dr. Robin Fuxa, an OSU elementary education clinical assistant professor and the program coordinator, who facilitates the urban program, was recently highlighted in the COE Magazine, Education, which can be accessed by


www. education.okstate.edu/publications.


Interested applicants will undergo an application and interview process, which will be jointly conducted by OSU and TPS. If selected, the successful candidates will complete all of their field experiences and student teaching in an urban setting, as well as participate in additional professional development activities specifically designed for urban education. Upon graduation, these students will be offered a priority status interview with TPS.  


Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard said, "The Urban Institute partnership with Oklahoma State University is an unprecedented revolutionary initiative. It is bringing the considerable talent of OSU to TPS and assuring there is an effective teacher in every classroom. In order for a teacher to be prepared to teach in the urban setting, they must understand the challenge. The Urban Teaching Institute prepares teachers in a new and thorough way. We are fortunate to have this partnership."


Dr. Christine Ormsbee, chief architect for the program said, "You don't give up. You think, 'I've got to find a way to motivate that child to learn.' You have to keep on them, keep finding ways to get them interested. You have to recognize your job as a teacher is not just in the four walls of that classroom. You have to be engaged in that child's community. You have to understand that community. You have to bring the family into that process. You have to realize they're going to give what they can give, and you have to help them do that."


Faculty interested in more information about OSU's Urban Teaching Institute should contact Dr. Fuxa at robin.fuxa@okstate.eduor 918.594.8275. 

University of Central Oklahoma

Central's Pre-Service Teachers Played a Pivotal Role in the Nationalization Ceremony


The American Democracy Project hosted the 2012 Naturalization Ceremony at the University of Central Oklahoma, where 118 individuals became U.S. citizens, and teacher candidates played a pivotal role to facilitate the event.


Before the ceremony, the new citizen applicants were required to arrive at the university by 9 a., for processing and many brought their families. During which time, early childhood teacher candidates, under the direction of Dr. Kelly Baker provided educational games and activities for the children while they waited with their families to undergo the big event. This experience allowed teacher candidates an opportunity to work with a vast array of nationalities.


After the ceremony, teacher candidates representing the Foundations of American Education course, under the leadership of Drs. Susan Scott, Jennifer Endicott and Mrs. Alissa Crawford, passed out hand written note cards to each new citizen welcoming them as fellow citizens.


The notes were written by students in the course prior to the event, tying directly to the course's objectives covering cultural diversity and current issues in education. The note card provided teacher candidates the opportunity to reflect upon what it means to be a U.S. citizen, as well as heightening their sensitivity and awareness for diverse populations. The activity also provided the candidates a chance to enhance their communication skills.


Citizenship Begins with Me, a children's book written and designed by a number of former UCO teacher candidates was given to each new citizen's family at the conclusion of the ceremony. The book continues to be used as a multi-disciplinary service learning project. 

UCO Graduate Student Earns Fullbright Scholarship to Study in Morocco


Article and photo compliments of UCO University Relations


University of Central Oklahoma graduate student Rebekah Stone will spend part of the new school year in Morocco after being awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship in an English Teaching Assistantship.


The 23-year-old Tulsa native will teach English approximately 20 hours a week at a university in Oujda, located in the eastern part of Morocco. While pursing her master's in secondary education at Central, Stone became interested in international development and education, particularly in the Mddle East and the relation to gender disparity in education.

revised fullbright
UCO graduate, Rebekah Stone, recently received a Fulbright U.S.Student Program scholarship in an English Teaching Assistantship that will take her to Morocco to teach English at a local university.

"This experience will not only transform me by enhancing my resume and opening doors to opportunities I would have never sought before, but it will transform the way I think and act in a way that only immersing oneself in another culture can do," she said.


"When I received the Fulbright, I felt as though the hard work I put into my studies had paid off because I am now being sent across the world to do what I love most, travel and teach."


The Middle East isn't new ground for Stone. In 2009 she spent the summer in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank interning at a local Palestinian non-governmental organization that works to increase non-violent communication between Israeli and Palestinian youth.


"I completely fell in love with Middle Eastern culture that summer. The land is breathtaking and the food is amazing, but the thing that draws me to the area the most is the people. The unceasing hospitality that you find in the Middle East is incomparable to any other place I've been."


Her professors in Central's secondary education program agree that Stone has a tremendous opportunity through this award.


"I'm very excited Ms. Stone was selected for this experience. She is a remarkably perceptive and disciplined student who I'm certain will be transformed academically and culturally during her studies in Morocco," said Bryan Duke, Ph.D., assistant dean and director of teacher education in Central's College of Education and Professional Studies.


"We are proud she represents Central. I know she will make the most of this opportunity."


Stone is one of over 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2012-13 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.


The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.


For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://fulbright.state.gov



The Oklahoma Teacher Connection, a division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, will electronically publish the TeachLINK E-newsletter three times a year.


The purpose of the E-Newsletter is to promote, market, and showcase news stories, creative features, curricular highlights, research data, and technological updates, which impact Oklahoma's Colleges of Teacher Education, common education, higher education faculty, students, and communities.


We welcome all comments, opinions, and/or concerns. Please forward your remarks to Deena Thomas at dthomas@osrhe.edu

In This Issue
A Message From the Former Director
A Message From the OTC Director
From the Editor's Desk
Synthesizing the Practice
OTC News
Campus News: Cameron University
Campus News: Northeastern State University
Campus News: Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Campus News: Oklahoma City University