Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dean's Message - November 2014

Yesterday, we removed the fall leaves from our display in the dean's office, and replaced them with snowflakes.  This was yet another reminder--as if the bracing cold was not enough--that the winter season is upon us.

Despite the change in the season, the College of Education is a hot house of activity.  Just last week, we signed a new partnership agreement with Hoover Math and Science Academy in Schaumburg, yet another step toward the redesign of our elementary education program.  A few weeks earlier, we were invited by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport in Madrid, Spain to once again submit a proposal for a summer institute for teachers.  In the last month, our faculty, staff, and administrators have organized tutoring opportunities, completed annual reports for the State of Illinois, registered and placed students for Spring 2015 courses, and discussed and approved proposals for modifying curriculum and assessment procedures.  Our student teachers have piloted a new evidence-based assessment called edTPA, and our students have engaged actively in classroom activities, observations, and practice teaching.  Our commitment to advancing deep and democratic student learning is undiminished, even in the face of cold and retreating light.

Next month, we will honor our passion and effort in the form of two community-wide events.  On December 4th, we will host Student Teacher Honor Ceremonies at each campus, and on December 12th we will host a Holiday and Commencement Celebration.  All COE students, faculty, alumni, and community partners are invited to these two events.  I hope that you will be able to join us for one or both, and share in the joy that we feel as a result of all that has been accomplished and the potential that  is yet to come.

“Thy breath be rude," William Shakespeare famously said of winter in his play As You Like It.  Our commitment in the College of Education is not to follow suit, but rather to give thanks each and every day for all that we have and the many opportunities that we create for learning, growth, and transformation.  We are indeed fortunate to be a part of a community that, for all its imperfections, nevertheless works determinedly to make the world a better place. 

My best wishes for a very relaxing and peaceful Thanksgiving--

Tom Philion                                                                          
Dean, College of Education                                         
Roosevelt University                                                              

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