K-State’s College of Education was one of the first 100 Universities to join Operation Educate the Educator, an initiative that is part of Joining Forces developed by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.
Operation Educate the Educator is a nationwide initiative to better support military families by including military-connected students in the definition of diverse populations.
Sandy Risberg, instructor in the department of curriculum and instruction and subject matter expert as a military spouse and parent, explained the benefits. “By including the military child as a diverse population, the faculty will have a better opportunity to train preservice teachers about the military child’s lifestyle and address their unique needs,” Risberg said. “This will also enhance the faculty member’s ability to teach the preservice teachers in the course who are also military-connected. It’s a win-win situation.”
Last semester, Risberg arranged a visit to Fort Riley for curriculum and instruction faculty, including a tour of a model home, elementary school and middle school teen center. “Our faculty needs to have a good concept and connection with the culture and lifestyle of the military-connected student to educate future teachers.”
Risberg is conducting professional development sessions such as “The Military-Connected Child in the Classroom” at area schools. It provides teachers with a glimpse into the culture of the military child and family, the social-emotional cycle that mirrors the deployment cycle, and strategies that can be used with students in the classroom to build resiliency.