Kansas State University


College of Education

Category: December 2017

So, What’s in Your Desk Drawer?

desk-drawerWe asked some of your Curriculum and Instruction professors what five items new teachers need the most in their desk drawer. Here is their growing list of responses. (Feel free to email us your own go-to items in your desk drawer!)

Cyndi Kuhn (Technology) –

  1. Flash drive
  2. Power cords for technology (go buy a second set and keep a set at home)
  3. Advil
  4. Kleenex
  5. Your favorite motivational quote, so every time you open that drawer, you are inspired.

Dr. Brad Burenheide (Secondary Social Studies)

  1. Gum
  2. Notecards
  3. A great pen
  4. Flash drive
  5. A picture of your spouse or significant other to look at when times are rough

Dr. Todd Goodson (Secondary English, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)—“Forget about the drawers. They will be full of clutter and useless in a week. The most important thing you can have on top of your desk is a book (appropriate for the age group you are teaching) that you are currently reading. If every teacher in the building demonstrated a lifelong love of reading for students, that would do more than any instructional program to improve students’ literacy skills.”

Dr. Sherri Martinie (Secondary Math)

  1. Crackers for hungry kids.

Dr. Lori Levin (Literacy) –

  1. Breath mints
  2. Band aids
  3. Granola bars (both for you and for the child who never seems to have had breakfast or bring a snack),
  4. Chinese take-out menu,
  5. Lots of post-it notes (invaluable for jotting notes, collecting data, and last-minute exit tickets).

Kaylee Myers (Elementary Education)

  1. Safety pins
  2. Colorful writing pens
  3. Chapstick (talking lots=dry lips)

Dr. Tom Vontz (Elementary Social Studies)

  1. Coffee cup
  2. Kleenex
  3. Laptop
  4. Grading folder
  5. Parent contact info

Dr. Tonnie Martinez (Secondary Language Arts) –

  1. Mints for the face-to-face conferences (for you and the students)!
  2. Hand-sanitizing lotion that smells good
  3. Vending machine change
  4. Granola Bars
  5. Tylenol

Dr. Vicki Sherbert (Secondary English/Language Arts, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)

  1. Band-aids
  2. An extra flash drive
  3. Colorful pens
  4. Encouraging notes you’ve received from students and parents
  5. Tic Tacs

Dr. Phillip Payne (Music Education) –

  1. White-out
  2. Calculator
  3. Pencils
  4. Pens
  5. Audio recorder

Before You Go….

hand with keyBefore you walk out your classroom door for a well-deserved winter break, spend a few extra minutes preparing for the new semester that will be here sooner than you think. By taking care of some of these before break, it’ll be a much more welcoming room when you return.

  • After the students are gone from the building, tidy your room. (I know – I sound like a parent, don’t I?) Collect stray papers and materials. Get your students’ texts and other resources neatly stacked under their desks on on a book shelf or wherever is appropriate.
  • Now clean up your desk. File any extra papers. Make your work area as uncluttered as possible.
  • Now – pull out a few resources you’ll need to start the next semester (textbooks, handouts, etc.).
  • Make a list of tasks to do once you return from break – no matter how minute they may seem, so you’ll be more prepared when you return.
  • Want to try a different room arrangement? Need to streamline the students’ path to some materials? Now is a good time to experiment.
  • Take a few minutes to write a brief note or two or verbally thank some people for their support during your first semester. A librarian who signed you up for the computer lab when you forgot? A custodian who cleaned up that spilled coffee for you without even grumbling? An office person who chose not to scold you when you messed up your third purchase order form? (OK–that one is based on personal experience…I’m not sure I EVER filled out a purchase order correctly during my entire teaching career.) Be sure to let them know you appreciate their help.
  • Before you close that classroom door and lock up for several days, take one more glance around your room. You’ve made it through the semester! Congrats!
  • Now…walk out that door, lock it, and enjoy a rejuvenating break taking care of yourself, spending time with family and friends, and (hopefully!) not grading a single assignment!

In the Classroom: Austin Lee

Austin Lee, left, is pictured with his mentor and vice principal, Mr. Travis Hermreck.

Name: Austin Lee

School district: Crest USD 479

City/State: Colony, KS

Class/content area taught: Social Studies (American History, World Geography, American Government, World History, 7th Social Studies, 8th Social Studies, Psychology)

What are you most excited about with your new career? Getting to know and creating a rapport with the students, as well as teaching my content area.

What you enjoy most about teaching: Getting to know the students in class, as well as seeing them progress in the classroom.

In what ways has your school/district supported you? Being a first-year teacher, they have offered up advice on how to make teaching more fun and easier while also keeping the students engaged.

What are some specific things you believe KSU especially helped prepare you for your new career? KSU helped me quite a bit with the lesson planning side of things. It’s pretty easy to go day-to-day in your first year of teaching, not knowing what is next just because of how busy you are. Teaching at a 1A school, I have seven preps, as well as sponsoring four after-school activities, so things get pretty hectic pretty quick, and lesson planning just helps you have one less thing to worry about.

Are there specifics about your background that make teaching the perfect fit for you? I come from a teacher oriented family, both my parents went to school to become teachers, however, my dad never entered the profession, as well as my grandfather. Also, I love my content, and enjoy listening to, as well as teaching all aspects of Social Studies.

Suggestions/encouragement for new teachers: Don’t go crazy on the students with rules, and being “too much in charge” that you can’t relate to your students. Rita F. Pierson said, “Kids don’t learn from teachers they don’t like.” Also, don’t let those certain students know they can raise your blood pressure, because they WILL keep doing it.

Now, what’s it like to work with your spouse? Some people really complain or worry about working with their spouses, but in all reality, we don’t ever see each other unless we want to walk to the other’s classroom, and talk about something. Nine times out of 10 when we do see each other, it’s about students, or what’s going on around the school, when is a certain school event, etc….

We teach at a 1A school, so it’s tiny; graduating class this year will be a bigger class of 19! That being said, all the teachers wear many different hats of responsibility, including after-school activities Bailey and I are constantly counting on each other for helping one another. Working with her means I have someone to vent to, because I can go to her and talk about a student who raises my blood pressure, and usually that same student has done the same to her. It’s nice to know that you’re not the only teacher that that one students does that to. We also take our work life home with us. Our students dominate our conversations at home, about what they said or did in class/outside of class, what made us laugh, who broke what in what classroom, why a student is struggling, and how much we can’t wait for the next break to be coming up! We also teach with another couple who we like to hang out with on the weekends, and our students dominate our conversations with them as well. I don’t really know what we used to talk about before we both were hired at Crest High School.

Other thoughts? Have fun!

Austin Lee and his wife, Bailey, both teach at Crest High School in Colony, KS. Austin is in his first year teaching social studies courses, and Bailey is in her fourth year teaching all the sciences courses at the 1A high school.


KSU Polytechnic Campus adds technology education to bachelor’s degree offerings

Enrollment is open for a new degree option at the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus for individuals interested in teaching technology at the high school level.

A Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a technology education endorsement is being launched at Kansas State Polytechnic in fall 2018. The degree option is a collaboration with the university’s College of Education and is designed to help address state and national needs for more science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, educators. Students will study mechanical, electronic and computer systems curriculum through Kansas State Polytechnic’s engineering technology program while the education pedagogy will be supported by the College of Education.

“The mission of the Polytechnic Campus is to provide students with relevant, hands-on learning experiences that are easily transferable to various industries, and we believe technology education is an appropriate fit for our mission and that style of teaching,” said Verna Fitzsimmons, CEO and dean of Kansas State Polytechnic. “Thank you to the College of Education for partnering with Kansas State Polytechnic to make this offering possible.”

Along with general education courses, the technology education degree option combines 67 credit hours of mechanical engineering technology, computer systems technology, and electronic and computer engineering technology courses with 35 hours of professional pedagogical courses. Many of the courses, which will cover basic electronics, computing principles hardware and software fundamentals, machine design and manufacturing methods, include lab time and project-based assignments, providing students hands-on demonstrations for their own classrooms.

The secondary education curriculum will be taught through video conferencing by College of Education professors, and students will perform their student teaching at a local high school.

“We are excited to work with the Polytechnic Campus to expand into this new licensure area,” said F. Todd Goodson, chair of the College of Education’s curriculum and instruction department. “It is difficult to overstate the importance of technology today. We have a pressing need to produce more high school graduates with advanced technology skills to meet the demands of industry and higher education. I expect graduates of the technology education degree to find high schools eager to consider them for teaching positions.”

Alysia Starkey, associate dean for undergraduate studies at Kansas State Polytechnic, said many students who would fit well in the technology education degree option. High school students with an interest in teaching or who excel in engineering technology classes such as manufacturing, construction, energy, power and technical design should consider enrolling. Also, transfer students and current teachers who want to change their endorsement are encouraged to apply.

For more information or to apply, contact Kansas State Polytechnic’s admissions office at 785-826-2640 or polytechnic@k-state.edu or the College of Education’s Center for Student Success and Professional Services at 785-532-5524 or csps@k-state.edu.

It’s the Holidays: Email Your COE Home!

e-mail iconWe are waiting for an update from you!

Why don’t you send us a photo of you at work in your classroom! Or, do you have a question about classroom procedures? A suggestion for a topic we should address in Before the Bell? Want to add your name to our mailing list? Or provide a different email for our list?

Early-career teachers, feel free to jump in and offer suggestions to those who are following your career choice!

We’d love to hear from you, so please email us at lagoodson@k-state.edu.

Go, COE Cats!

Get Back Into the Land of Purple

basketball-footballDuring your winter break, don’t forget to enjoy a few K-State events!
The campus may get pretty quiet during break, but there is still plenty going on! Here are some purple items to add to your calendar:

  • Football, Cactus Bowl, UCLA vs. K-State, 8 p.m. Dec. 26 at Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ. (Bowl Info)
  • Women’s basketball vs. Baylor, 7 p.m. Dec. 28 at Bramlage
  • Men’s basketball at Iowa State, Dec. 29, in Ames, Iowa.
  • Women’s basketball at Oklahoma State, 2 p.m. Dec. 31 in Stillwater, Okla.
  • Men’s basketball vs. West Virginia, 4 p.m. Jan. 1, in Bramlage.