Island University Empowers Educators with Nodes of Excellence

By Olivia Santos | Published: September 26, 2019

Island University Empowers Educators with Nodes of Excellence

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Creating lifelong educators through field experience, coaching, and in-class training, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) is providing tools for success for teachers of all levels. As part of the COEHD’s mission to fashion “Day-One-Ready Teachers,” the Island University held the “Nodes of Excellence” education event Sept. 19, with Islander and Texas A&M System faculty, and student attendees watching on-site and through livestream technology. Participants learned best practices from some of the University’s brightest minds.

“We want the cooperating teachers, teacher candidates, and ourselves to all grow as reflective practitioners through the work we do,” said Dr. Robin Johnson, COEHD Assistant Professor and Field-Based Experience Coordinator. “There are multiple ways in which teacher candidates are empowered during their field experiences, but the most powerful way we have found is through the use of an instructional coaching protocol.”

The event showcased the COEHD coaching model as an ideal methodology for preparing teacher candidates for real-world experience. Drs. Johnson and Carmen Tejeda-Delgado kicked off the event with their presentation “Using a Coaching Model to Prepare Day-One-Ready Teachers,” highlighting the importance of clinical practice, lesson planning, classroom language, reflection, and goal setting. This fall, 112 COEHD students enrolled in their field-based experience semester, with another 106 registering as clinical teachers.

“The A&M-System graduates more teachers than any other public university system in Texas,” said Tejeda-Delgado, COEHD Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Teaching and School-University Partnerships. “I believe our coaching model is a testament to why that is happening. It’s all a part of the We Teach Texas Initiative, because we do ‘teach Texas,’ and we have an intense dedication to teacher preparation.”

A&M-Corpus Christi currently encompasses the strongest network of any educator preparation program in the region, with 56 school partnerships and an on-campus bilingual public school dedicated to providing vast observation opportunities. Mirroring the sentiments of the We Teach Texas Initiative, the Island University COEHD tirelessly works toward the development of future educators, their long-term success, and strong-held retention within the discipline.