Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Jeff Taylor and Angela Knight

We met during the EMWP summer institute in 2005. Jeff was trying to figure out how to teach writing to sixth graders and Angela was returning for a second SI. Our backgrounds are polar opposites: Jeff is a math/science teacher, and Angela lives for language arts. However, both of us are passionate about helping our students learn through writing.

We returned to the SI in 2007 and 2008 as part of the leadership team. At that time, we realized that we enjoyed teaching together. When we received an email about an opportunity to teach at the college level, we both applied without hesitation. Before the meeting, we discussed the possibility of working together and a collegiate co-teaching model was born. In Fall 2013, we taught ENGL 408, Writing for Secondary Teachers.

If we were members of a basketball team, Angela was the point guard and Jeff was the power forward. Angela was the captain who set the tone with intense preparation and made sure that the team was on the same page. Jeff made sure that things went well on the court. He got the crowd going with his enthusiasm for the game. In the college classroom, each of us had a distinct role to play and we knew that we could count on the other to get the job done to best of our abilities while also bringing out the best in each other.

When we were education students, we each had aspirations of teaching at the college level, but we never dreamed of the non-traditional path that we would follow to get there. As a full time middle school teacher, adding a college class is an overwhelming proposition. In a field that is often secluded and lonely, we found a winning team. We learned from each other, our students, and the EMU faculty. We appreciate the opportunity, and our dedicated students, that kept us thinking about our game plan each week.

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