Taking the Uneasy Road

Taking the easy road will never lead to lasting rewards. Rather, paths that make you uneasy, unsure, or uncomfortable may end up far better than you could ever imagine.

These difficult times allow for exponential growth and development. I have heard a lot of admirable people talk about this over the years and always rolled my eyes. However, I never found it to be truer than when I left the Curry School, which seemed counterintuitive at the time.

The minute I stepped on Grounds, I fell in love with Virginia and all the University had to offer. Thanks to the amazing people I met at UVA, I was able to grow as an individual and professional. My original plan had always been to keep going to school. I wanted to get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and go straight through to my PhD but quickly realized life cannot always be planned. Read more…

Guest Author

Kaitlyn Miller

Kaitlyn Miller

M.Ed. '15 Ed Psych: App Dev Science

Bringing Curry’s Principles to the World’s Most Vulnerable

Every year, thousands of refugee families arrive in Virginia searching for good schools and hospitals, affordable housing, economic opportunity, and a sense of belonging. These families – many of whom settle in Charlottesville – assimilate, open businesses, become professionals and add to the unique cultural diversity of the United States.

During my time at Curry I student-taught an ESL history class at Charlottesville High School that included a number of students who had recently resettled in the US. At the time, I only briefly considered what these children experienced prior to their arrival. They came from Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan – places I loosely followed in the news but about which I knew relatively little.

Where were these families before they sought asylum in Charlottesville, and what difficulties had they faced? The answer to that question was complex and saddening, and it would become the basis for my career. Read more…

Guest Author

Liz Bond

Elisabeth Bond

M.T. '07 Soc Studies Ed

Influencing EdTech in Schools Around the Nation

I just returned from attending the annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education and bring greetings from some Curry alumni.

As you have probably heard, the Curry School was the impetus behind the new Jefferson Education Accelerator, a business accelerator focused on growth-stage companies with promising learning technologies. In his recent HuffPost Education blog post Dean Bob Pianta said that schools and colleges of education have a responsibility to prepare future educators to “think critically about the ways in which technology can create new efficiencies and promote deeper learning” (“The Responsibility of Schools of Education in Preparing Teachers to Teach With Tech”).

His perspective on the importance of preparing teachers and school leaders to assess and integrate educational technology is buttressed by more than three decades of ongoing work in this area at the Curry School. Being at the SITE conference last week among its 950 participants was a strong affirmation of our influence. Read more…

Author

Lynn Bell

Lynn Bell

Director of Alumni Relations

A Matter of Attitude

We received several responses from alumni to a recent UVA Today article that featured three Curry professors who are working on closing the gifted education gap. [Read “Six Myths of Gifted Education That Lead to Overlooking Talented Minority Students.”] Alumnus Tom Ballou had an especially heartwarming experience that informs his perspective, and we thought you might enjoy reading it as much as we did.

I’ve done a lot of teaching, but never in schools, at least not formally, although I did work with Junior Achievement for a number of years and found it fun and enlightening.

In my never humble opinion parental involvement is a real key to education, but I understand that the total package of which your professors speak (i.e., “lack of access to high-quality pre-school programming; poor-quality schools; low levels of parental involvement and expectation; lower teacher quality and expectation; negative peer influences; and poverty”) works together. Read more…

Guest Author

Tom Ballou and niece in his 1966 Sunbeam Tiger-300

Tom Ballou, Jr., CAPT. USN (ret.)

B.S. ’66 Educ

The People We Meet

On the plane to Ireland last fall to begin my Curry in Belfast program, I was excited by all the adventures I was about to experience while student teaching abroad. I hoped that this experiential method would help to build my knowledge for teaching history to my future students, because I could tell them that I had actually been to some of the places we would study. My hopes were certainly realized, and a brief trip I took over the term break is one great example.

I met my mother and grandmother in Paris, and to prepare to communicate with the locals, I had looked up some necessary phrases. I learned that when beginning any conversation it is expected that we first greet the other person. A simple bon jour will do, but it is considered rude to extend no courtesy before asking a question.

In Paris it is common courtesy to enter a shop, look for the salesperson and say hello to them. When leaving, you should say, “Merci” or “Au revoir,” even if you have not made a purchase. Otherwise, they are offended and feel that perhaps you did not appreciate their shop. I was very concerned about these cultural differences and did not want to be viewed as a rude American. To my surprise, almost everyone we met in Paris spoke perfect English, but I still did my best to use the few words I knew. Read more…

Guest Author

Lexie Katz 2

Lexie Katz

M.T. '15 Soc Studies Ed