Bradley Pre-service Teachers Co-present at National Conference

Dr. Jana Hunzicker, Megan Hickey, Alyssa McClenthen, and Teresa Biddison following their speed learning session at the 2013 AMLE Annual Conference.

November 18, 2013

On Friday, November 8, Bradley pre-service teachers Megan Hickey and Alyssa McClenthen co-presented a speed learning session at the 2013 Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) Annual Conference in Minneapolis. Also presenting were Teresa Biddison, teacher at Roosevelt Magnet School in Peoria District 150, and Dr. Jana Hunzicker, assistant professor in Bradley’s Department of Teacher Education.

Their speed learning session, entitled “Reading, Writing, and Fitness: A Sixth Grade Classroom Partnership” described a fall 2012 teaching and learning initiative between Dr. Hunzicker’s ETE 315: Literacy II class and Mrs. Biddison’s sixth-grade class. The partnership featured one-on-one instruction in reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and expository writing; and incorporated P.E. fitness stations that actively engaged students in aerobics, balance, flexibility, and strength exercises. Following an overview of the project’s key features, session participants shared ideas for integrating writing into physical education and initiating classroom partnerships in their own communities.

“Co-presenting at the AMLE Conference was an incredibly valuable experience,” Hickey said. “We received feedback from educators around the country who had a wealth of similar experiences, suggestions, and modification ideas to share. I have come away from this experience with more notions for teaching as well as more confidence in my abilities.”

AMLE, formerly the National Middle School Association, is the only national association dedicated exclusively to improving the educational experiences of young adolescents in grades five through nine. Thousands of education professionals attend the conference each year to network, share, and learn.

“I enjoyed being able to participate in conversation with practicing teachers about ways to enhance and support student learning,” McClenthen said. “I gained ideas and strategies to bring to my future classroom. As a pre-service teacher, this opportunity not only prepared me for the realities of the education field, but also made me excited to begin my teaching career.”

The entire scope of this Bradley PDS project – the classroom partnership itself and the presentation at a national conference – incorporated all five goals of the Bradley PDS Partnership: 1. Support and improve student learning and achievement, 2. Prepare professionals in education and health sciences, 3. Provide lifelong learning experiences and leadership opportunities, 4. Promote best practices in teaching, learning and leadership through professional development, action research, and scholarship, and 5. Support the health and well-being of students, their families, and the professionals who work with them.