Rollins College Dept. of Education

Fall 2022 Newsletter


The Department of Education is committed to the preparation of outstanding teachers who are firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to excel as educators in schools around the world.

Welcome Back, Tars!

Annual Fall Kickoff

Thank you to all of the faculty, staff, and alumni who came out and joined us for our Education Kick-off on August 29th. We were especially excited to be able to hold the event face-to-face after being online for the last two years due to COVID. Despite the very rainy weather, (and some very soggy students and faculty), we had a great turn-out! Our faculty and students gathered together for important updates, upcoming deadlines, overall expectations, and more! Our table-talk discussions about state teaching exams, tutoring opportunities, student internships, etc. were engaging and full of great information. We ended the evening with some give-away prizes and snacks. We look forward to seeing everyone around campus this academic year. The faculty and staff are here to support you so please feel free to reach out if you have any questions throughout the year.

Preservice Teachers in Action

August Experience

The August Experience has been developed to help Rollins’ interns become more aware of how teachers prepare for the first days of school. During the August Experience, interns and pre-interns learned how teachers build their classroom communities as well as develop and implement classroom management systems during the first weeks of school.

Alejandra Salinas Garcia, Pathways cohort 2 student and fellow seminar classmate this Fall, started her school year off setting up a full classroom! We are especially fond of her introductory teacher card for parents with the QR code included and her affirmation station.

A Peek at a Secondary Psychology Lesson

The Structure of a Neuron in AP Psychology

Rebekah Stevenson, an MAT student in secondary education, shares about ways her students in AP Psychology are learning about the structure and functions of neurons. “The students had a quiz on the structure of a neuron and the different functions. They had to build it out of candy and label the different parts. It was so fun!”

Diversity Book Project at CDC

This fall, eighteen students in the Community Engagement course, “EDU 280: Diversity in American Education,” worked in pairs to create activity plans for children’s literature books celebrating diversities to teach young children in the Hume House Child Development & Student Research Center (CDC) at Rollins.

Jaiden Williams ‘25: “Reading to the students at the Hume house was the best start to my day that I could have imagined. What started with reading a book led to developing lasting relationships with the students very quickly. It was amazing to see the curiosity and excitement that I remember having as a child when the big kids were around.”

Zoe Petropoulos & Angelina Davidson ‘25: “My experiences in this book project so far have been nothing but positive. I have learned a lot about how to differentiate learning plans for different age groups and development stages that will aid my experience teaching in my future classroom. The children are the sweetest kids and working with them has confirmed my passion for this career field.”

Amelia Webb ‘25: “I enjoyed visiting and working with the kids! It was a lot of fun reading the book to them and having them participate alongside. I am excited to go back next week with a different activity for them to try.”

Emily Witt ‘25: “I really enjoyed this visit and am so happy that I am able to have this opportunity to get first-hand experience working with children. Going to the Hume house has ensured me that this is what I want to do in the future, and I can't wait to go back next week!”

Grant Masterson & Charlize Asmar ‘26: “It was so amazing to meet these kids and teach them about self-confidence. I loved watching their creativity as they colored and followed along with our activities!”

Reader's Theater

In RED 309: Foundations of Reading, students learning about ways to promote reading fluency in the classroom participated in reader's theater. Reader's theater is a strategy for developing reading fluency that involves orally reading through reading parts in scripts. When engaging in reader's theater, students do not need to memorize their lines. They only need to reread it several times in order to develop their fluency skills.

Integrating Literacy Instruction with Science and Social Studies

Teacher question: I wonder why you never write about curriculum integration. This year my district is all about including social studies in all of our lessons and my sister (a teacher in another state) is doing something like that with science in the upper grades. Do you have any advice for teachers like us?

Shanahan response: As a teacher I was a strong advocate of integrating reading and writing instruction at a time when that kind of thing wasn’t common. Later, when I became an academic, I studied reading-writing relationships and that blossomed into an interest in the combination of other curricula as well which eventually led to my work on disciplinary literacy. For the full blog post, click here.

Can Reading Instruction Improve Math Learning in the Primary Grades?

Teacher question: My question is regarding comprehension as it relates to solving math word problems. I have observed almost all word problems begin with presenting the data first (We ate five apples…) then asking the question (How many apples…?) I have noticed when I ask the question first, it seems to narrow their working memory on the relevant detail (s) and I am noting marked improvement in 1) understanding what it is they need to do, 2) extracting the relevant details and 3) employing the correct operations. Your thoughts on the order in which questions are posed. Part 2) Are there studies showing how increasing reading ability (Science of reading) impacts math abilities especially in primary students? It seems logical that since testing is generally reading based across subject areas, scores would improve but has this been measured?

Shanahan response: The relationship between reading and math has long been of interest to scholars. For a long time, the data were pretty confusing.

They found reading ability to be an important precursor to better math performance (hooray, hooray). But they also reported the reverse – better math skills presaged reading improvements. That, of course, makes little sense. For the full blog post, click here.

Book Reviews

Interested in some recently published books to add to your collection? Check out the CL/R SIG bi-weekly book reviews at

Books in Series for Young Readers

Biographies of Environmentalists for Young Readers

Novels in Verse

Notable Books for a Global Society (NBGS)

Annually, a committee of the CL/R SIG (Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group) of the International Literacy Association selects 25 outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world. The committee reviews books representing all genres intended for students K-12. More information about NBGS can be found at Past and present NBGS book lists are available at

2022 NBGS Books

Pathways to Teaching


Every month a teacher candidate from across Rollins Education Department programs is highlighted and featured for their inspiration, accomplishments, and community impact at Rollins, within their local and global communities, and/or work with K-12 students.

Congratulations to Aisha Barber, a teacher candidate in cohort 2 of the Pathways program! In only her third year at Catalina Elementary School, Aisha was awarded Support Person of the Year. Aisha is currently majoring in Elementary Education. When asked why she wants to be an educator Aisha stated, “After serving several roles in the classroom, I found that the connection I build with students is what fuels my passion to educate.” This is Aisha’s second time being awarded Support Person of the Year, as she previously won the title while working at Riverside Elementary. Aisha is a proud member of the Rollins Pathways to Teaching program through Orange County Public Schools. Aisha graduates in December 2022 and can’t wait to start teaching in her own classroom soon!

Kagan Strategies in Action

It’s one thing to read and study different Kagan strategies in our classes like EDU 406 or RED 409, but, it’s another to see it in action. Pathways student, Natalie Delgado, witnessed just that during her first week in her senior internship with her cooperating teacher at Englewood Elementary. Students were divided by the answer they chose on a question and designated a part of the room. In their new groups they had to discuss why they choose their answer using details from the text. They collectively presented their answers with the class. This strategy is a great way to get kids up and moving around after direct instruction, giving them an opportunity to practice guided practice.

Pathways to Success

Congratulations to Rollins College ‘22 Pathway to Teaching Cohort 1 graduates. Since its debut in 2020, the Rollins College Pathway to Teaching partnership with Orange County Public Schools has allowed many OCPS paraprofessionals and program assistants to fulfill their dreams of becoming teachers. The program’s first Cohort walked across the stage this May 2022, they received their B.A. degree in Elementary Education with ESOL and Reading endorsement. Many of the graduates are now teaching in their own OCPS classrooms.

Cohort 2, which started the program in Fall 2020, is now completing their Senior internship and will finish the program in December 2022. Cohort three will begin their pre-internship Spring of 2023. With the high demand for qualified teachers, the program has enrolled the 4th Cohort of future teachers. This pipeline to teaching program between Rollins and OCPS is proven successful.

As Marybelle Doe, a recent graduate from the program who teaches Intensive Reading at Cypress High School, said, "Rollins College made dreams come true by offering the means to a goal. My time and experience at Rollins taught me the strategies and skills to educate as if I were a tenured teacher. I feel so confident and accomplished in my new role, but more importantly, I feel that I am genuinely serving my purpose in life."

If you know anyone interested in the OCPS Pathway to Teach program, please contact:

Laura Raymond

Admission Manager
Hamilton Holt School | Rollins College |

407-646-2239 |

1000 Holt Avenue, Box 2725 | Winter Park, FL 32789

Recent news

Upcoming Important Dates

REVISED DATE DUE TO HURRICANE IAN: All Spring 2023 Pre-Internship and Internship Paperwork Due to the Education office by 4:30pm on Tuesday, October 4.

Department of Education

Check out the Department of Education's website. You can find important forms including Program information and Student Teaching/Internship Applications by going to the Education website and then clicking on Forms in the left column.

Inspiration Station

Resources to Inform and Inspire your Teaching

Sometimes, inspiration comes in the most unlikely of places. Other times, it comes from one of your own. When you are inspired, you are motivated to create more. Create more laughter, more ideas, more possibilities!

Below, you will find an uplifting word from Rita Pierson, a seasoned and fellow educator: Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion | TED Talk

Other sources of inspiration:

Cult of Pedagogy


Inspiring Writings from Rollins’ Teacher Candidates


By: Adrienne Williams

A brother helping his little sister,

The sound of little laughs and whispers,

What is your inspiration?

A woman showing a stranger kindness,

A nurse assisting a man with blindness,

What is your inspiration?

A baby taking their first breath,

Teachers putting students before themselves,

What is your inspiration?

Our inspiration is education,

Giving our students motivation,

Where they can learn with great elation,

So never give up, that’s the vibration,

Say it with me, DEDICATION!

It’s important to do both. Inspire and be inspired.

“Stay away from those people who try to disparage your ambitions. Small minds will always do that, but great minds will give you a feeling that you can become great too.” — Mark Twain

“In the Pathways Program, inspiration doesn’t just come from our experiences and our unique takes on teaching, it comes from the bonds that we create with our cohorts.” — Adrienne Williams, Pathways Cohort 2

“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” — Fred Rogers

Newsletter Contributors

Special thanks to Natalie Delgado, Alejandra Salinas, Alondra Martes, Jacqueveus Arnold, Adrienne Williams, and Angela Simpson for their contributions to the newsletter.