Date: October 12 – November 25, 2022
Course #: LR 288:714
Credit Hours: 3
Registration Deadline: October 12th, @5:00 p.m.
Every one of us has dealt with the effects of abuse. We may have grown up with it, or seen it in the family of a friend. We see it in some of our students and we see it played over and over again on the nightly news. Abuse is insidious and can hide behind the face of charm and innocence. We all carry the scars and those scars donât totally heal. Why do some people grow up to perpetuate abuse and others become paragons of love?
Jacob Chastain, the author of Teach Me, Teacher, shares his experiences growing up in an abusive home. He overcame the horror and “saw the light”. Why? What did he do and can we do that for ourselves and our students? Jacob Chastain celebrates good decision making (his father did not have this ability), passion for teaching and being positive. He says he canât imagine not loving what he does!
“It’s the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.”
Beyond the Gradebook: Teachers Do a Lot More Than Teach! is a 3 credit hour Iowa license renewal course that uses Chastain’s story to remind educators that we do much more than teach. Great teachers are about more than curriculum and assignments. Great teachers listen, understand, support and believe in their students. They provide hope and can be a lifeline. They foster seeds of potential and better tomorrows. For some students, a teacher may be the only constant, dependable adult presence in their lives. For some students, their classrooms are safe spaces they desperately need. This course brings to light the prevalence of students in our schools and classrooms struggling with often dark and painful challenges and how educators can be a source of light and hope.
Chastain’s life story is interwoven in his love for teaching and his understanding that the beginning of a teaching career does not necessary define us as teachers. We evolve as we come to see our students and ourselves from different perspectives. He jokes that the people who live with us (non-teachers) deserve a medal for that first year. Chastain has a profound sense of right, wrong and justice that he translates well into this book. How do we become “good” teachers, how do we reach the kid who has, thus far, been unreachable and how do we make this world a better place because we care about and support kids? Chastainâs book is a powerful reminder of how important parents and teachers are in this world and how vital it is that each child have a champion. Chastain translates his life for us and gives us a clear and sure direction.
This is a 3 credit hour Iowa license renewal course. Course goals will be met through instructor designed activities, supplemental readings, videos, reflections, assignments and instructor feedback. This course is presented in a modified, self-paced format. Participants are expected to access the course and post regularly (at least once a week) and make reasonable progress, but there are no due dates attached to individual assignments. Instead there are 2 absolute due dates (mid-term and the last day of class) to provide flexibility and to better accommodate participants’ busy schedules.
By the end of the course, participants will…
1. Understand the prevalence of abuse;
2. Understand how hope can change despair into happiness and purpose;
3. Understand the importance of safety and good decision making;
4. Understand how discipline is more effective than punishment;
5. Understand how reading can comfort and inspire; and
6. Understand the students’ needs for understanding.
How Does This Course Support The Iowa Core?
Both teachers and students need to be supported in classroom achievement. Teachers need to understand how to deal with students who have been subjected to trauma and they need to know how to take care of themselves so they do not succumb to mental health issues. The connection between student and teacher is very important and the participant will learn how to deal with himself and his students in a positive and productive way. Students who are supported at school are more capable academically and behaviorally and have the impetus to go to college or post-secondary education. Students and teachers who build strong, healthy relationships are better at critical thinking, problem solving, are more curious and willing to take on leadership roles. They also work well with others.
This falls in line with the Iowa Core that states school preparation should produce the following:
Course Topics that Support Instructional Practices and Strategies:
*The Abuse Problem
*Finding Light in the Darkness
*From Despair to Happiness and Purpose
*Educators’ Successes and Failures
*Children with Adult Responsibilities
*Students Need to Feel Safe-Physically and Emotionally
*Letting Go of the Pain
*Students as Teachers
*Discipline vs. Punishment
*Dealing with Worry & the Unexpected
*Passion-Infectious and Painful
*Reading can Bring Comfort
*Understanding Our Students
This is a 3 credit hour Iowa license renewal only course. Grading is Pass/Fail. Students are required to participate in and complete all assignments and/or activities. Participants must earn scores of 80% or better to receive Pass score and receive credit.
Required Text: Teach Me, Teacher: Life Lessons That Taught Me to Be a Better Teacher (2019) Author: Jacob Chastain, Publisher: Dave Burgess Consulting, Incorporated
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