Bull's-eye -- Programs targeting math, science teacher shortage may get boost

(NSM). Getting the field-based experience early and often is really key to this program. We dont want them to get out there and find out theyre really not where they want to be.

At UH, the College of Education and NSM are collaborating in teachHOUSTON, together with the Spring Branch and Fort Bend independent school districts. This fall the Houston Independent School District is scheduled to come on board, and other districts have indicated they are interested in becoming partners.

Few colleges of education and science and math at other universities collaborate as much as those at UH, said Robert Wimpelberg, dean of the College of Education. The teachHOUSTON program is a natural extension of the things we already do so well together.

Intensive mentoring is another program feature. The would-be teachers receive mentoring from the beginning at the university from a master teacher and in the school districts from an assigned mentor teacher. They will continue to be mentored after they graduate, Morgan said.

From the first semester, a student works with mentors in the district and teaches a couple of lesson plans, he said. People who want to teach want to teach now. Their passion starts to wane if they have to wait four years.

Susan Williams, an associate professor holding joint appointments in UHs education and NSM colleges, is the first master teacher. She earned bachelors and masters degrees in mathematics and a doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction, with a specialization in mathematics education. After 10 years teaching math in middle and high school, she joined UH 15 years ago.

Williams represents the type of mentor we believe will help prepare highly qualified educators, Morgan said. We really want to turn out the best teachers possible, not just ones who are certified.

Williams is tasked with recruiting freshmen and sophomores into the program and taugh

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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