Spring 2016

ATPE News is the official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the largest educator association in Texas. The magazine addresses the most important issues affecting public education in the state. Learn more at

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Page 27 of 43

1. Linda Robinson (Shear Elementary Librarian), Taylor Suarez (ASE Project Manager), Dr. Kaye Busiek (ASE Sponsor), Mary Salvosa, and Tifany Nguyen 2. Shelby Campbell, Annaliese Schuler, and Jordan Hendricks 3. Lone Star College students prepared Jared Boxes that they delivered to children at their local hospital. 1 2 3 to practice it before they're graded on it or do it for real. I think it's been a very powerful experience for them. It's not just a reading program, there's a lot more to it." The children, gobbling like turkeys, arrive at the craft area, where they are presented with the supplies to make pumpkin suncatchers. Parents and TWU students assist the children as they afx orange and yellow tissue paper squares to pumpkin-shaped contact paper. The activity is a hit. Eventually, one by one, the children, armed with their handmade suncatchers, wander away, their parents calling out a quick thanks to the students who have made the event possible. After the last child leaves the craft area, the TWU students and their mentors take this time, while today's program is fresh in their memories, to host a quick debriefng session. Bethany and her fellow leaders guide the conversation with a series of questions: What went well? What could have been improved upon? What can you apply to your future classroom? Although the group agrees that the event went well, individual students pipe up with areas where they would like to see improvement. Increasing engagement is cited as the biggest concern, and together the group brainstorms techniques to try in next month's event. The more experienced students suggest increasing volume, tipping books downward to face students, and walking around the room while reading as ways to combat child fatigue. Dr. McMahan is impressed by the amount of improvement her students show from month to month, and today's event is no exception. She hopes eventually to extend the program to a more diverse audience and is optimistic about the program because she believes in her students. "We don't get any money for this. The students don't get anything, they don't get a grade; it isn't a requirement. They want to keep learning, and they want to get better. They want to strengthen their knowledge and skills, which is what it's all about as an educator— continuous improvement." Bethany is also pleased with today's event. She'll begin her student teaching soon, and although she is nervous, her experience with the TWU reading program has helped her feel more prepared for the classroom. "I've never had a bad experience here. It's a very safe place to start breaking the ice and become involved in the community." 28 | atpe news

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