Title, department and job responsibilities: Professor of Education in middle/secondary program. This year, I have a half sabbatical for a full year. It’s something that’s not been tried before at Butler to my knowledge.
In fall semester 2011, I’m teaching the class “Middle School Curriculum and Instructional Strategies” with Assistant Professor Meredith McAllister. She’s teaching one section, I’m teaching another, and we have a combined seminar. The other hours of my six-hour work load are devoted to research for the sabbatical (See more in “Projects/ research” below).
Years at Butler: 44. I have 6 years at the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in the middle school. Then, it was junior high teacher education.
44 + 6 = 50 years as an educator. That seems like a nice round number. Time to step aside, let some new youthful person show up, and bring that spark that I had when I was 28.
Projects/research you’re currently involved with: On my sabbatical leave, I want to build on the book that I wrote, Fulfilling the Charter: The Story of the College of Education at Butler University and More … (IUniverse, Inc., 2008) I want to pick up on the work I did for the book regarding Sigma Gamma Rho, the African American national sorority that was founded at Butler by seven women of color. I want to explore the experiences that African Americans have had in teacher education programs at Butler.
Most memorable academic experience(s) at Butler: Being chosen as interim dean the first time was something I didn’t see coming. It really kept me jumping and hopping to get all that work done. I was chosen a second time 4-to-5 years later to be interim dean, but I had some heads up warning on that one. That was very satisfying to me because I finally knew what I was doing.
The other experience that was very satisfying was finishing my book, Fulfilling the Charter. It has been a good instrument of public relations, fundraising and development
What current intellectual or creative question are you thinking about these days: I’m thinking a lot about what will become of public education in the next decade. The College of Education at Butler historically has stood — and still does stand strong — for public education even though we’re a private school. We in Indiana have a real fight on our hands, what with the possible effects of vouchers, school choice and the shifting of what paltry funds are there for public education. I don’t have answers. But I have hopes that public education will rebound.
What do you enjoy most about teaching: The students bring all this enthusiasm, all this zest for teaching. And, I can perform for them. Be kind of a ham on the stage, joke and tease. I like being around those kids. They’ve kept me young through the years.
The other joys of my teaching are the administration, the support staff and the faculty of the COE.