University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Project Report 2009
Teacher In Residence/Master Teacher
- This was the second year of the Teacher in Residence (TIR) program at UNC-CH. The second TIR was able to build upon the work of the first TIR. The framework of the Teacher Advisory Group (TAG) created by the first TIR established a group of highly competent high school teachers ready to advise and work with the TIR. The type of co-operative teaching for the spring pedagogy class was also established and very functional.
- In the physics pedagogy course taught in Spring 2009 the TIR was a full participant as co-instructor at all times.
- The TIR was perceived as being the person who knew the actual high school classroom environment and how the educational theory could be applied effectively in that environment.
- Getting high school teachers to leave the high school classroom was and remains a challenge. The 2007-2008 TIR remained a half-time teacher during the TIR experience, and the 2008-2009 TIR also remained a part-time (about 2/3) teacher during her time at UNC. The 2009-2010 TIR will be a split position with duties shared between two experienced physics teachers, one of whom was the first TIR.
- There is currently no institutional support for the TIR. However, we intend to seek internal funding for the TIR after the grant ends, building on the significant support and good will the program has already earned within the University. Some support may be possible from the department’s instructional budget if the position continues to be part-time.
- A university is different from the high school environment. The first TIR was given a specific set of challenges which made it rather easy to perform the tasks. The second TIR had more freedom to do other activities such as work with lab TA and their teaching techniques. She also provided input for a High School Teacher Conference to take place in December, 2009.
- In our local area, finding a full-time TIR probably will always be difficult. The university will have to find ways to be flexible in hiring part-time TIRs.
List of TIRs over the Project
- 2007-2008 – David Green: he taught physics and computer science for 40 years at C. E. Jordan High School, Durham, NC; he is National Board Certified in Physics and won the Presidential Award in Mathematics and Science Teaching; one of his current students just won the national Intel Award for 2008.
- 2008-2009 – Liz Woolard: She taught physics for 40 years at W. G. Enloe Magnet High School, Raleigh, NC and is currently at Raleigh Charter High School, Raleigh, NC; she is National Board Certified in Physics and won the Presidential Award in Mathematics and Science Teaching; one of her past students won the national Intel Award in 2003. She was a Radio Shack “Champion of the Classroom Technology Scholar” Award winner and a GTE “GIFT” Grant Recipient. She also worked at the Science House at North Carolina State University (NCSU) for 12 years developing materials, teaching workshops for teachers, and leading summer camps in science for high school students.
- 2009-2010 – Sharon Cooke: She taught physics for over 20 years in various schools in Wake County as well as for eight years at Wake Technical Community College. She has also worked at Science House at NCSU, developing materials for environmental education. She received her BS in Science Education from UNC-CH, and has almost completed the requirements for a Master of Liberal Studies degree (emphasis in History) from NCSU.
Finding and Hiring a TIR
- We have used the Teacher Advisory Group developed by the first TIR as our primary source of future TIRs, but our third TIR came to us via personal contact with Liz Woolard.
- In the 2009-2010 academic year we will be using two part-time TIRs to work on different tasks. The primary TIR will teach the pedagogy course (with the Physics Education Specialist) and help develop materials for the PET course. The other (David Green, at 10% effort) will also participate in the pedagogy course as well as help develop materials for a SCALE-UP course. At this time, we are working with our third candidate to create a larger “footprint” in the Physics and Astronomy Department for the 2009-2010 year. Liz Woolard has remained in contact with last year’s PhysTEC graduate and is interested in mentoring future graduates.
Typical TIR activities
- Refine and improve the physics pedagogy course in advance of its third offering
- Co-teach the physics pedagogy course in the spring.
- Help recruit students for the class.
- Work with cooperating teachers who host students in the physics pedagogy course.
- Organize meetings for the Teacher Advisory Group (TAG).
- Solicit information and feedback throughout the year from the Teacher Advisory Group (TAG).
- Mentor UNC-BEST graduates as needed.
- Work with the physics lab TAs to give feedback on teaching methods in labs for introductory physics courses.
- Offer information to the UNC physics department about the NC Standard course of Study in high school physics for Standard Physics classes, Advanced Placement Physics (B and C) and International Baccalaureate Physics.
- Provide input into any in-service activities provided for teachers by the university such as the new December Conference upcoming at the end of 2009.
- Identify possible candidates for the next TIR position and offer guidance for that new TIR.
- Keep records of forms, activities and schedules to present to the new TIR.