Teaching Teachers to Teach Online and Plan for Their Future. By: Jennifer Schnur, Program Director, Towson University at USG

Jennifer Schnur

Jennifer Schnur, Program Director at Towson University at USG

What a world we are living in right now. A few short months ago, our Towson senior teacher candidates were in their professional development sites, preparing for their capstone projects and polishing their skills as educators. Our Towson juniors were in courses learning to be effective teachers and completing internships in reading, math and science education. A moment later, we were home, “distant learning” from our computers and trying to understand what exactly that means for education and for our future educators.

Our Towson juniors are learning remotely in their courses just like all of you. Internships have had to take a backseat, but the learning does not stop. Pedagogy and overall best practices have still occurred through alternate modalities. Learning from other educators online, watching videos, teaching each other, and collaborating occur daily. Our faculty is able to teach synchronously allowing for our students to participate, ask questions and share materials in real time. They have learned about different apps for educators to increase engagement such as kahoot, padlet, panapto, smore, flip grid and so many more.

TW ZoomOur Towson seniors, our teacher candidates, have learned firsthand about the challenges this pandemic has brought to all our youth in Montgomery County and the state. Learning has shifted to Zoom meetings and online lessons – a world none of us were prepared for. Our teacher candidates teach from their homes, meet with their grade level teams to plan effective virtual lessons, and coordinate with special educators to make sure they are providing the necessary services to those students who need them. Their knowledge of online tools has helped them to reach their students to not only deliver curriculum virtually, but to provide stability in their students’ learning. They continue to impress me with their compassion, commitment, and enthusiasm as they guide our youngest learners through this moment in their lives.

TowsonOur senior seminar typically held on campus is now virtual, but the learning does not stop. Seminars continue via Zoom and WebEX and we are meeting with Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) Consulting Teachers, MCPS Human Resources, and other professionals in order to provide various opportunities for growth. Teacher candidates continue to interview, and many have already accepted positions within MCPS.

Every Towson student shares a strong dedication to their profession, and this makes me proud. They have excelled in their personal professional development in ways that I could never have imagined three months ago. I am confident that we are producing excellent educators and I know that our future children’s education is in good hands.

Congratulations Towson Tigers!


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