SOE celebrates 25 years of preparing education leaders
Thousands of students arrive at University of Michigan-Dearborn with dreams of becoming teachers.
Some want to teach elementary school math, while others plan to teach high school history.
But no matter their concentration, many of them choose UM-Dearborn because of its excellence in preparing students for careers in the classroom. The School of Education (SOE) this year celebrates 25 years of shaping tomorrow’s teachers.
“Today’s School of Education has more than twice as many students, faculty and degree programs as it had 25 years ago, yet it remains connected to its original roots, especially a deep commitment to improving the lives of the citizens of southeast Michigan by preparing excellent educators for schools in the region,” said Edward Silver, dean, SOE.
Pam Fisher (’03 M.A.) is among a growing number of SOE alumni who hold teaching jobs in metropolitan Detroit.
Fisher has spent her career in urban schools, and she currently teaches English and social studies at University Prep Middle School in Detroit.
“Being a teacher here is very fulfilling,” she said. “Students in urban schools deserve the very best teachers and resources. It’s very satisfying to work with students who are capable of learning if they have the support of good teachers.”
SOE students know they’ll be exposed to diverse classroom settings, which is why many of them enroll in the program, said Gail Luera, associate professor of science education at UM-Dearborn.
Those diverse classroom experiences prepare SOE students for teaching jobs in metropolitan Detroit.
“They find out how hungry students are to learn,” Luera said. “They feel like they can have an impact.”
SOE has earned a great reputation in the region by preparing high-quality teachers for the classroom and educational leaders for local school districts.
Richard Moyer joined UM-Dearborn long before SOE was established. For more than a decade, Moyer taught science education courses through the Division of Urban Education, a standalone unit of the university. Even then, UM-Dearborn’s goal was the same – prepare students for diverse classrooms.
Moyer, now professor of science education and natural sciences, works closely with area school districts and often is reminded of UM-Dearborn’s impact in metropolitan Detroit classrooms.
“Every so often, somebody will walk up to me and say, ‘I had you for a class and now I teach here,’” he said.
Moyer helped strengthen UM-Dearborn’s partnership with Detroit Public Schools, leading science workshops for the district’s teachers for nearly a decade. The workshops helped educate Detroit teachers about science teaching methods, and also familiarized them with campus.
“It was a complete win-win,” Moyer said.
SOE students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to celebrate the school’s success at Thursday’s 25th Anniversary Reception, which runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Fairlane Center South’s Michigan Rooms. RSVP for the event.