Benedictine University’s School of Education equips candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will shape and influence learning through critical thinking, research-based decisions, and best practices. These practices produce outcomes for teacher candidates to become highly effective practitioners who actively engage with content to promote critical thinking skills, innovatively manage the learning environment, and consistently monitor student progress to adjust curriculum delivery while collaborating with others to positively impact students, the community, and the professional field. As an integrated whole, the conceptual framework contains the overarching purpose of the unit: to create effective practitioners.
I am currently about to begin my first full year as a Junior High Physical Education and Health Teacher after substituting in middle school math and science for one semester after graduation. One thing I have done in my classroom that I am excited about and continuing doing is 2-to-3-minute brain break about halfway through class. My brain breaks usually consist of movement, movement across the mid-line of the body, cooperative games, problem solving, or strategy, all intended to ensure my students are engaged from start to beginning. I plan on utilizing best teaching practices in order to give my students a valuable education and incorporate assessment to help enrich my instruction. My lessons focus on real-world experiences and activities, full inclusion, and activities that allow the students to enhance their thought processes. A great piece of advice for pre-service teacher candidates is to not hold back when planning lessons and ensure you are giving your students the best experience during your lesson. Look for creative ways to introduce material, relate that material to your students, and allow your students to apply that material in many ways that stretch their minds.
My name is Briana Holland and I am currently a kindergarten teacher working for Chicago Public Schools through the AUSL network. By working at an AUSL school, I have the chance to work in a school that was not performing well and was turned around. This school year I am going into my fifth year of teaching and second year with CPS. I am excited to get going this school year because I will also work in the role of Primary Teacher Leader for my school. This summer I spent some time reviewing new curriculum for my classroom and mapping out what I would like to see done this year in my department. Last year my students made large gains in vocabulary which allowed them to reach high reading levels. I am excited to try out new strategies with my students that will hopefully help them to make greater gains than the students I had last school year. On top of trying out new things in my classroom and taking on the role as Teacher Leader for our Primary Department, I am also on the Culture and Climate team as well as the Social Committee and am eager to plan new events and collaborate with others on how to improve our school. As a fifth year teacher my advice to those going into teaching would be to continue to learn in every space and environment you are in. As a teacher, learning never stops and one must know just as much as they know academically to be able to teach the whole child. Also I would advise to not give up when you are faced with dilemmas. Learn from them, reflect on them, but do not give it. If you give up you won't be able to honestly tell your students not to give up when faced with adversity. My last piece of advice would be to keep pushing to achieve greater but to also make time for yourself. A healthy mind, spirit, and body can achieve more any day versus a tired one.
Accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education, ISBE.
Realizing that Graphic Design wasn't fulfilling, I chose to earn my Masters
of Education in Elementary Education at Benedictine University. Entering my final year, I am gearing up for Student Teaching and writing my thesis on the physical classroom environment's role in student learning. I believe in integrating skills and knowledge between subjects- just as we do in life. For instance, when
I assistant-taught kindergarten at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, my students folded origami flowers as a literature connection to Peter H. Reynolds' Roses' Garden and Peter Brown's The Curious Garden. It was an incredible way to also bring in art and mathematics. My one piece of advice for re-service teachers: Every day you will learn something from your students, coworkers, professors, and mentors. Be sure to take advantage of those moments. Ask as many questions as possible and enjoy the experiences.
Hello, my name is Katie Roe and I am a junior here at Benedictine University. I am studying Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education and am loving every second of my journey here! I especially enjoy my preclinical experiences; being able to go into the classrooms and help teach the children. One of my fondest memories of my very first preclinical experience was being able to give the weekly spelling tests and having to come up with fun, as well as, interesting sentences to make the test a little better for the children! I am currently getting ready to start my second preclinical and am super excited to get back in the classroom. I hope to have a good year and will be planning on attending the Illinois Council for Exceptional Children (ICEC) Fall Convention in November for professional development. A piece of advice I like to give to all students interested in becoming teachers is to stay on top of your schedule. Time management is a huge skill and a necessity for any career path, but especially being a teacher. Besides all that, just remember to have fun and enjoy positively impacting your students' lives!
BJ Ward Elementary School in Bolingbrook, Illinois is a diverse hub of learning, filled with 540 of the most lively, tenacious students in grades preK-5 you will ever meet. Converted from a former middle school, BJ Ward opened its doors as an elementary school in August of 2005. Our students come with a great economic need with 95%+ being considered low income. Furthermore, 42% of the school is considered LEP (limited English proficiency). Despite these hurdles, BJ Ward is dedicated to helping its students succeed through a variety of its initiatives. From family events like the annual Donuts for Dads breakfast to Family Fitness nights that encourage parental involvement to the school's many clubs including intramurals, tutoring, drama, science, and more, BJ Ward works to provide a holistic education for its students. This holistic approach includes focusing on providing students with healthy life skills such as our garden club supporting healthy eating or our Pay it Forward project that encourages students to be kinder than necessary. Furthermore BJ Ward staff and its partners are dedicated to providing the high quality education that its students deserve by taking advantage of community resources such as partnerships with the local library, businesses, and pursuing grant opportunities.
Send Dr. Wong an Email
Phone: (630) 829-1151
Dr. Ovid Wong is a science education professor with Benedictine University since 2007. He has a joint teaching assignment in the College of Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Education. He received his B.Sc. and Dip. Ed. from the University of Alberta (Canada), his M.Ed. from the University of Washington (Seattle), and his Ph.D. in science education from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign).
His experience in public education spans over twenty years from the inner city classroom in Chicago to the suburban office of the assistant school superintendent. For twelve years he was the lead science instructor at the Center for Gifted and Talented Development at Northwestern University. In the summers of 2012 and 2013, Dr. Wong was invited by Dalian Nationalities University in China to train young faculty members representing twelve academic departments in pedagogy and andragogy. In 2013, he was invited by Shenyang Normal University in China to conduct cross-cultural training for faculty and students. The China trips were supported by the Foreign Expert Exchange fund of the Chinese government. In 2017, Dr. Wong was invited by Binh Duong University in Vietnam for faculty pedagogical training.
In 1989, Dr. Wong received the National Science Foundation’s Outstanding Science Teacher in Illinois award and the National Science Teaching Achievement Recognition (STAR) award by the National Science Teacher Association. In the same year he visited the former Soviet Union as the environmental science delegation leader with the student ambassador program. He was the first recipient of the outstanding alumni award by the University of Alberta in 1992 and also the first recipient of the distinguished alumni award by the College of Education at the University of Illinois in 1995. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award in recognition of his significant achievements in research at Benedictine University.
Dr. Wong is the author of thirty-two books. He has received the Midwest Book Author ward from the Children’s Reading Roundtable of Chicago. He has written twelve books dedicated to coaching teachers and students to effectively prepare for the state mandated examination across the nation with specific editions for Illinois, Michigan, New York and Ohio. His recent ten books include Using Data Analysis to Improve Student Learning: Toward 100% Proficiency; Pivotal Strategies for the Educational Leader: The Importance of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War; Prioritizing Money and Power: Equalize Student Achievement; Elementary Science with Classroom Experiments; Elementary Science with Classroom Experiments for ISAT; Elementary Science with Classroom Experiments for ESPET; High-Poverty, High-Performing Schools; An Instructor Primer for Adjunct and New Faculty: Foundations for Career Success; Life Decision; and To Learn is To Do: Evangelism ABC.