SERVICE: NARRATIVE & SUPPORTING MATERIALS (15%)
If service is to be considered scholarship, as Boyer (1990) argues, it must be connected directly to one's discipline. That is to say, it must inform the professor's work at the university, or be a natural outgrowth of the same. This sort of service is the "serious, demanding work, requiring the rigor - and the accountability - traditionally associated with research activities" (Boyer, p.22). I wholeheartedly agree with this position, and have aligned my service with this belief. The service in which I have been engaged during the Fall of 2016 is outlined below, with supporting materials provided where necessary.
Elementary School Literacy Volunteer
Throughout my first semester teaching SSED 331 (a social studies methods course for pre-service elementary teachers), I became increasingly aware of the relationship between literacy and the social sciences. Literacy learning strategies are at the heart of interdisciplinary instruction - a pedagogical approach that I champion in my course (see instructional video for distance learners at left). Because I have read about and studied literacy education but have limited experience in the field, I made the decision to volunteer in a first grade classroom at a local elementary school every Tuesday this Fall. I had the privilege of helping students as they learned to read and write, all the while observing the real experts (the first grade teachers) as they did the same. While I like to think that my presence was mutually beneficial, the truth is that the students taught me quite a bit - all of which now inform my practice at the university. Specifically, I observed a plethora of strategies that I now share with my students. Additionally, I now have a stronger sense of what can be expected from students relative to both grade level and cognitive/behavioral development.
I plan to continue to volunteer during the second semester. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that volunteering in local schools has the benefit of strengthening relationships between the university and the community. Every time I walk into a school, I am a Yellowjacket ambassador of sorts, which is a role I am proud to play.
Dissertation Committee Member
Beginning in January, I have the privilege of serving as a reader/committee member for the dissertation of Dan Arvidson-Hicks, Assistant Principal at Superior Middle School and doctoral candidate at Hamline University. Dan's research centers on leadership that increases, enhances and facilitates staff collaboration. While Dan's topic is interesting, I also agreed to sit on his committee because it increases my professional connection to the Superior community; working with Dan is derived from my professional commitment to engaging with professionals in the local and regional community. I look forward to working with Dan and getting to know the school and its stakeholders in the process.