"On My Teacher’s Shoulders" by Jeff Kelly Lowenstein: Book Tour Hits The Road
Bay Path University
October 23, 2014
Bay Path University, an innovative, career-focused institution founded in 1897, invited Jeff Kelly Lowenstein and me to be the lead-off program for their 2014 “Kaleidoscope Series: Perspectives On Culture, Life, and Learning”. It was a great fit since the Longmeadow, MA school has a robust undergraduate and graduate program in Education.
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
To enlarge the scope of the program, Dr. Karen DeAngelis, Chair of the Education Department, invited Jeff, my former fourth grade student, author of "On My Teacher's Shoulders" and a journalism professor at Columbia College in Chicago, to moderate a panel titled "Top Three Tips for Beginning Teachers."
6:00 - 6:30 PM
Networking session and light hors d'oeuvres
· Leah Cook, '13, BPU Alumnae, Special Education Teacher, Ludlow High School, MA
· Dr. Neil Gile, Principal, Wolf Swamp Elementary School, Longmeadow, MA
· Melissa Tharau, '12, BPU Alumnae, Kindergarten Teacher, Harwinton Consolidated Elementary School, Harwinton, CT
· Dr. Joanne Welch, Director of Special Education, East Longmeadow, MA
• Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, moderator, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
The panelists were terrific. Leah Cook and Melissa Tharau offered practical, do-able advice specifically aimed at young teachers like themselves but applicable to veterans as well. Dr. Gile spoke about the importance of creating a sense of culture and community within a school and how he does it. Dr. Joanne Welch offered advice from her unique point of view from thirty years of experience as teacher and administrator.
I’ve been out of the education business for ten years. Considering the sea changes in education, I wondered whether my own take on the subject would be antiquated. Boy, was I surprised. Pedagogy has changed over the years but the tips from these panelists would have met with nods from the veterans I taught with in my first year at The Pierce School in Brookline, MA in 1970.
The Breck Suite in Wright Hall was filled with the perfect audience: undergraduate education majors, student teachers, Bay Path graduates now in their first years of teaching and several members of the Bay Path staff.
Jeff's style of moderating was impressive: listening, summarizing, making insightful segues from one speaker to the next, then asking thoughtful follow-up questions that built on what panel members contributed. It gave me a first-hand view of how he teaches at Columbia College, using insight, perceptive listening, and levity to keep the topics deep and focused.
I've got to tell you, I've seen Jeff use those people skills since he was nine years old!
7:00 PM Kaliedoscope Series Program organized by Director of Special Programs Briana Sitler
Mills Theater in Carr Hall on the Bay Path University campus for our first presentation of “On My Teacher’s Shoulders” on the road since our premier presentation in Brookline,MA.
Photos by Paul A. Tamburello, Jr.