“Changing the world is sometimes big and grandiose … and other times, it’s one-on-one,” says Margo Glew, director of the College of Education’s Global Educators Cohort Program at Michigan State University. “Teachers are committed to social change in those quiet, one-on-one moments with students that can change a trajectory, light a fire, encourage others.”
Graduates of MSU’s top-ranked elementary and secondary graduate programs — ranked #1 in the nation for 24 consecutive years — are exceptionally well prepared to make a difference in the lives of their students.
MSU expanded its reputation as a pioneer in teacher education when it launched its full-year internship in 1993. The Teacher Preparation Program became an academic model for peer institutions, and part of the first wave of programs to offer fifth-year internships.
While participating in a full-year internship, a Spartan teacher education student earns 12 graduate-level credits that can be applied to many MSU graduate programs. By the end of the program — including the full-year internship — a student will have gained more than 1,000 hours of valuable in-classroom experience.
As early as their freshman year, students also may choose to join the Urban Educators Cohort Program or the Global Educators Cohort Program. These optional programs help students build specialized skills for teaching in high-needs settings.
In the last 25 years, more than 13,500 Spartans have been certified as new teachers through MSU. These educators have gone on to work across the state, country and around the world. Each has created a distinctive career path and put their College of Education skills to work to help shape future generations and make a difference in their communities.
From donning costumes during history lessons to ensuring students have the technology they need to succeed, Spartan teachers are known for applying creative solutions to meet the needs of their students and to support their fellow educators. Meet a few of them here:
Job: High school history teacher
Location: Westerville, Ohio
B.A., 2000, history
Ohio teacher Ben Hartnell is serious about helping students learn the facts about historical events — and have fun while doing it. He wears a costume almost every day, stages elaborate re-enactments and, in 2016, literally ran for president as a write-in candidate. The goal? To show students that everyone, not just the major political parties, can make an impact.
Job: First grade teacher
Location: Vienna, Virginia
B.A. 2012, elementary education;
M.A., 2016, teaching and curriculum
Elizabeth Gutowski has a goal of helping others develop personally and academically. She mentors new teachers, and provides support to others doing the same. She also uses research-backed techniques to help her students self-regulate, identify and manage their emotions. After learning coping mechanisms in the Insights into Infants’ Internal Worlds Lab at MSU, Gutowski implemented methods like having students take a break, do yoga or visit a “safe zone” in her classroom.
Job: High school math teacher
Location: Haslett, Michigan
B.A., 1997, mathematics (secondary education); M.A., 2001, curriculum and teaching
Kevin Tobe is an educator, advisor, mentor and volunteer known for his dedication to inspiring students in math and in life. In leadership positions at his school and alma mater, and with state- and national-level recognition, Tobe’s teaching focuses on fostering student creativity, curiosity and confidence.
Job: Executive director of curriculum, instruction and culture, Detroit 90/90
Location: Detroit, Michigan
B.A., 2000, elementary education; M.A., 2003, curriculum and teaching; Ph.D., 2011, curriculum, teaching and educational policy
Curtis Lewis always has been willing to build change from the ground up. In Detroit, he was the founding principal of a successful elementary school and now oversees teaching across the city’s largest nonprofit network of charter schools. Along the way, he’s built up a statewide network of educators focused on transforming learning experiences.
Job: Technology integration specialist
Location: Rochester Hills, Michigan
B.A., 2012, elementary education; M.A., 2015, educational technology
When it comes to technology that enhances the classroom experience, Rachelle Galang is an expert. An instructor in the Master’s in Educational Technology Program at MSU and a technology integration specialist in Michigan, Galang specializes in supporting educators with using technology in teaching and learning in K-12 settings.
How Educators Can Be the Change
Teach, Even When They Say 'Don't'
The World Is Our Classroom
FROM THE EDITOR: