Nuts & Bolts Webinar – Growth, Connection, Support: Bringing Together Learners to Create Community
The purpose of the 2022-2023 Nuts & Bolts series is to highlight and promulgate the application of BranchED’s Framework for the Quality Preparation of Educators, which outlines a roadmap to create teacher preparation programs that meet the needs of our increasingly diverse student body. It seeks to build equity-oriented educator preparation programs that prepare educators to reflect, respect, and reify the value of the diversity of America’s PK12 school children.
The Framework identifies six critical principles that teacher preparation providers can leverage to redesign their programs. Two of these principles (Community of Learners and Data Empowerment) provide the foundation for the remaining principles: Equitable Experiences, Inclusive Pedagogy, Intersectional Content, and Practice-Based Approach.
A community of learners is comprised of individuals who share values and beliefs and actively engage in learning from one another. In this webinar you will hear from teacher educators and their district partners who have coalesced to ensure equitable educational opportunities for both PK-12 learners and teacher candidates, leading to improved outcomes for all.
Dr. Gerrelyn Patterson Chair, Department of Educator Preparation in the College of Education at NCA&TDr. Gerrelyn PattersonChair, Department of Educator Preparation in the College of Education at NCA&T
Gerrelyn Patterson earned a B.A. in English Literature from North Carolina Central University, an M.Ed. in English Education from the University of Virginia, and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has more than 20 years of P-12 and post-secondary experience as a literature and composition instructor and teacher educator that has fostered her research on the historical contexts of teaching and learning for African-American students. Aligned with this historical context that includes adding to the body of work documenting school desegregation in North Carolina, Dr. Patterson’s research has centered on using service learning as a pedagogical strategy to engage diverse learners and strengthen the learning experiences that support the effective preparation of future teachers. In particular, her research focuses on how the implementation of service-learning pedagogy prepares pre-service teachers with opportunities to develop skills in leadership, advocacy, and civic engagement – concepts not explicitly taught in most educator preparation programs. Moreover, Dr. Patterson’s work utilizes the lens of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as historical models of service learning and reveals how they are currently positioned to provide context on the preparation of culturally responsive pre-service teachers. Currently, she is an associate professor at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, the largest HBCU in the nation, where she serves as chair of the Department of Educator Preparation in the College of Education.
Dr. Kellee Watkins Assistant Professor of Reading, Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Ed Program, NCAT Regional Director of the North Carolina New Teacher Support ProgramDr. Kellee WatkinsAssistant Professor of Reading, Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Ed Program, NCAT Regional Director of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program
Kellee D. Watkins, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Reading, Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education Program, and North Carolina A&T State University Regional Director of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program. Watkins earned her B.A. in
Elementary Education from Livingstone College, and M.Ed. in Reading, Language, and Literacy K-12 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Watkins is a National Board Certified Middle Childhood Generalist and a licensed school administrator.
Dr. Watkins was an elementary school teacher, curriculum coach, and academic coach in public schools for over 15 years. Her research interests include Reading Education, Curriculum Standards, Teacher Professional Development and Coaching, and Equity Education. She has been the lead Principal Investigator in several grant projects including Practice-Based Teacher Education through BranchEd. She has presented at state and national conferences, including the
Literacy Research Association, American Educational Research Association, American
Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, International Literacy Association, and North Carolina Reading Association.
Dr. Watkins is focused on helping to develop highly effective reading teachers capable of
contributing to the reading achievement of students who most need reading support. Her goal is to help develop the next generation of Aggie Educators and Aggie Reading Teachers who will step into their roles as literacy experts and who will lead literacy initiatives in their schools, districts, and states.
Dr. Nicole DobbinsAssociate Professor, North Carolina A&T State University
Dr. Nicole Dobbins received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with an emphasis in the areas of emotional & behavioral disorders, persistent and severe learning and behavioral challenges and administration. Currently, Dr. Dobbins is an Associate Professor in Special Education at in the University of North Carolina System. She has also served as the Program Coordinator for the undergraduate and Master of Arts programs in Special Education. Her scholarship is focused on providing teachers with effective academic, behavioral, social, and cultural relevant strategies for diverse learners with an emphasis on differentiation through the application of Universal Design for Learning. Her professional experience includes working as a special education teacher, project facilitator, adjunct professor, and university faculty member. Dr. Dobbins has chaired university curriculum committees, served on, and chaired faculty search committees, and been an active member of university task force committees. Dr. Dobbins’ time in the field of education has provided her with leadership skills, collaborative dispositions, and several scholarly endeavors.
As an engaged scholar, Dr. Dobbins has involved herself in several multifaceted activities designed to increase her abilities to think, communicate, and learn (Boyer, 1996). Throughout her research, she has viewed issues regarding educating students with and without disabilities through the lens of an African American woman with a learning disability (LD). She continues to examine effective measures to assess and improve academic, social and behavioral, cross-cultural, and linguistic competencies and awareness of teachers and administrators in public schools and higher education. Dr. Dobbins is concerned with the over identification and misrepresentation of students receiving services in special education and the limited amount of teacher preparation specifically designed to work with students whose cultural, linguistic, or ethnic background differs from their own. As an engaged researcher, Dr. Dobbins is committed to the discovery and implementation of effective academic, behavioral, social, and cultural strategies for all learners, specifically students with disabilities and learners from diverse groups. She has published over 17 peer reviewed manuscripts in these areas that are in print or in press. She has presented at 50 regional, national, and international professional conferences and published manuscripts in these areas that are in print or in press. She is a member of editorial review boards for several refereed professional journals (e.g., Intervention in School and Clinic, Teaching Exceptional Children, and Education Quarterly). Dr. Dobbins has successfully secured approximately 1.5 million dollars in funding from a variety of sponsors, such as the North Carolina State Employee Credit Union, the Office of Special Education (U.S. Department of Education), and the North Carolina Department of Education.
Dr. Tiffany Perkins Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Professional Development, Guilford County SchoolsDr. Tiffany PerkinsInterim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Professional Development, Guilford County Schools
Since 2017, Tiffany Perkins has served in various district leadership roles for Guilford County Schools, with her current role being Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Professional Development. Tiffany began her experience as a professional educator in Wake County Public Schools in NC in 1995, following her graduation from NC State University in Mathematics Education as a NC Teaching Fellow. She also served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district administrator in Rockingham County Schools from 1998-2015. During her time in Rockingham County Schools, Tiffany completed her National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Mathematics, earned an MSA, Ed.S. and Ed.D. from UNC Greensboro as well as served as the district’s 2006 Principal of the Year. Under her collaborative and instructional leadership, South End Elementary School received the 2010 recognition as a National Title I School for Closing the Achievement Gap. Prior to joining Guilford County Schools, Tiffany served as the Director for K12 Standards, Curriculum and Instruction at the NC Department of Public Instruction.