Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2011

Faculty Award winner

Deirdre Englehart

 College of Education

 Child, Family and Community Sciences

I am an educator. I continually seek opportunities to learn and grow in my profession and in my teaching. Education is an opportunity. As an educator I have an opportunity and an obligation. I have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my students and an obligation to prepare them for their future teaching career. My teaching practices stem from my own beginnings in working with young children. I work to model best practices and to involve my students in their learning as a way to share my own beliefs and understandings of early childhood education. My belief is based upon the constructivist model that we learn from doing, interacting with others and then expressing what we did and learned, so I follow this format with my college students. I also believe that I am a lifelong learner. I seek to learn more in the field of early childhood education so that I can be a better teacher.

In a recent publication, I reflect on the book All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon thoughts on common things (Fulghum, 1986) and consider my own beliefs about teaching. I believe that I have learned a lot about teaching from many kindergarten teachers, and these practices still guide my actions in the college classroom. "Generally speaking, teaching and learning are about connections, we connect with children and provide ways for them to connect with others. The connections help to build relationships and help children as they communicate to learn. On another level, we want children to connect with what they learn, by being actively engaged in learning" (Englehart, 2011, 2).

As an educator working with early childhood education, I believe that a teacher can make all the difference for students and I hope that I am that teacher!

Englehart, D. (2010). All I Ever Need to Know to Teach, I Learned from a Kindergarten Teacher. ACEI Childhood Education Exchange, Summer 2010 edition.

Fulghum, R. (1986). All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon thoughts on common things. Ivy Books: New York.