Meaghan Haugh

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School’s out for the summer, but for many teachers and students, the learning doesn’t stop. Rider University’s School of Education is currently offering professional development and enrichment opportunities through courses and workshops for teachers and school administrators, as well as high- school students interested in pursuing careers in education.

Rider launched its inaugural Summer Institute for 21st Century Teachers  this summer. This series of workshops running through mid-July is aimed toward teachers, school administrators, pre-service teachers and School of Education alumni. The institute features interactive sessions that implement state and national standards through graduate courses and workshops facilitated by Rider faculty and partnering teachers on incorporating technology, building interdisciplinary connections and infusing global perspectives in the classroom.

“Our alumni are among the finest teachers in New Jersey. What we are doing is giving them and their fellow educators the tools and the forum to further develop their skills and collaborate with their colleagues in the areas that affect their practice,” said Dr. Sharon Sherman, dean of the School of Education. These include the acquisition of deep content knowledge, rich database decision-making strategies, a blueprint for developing professional learning communities and embedding technology use into their classrooms, Sherman explained.

Summer Institute participants will not only have the opportunity to take part in practical workshops that will earn them valuable continuing education units, but they could also be earning graduate credit in one of the many new masters programs Rider University will launch later this year.
In addition, Rider is holding a School of Education Teacher Academy, from July 6 through July 22, for area middle- and high-school students interested in learning more about the teaching profession. The academy is made possible by a grant from the Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Foundation. Topics will include professional responsibilities and ethics of teachers, interpersonal skills, lesson plans, effective classroom management, and 21st century technology and media.

As part of the Summer Institute, the School of Education hosted the Teacher Leadership Community (TLC) Institute on June 29 and June 30 on its Lawrenceville campus. More than 70 New Jersey educators had the chance to share teaching and learning experiences.

The free, two-day workshop, was sponsored by Rider University School of Education, Alumni Affairs and Graduate Admissions, and provided 12 Continuing Education Units for all participants. Topics included Leadership Styles, Collaboration in the Inclusion Setting, Effective Feedback and Online Collaboration. Education professionals from the New Jersey Education Association and The Pennsylvania State University led discussions on mentoring and co-teaching.

TLC kicked off with key-note speakers Dr. Christopher Campisano, coordinator of Higher Education Programs for the New Jersey State Department of Education; Maryann Wood-Murphy, a 2009-10 New Jersey Teacher of the Year; and Emily DiPaolo ’10, a 2010 New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher.

DiPaolo highlighted the mission of the Teacher Leadership Community when she described the impact that her cooperating teacher Jessica Amodio had on her personal and professional life as a student teacher at Toll Gate Grammar School in Pennington, N.J. DiPaolo, who earned bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education and Integrated Science and Mathematics from Rider in May, said the relationship between cooperating teachers and students teachers is analogous to the ocean.

“Most of us are shells distinctly changed by waves. The waves are the people who push us and embrace change,” DiPaolo said. “As my cooperating teacher, Jessica was my role model and coach. She gave me the freedom to be creative, make mistakes and try my ideas with unwavering confidence.”

For more information about Rider’s School of Education workshops and programs, please call 609-896-5033, e-mail [email protected], or visit, and click on Summer Institute for 21st Century Teachers in the “More Information” box.