Issue 566: 3 / 2 / 2015

Everything I Learned About Being an Effective Community College Teacher – I Learned While Studying to Become an Early Childhood Educator

Dr. Walker engaging preschoolers at ...

Dr. Walker engaging preschoolers at Prince & Princess Child Care Center in Memphis, TN, in hands-on-learning.

Dr. Walker’s Introduction to ...

Dr. Walker’s Introduction to Education class engaged in active learning.

By Robert J. Walker, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Education

While studying for my doctorate degree in Early Childhood Education back in the late 1980s, I read the, then popular, bestselling book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum. As stated by Fulghum, some of the key life lessons learned in kindergarten applicable to success as an adult are: Play fair; Don’t hit people; Put things back where you found them; Clean up your own mess; Don’t take things that aren’t yours; and Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Not only do I incorporate these life principles into every class I teach at Southwest, I have also discovered that the same teaching strategies and methods that are effective in helping kindergarten children learn content, are also effective in working with college students. There is a great deal of truth in the statement, “Explain it to me as if I were a kindergartner!”

By no means do I use this statement to belittle the intellect of my students. It simply means that I must clearly take the time to actually prepare my lesson in a way that meets the academic needs, styles of learning, and the multiple intelligences of my students. As a result, I don’t just simply stand in front of my class and lecture. In each class session, I consciously, actively engage my students in the learning process — just as I do when I am working with young children in early childhood centers. In order to reach all of the students in my classes, I attempt to discover their learning styles and teach accordingly. I do this by having my students complete a learning-style inventory at the beginning of the semester.

According to research done by Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard University School of Education, "We are not all the same, we do not all have the same kinds of minds, and education works most effectively for most individuals if...human differences are taken seriously.", (Gardner, 1995, p.208). According to Gardner’s groundbreaking research, there are at least seven types of multiple intelligences, commonly called learning styles, mainly:

1. Bodily-kinesthetic students - often express themselves through the use of facial and hand gestures. They never seem to be able to sit through an entire class lecture.They truly have a hard time staying off their cell phones and always seem to have to step out of class. Their usual excuse is to use the bathroom. Assigning activities allow these students to move around my classroom, and occasional assignments where they are able to use their cell phones to look up answers, are ways I hold these students’ attention.

2. Interpersonal students - think by getting ideas or approval of their ideas from others. A way I meet the learning needs of interpersonal students is to allow them to work as partners during an in-class activity.

3. Intrapersonal students - are the quiet and shy ones. They may have the an­swer to a question but choose not to share it, even when you call on them. I meet the learning needs of the intrapersonal students by privately praising them through walking by their desk as saying, “good job!”, or placing a motivation sticker on their paper. I also give in-class activities to complete indepen­dently.

4. Logical-mathematical students - are motivated by reasoning. From time-to-time, they may get on your last nerve. It is not that they mean to. It is because of their logical reasoning abilities — everything to them must make sense. Therefore, they are always asking, “Why?” or “How come?” I address the needs of these students by giving clear and written details for every major assignment, providing explanations for activities, and telling the class what I expect them to learn before they begin an assignment. 

5. Natural-physical world students - enjoy being outside. They love to use things in nature as examples when doing class activities. During the spring, I have had class activities outside. This brings a great deal of joy to the natural-physical world students.

6. Visual-spatial students - enjoy images and pictures. To make my class most enjoyable for them, I use teaching aids: drawings, maps, posters, charts, artwork, the Document Cam, DVD, PowerPoint, websites, and YouTube video clips during class time.

7. Verbal-linguistic students - are probably the easiest to please. They always seem to pay attention, hanging on to my every word. They seem to always know the answer and willingly participate in class discussions. They think in words. They actually read the chapters in the textbook!—and  would love it if I did nothing but lectured.

It is possible to meet the needs of all the multiple intelligences (learning styles) in your college classroom by being unpre­dictable, and by varying your teaching style from day-to-day and activity-to-activity. Be creative. Use class activities that address a variety of multiple intelligences-learning styles. As a result, your students will enjoy your class, be more engaged in the learning activities, and will be more likely to faithfully attend your class.

Gardner, H. (1995). Reflections on Multiple Intelligences: Myths and Messages. Phi Delta Kappan. 76: 200 - 209.

Students Seeking Free Community College Face Application Deadline

Ace Brooks, Leadership Memphis; (from ...

Ace Brooks, Leadership Memphis; (from left) Louie Gettings, Shelby County Schools student services; and Christian Brothers University President John Smarrelli, Jr. listen as the mayors of Memphis and Shelby County read a joint proclamation during a FAFSA Memphis campaign event in the hall of mayors at Memphis City Hall. (Brandon Dill/Special to The Commercial Appeal)

Reprinted from The Commercial Appeal
Feb 13, 2015
Jane Roberts

Tennessee Promise, the scholarship that provides two years of free community college, faces one of the biggest litmus tests of its young life this weekend. By midnight Sunday, students who intend to take advantage of the free ride must have completed the 130-question application for state and federal financial aid.

As of Feb. 3, 60 percent of the 6,081 students still in the running were done.

“There has been a pretty significant push in the last week. We’re hoping there will be a nice uptick next Friday when we get the new data,” said Mark Sturgis, executive director of Seeding Success, one of a dozen or more players in the effort to increase Shelby County’s completion rates.

Officially, it is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, but in social agencies and high school counselors’ offices across the country, its known simply as FAFSA.

In the last 45 days, there have been more than 60 events to help families complete the detailed and cumbersome application. The last one, FAFSA College Sunday, is from 2 to 4 p.m. at Southwest Tennessee Community College, 5983 Macon Cove.

In addition to data on family income, students are expected to know if any time in the last year they were considered an “unaccompanied youth.”

“If so, you have to look at additional notes,” Sturgis said. “It’s just a very complex document. I think the current FAFSA is geared more to folks doing research than the families and students who need to complete it.”

Across the county, 42 percent of students have completed the online application, slightly ahead of 40 percent who had finished as this point last year. The goal is 80 percent. Students who plan to attend a four-year school have until June 30 to apply.

“There is a lot of fear if you report income it could affect other assistance those families might be receiving,” Sturgis said. “And not everyone has gotten their W-2’s back.”

In 19 high schools in Shelby County, 100 percent of the senior class applied for the scholarship. In fewer than half, 50 percent of the class has completed FAFSA, including Carver and Booker T. Washington where MIFA COOL (College Offers Opportunities for Life) staff have been at work every week.

“Our numbers are what they are,” said Andrea Hill, COOL program manager. “We’ve been working through the process, trying to eliminate some of the concerns as far as access to computers and the Internet.”

Dr. Randy McPherson, manager of student behavior in SCS, asked school counselors to identify who has not yet completed the financial application. In many cases, they are undocumented families or students who intend to work in trade apprenticeships.

Part of the issue is a shortage of school counselors. “We don’t get a second counselor until the 750th student enrolls,” he said.

“That’s why we get a lot of help with our community partners. They have been tremendously helpful, but there is no replacing a full-time counselor …”

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Fit Couples Share Love and Fitness

Reprinted from Memphis Health +Fitness Magazine
February 2015

Ken & Terri Carpenter
Aries +Aries

Health and fitness is ingrained into virtually every aspect of Ken, 60, and Terri's, 50, lives. Both avid runners, the pair enjoys participating in local races such as the Elvis Presley 5K, the Gibson Guitar 5K, and race for the cure, and Ken is also the founder for the annual Mark Walden sickle-cell 5K. Professionally, the couple [has opened] Carpenter Primary Health Care in Whitehaven at the Methodist South Hospital Medical Office Complex where Terri is the CEO and DNP, FNP-BC, while her husband, Ken, is the COO and business manager.

Fitness Love: Running

Why is fitness important to your relationship?

Terri: Fitness is just a way of life for us, and a normal, routine part of our relationship. Plus, as a family nurse practitioner, I try to help motivate and encourage my patients to lead a healthy life. With opening my own medical practice, I need to be physically fit to show my patients I live what I teach.

Ken: We run together  three- four days per week. It's nice to have someone to motivate you and hold you accountable. We support each other's accomplishments, like when Terri ran 6 miles for the first time last fall with Sisters in Motion. Running gives us the opportunity to spend time together, while also clearing our minds and relieving some stress. Ken is an Anatomy and Physiology instructor at Southwest Tennessee Community College and plans to retire this year to work full-time in the medical practice.

What do you do for date night?

Terri: A good night out for us would be going to a movie, skating, bowling, dinner, or dancing alone or with our friends. We've been married almost 23 years and together for 31 years but, we still enjoy being around each other, having fun together, and working together.

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Student Success Center Workshop Schedule

The Student Services and Enrollment Management Division of Southwest launched the Student Success Center (SSC) at the beginning of the 2014 Spring Semester. SSC employs intrusive counseling and early intervention strategies to identify and resolve barriers for students who earn a semester grade point average below 2.0 and who have received a financial aid warning.  The Spring 2015 workshop schedule is as follows:

Creating and Maintaining Positive Relationships with Instructors presented by Dr. Aimee Burgdorf

Driving for Success, presented by Mrs. Evelyn Moore

Effective Note Taking Skills presented by Mrs. Evelyn Moore

How to Dress for Success presented by Ms. Joanitha Barnes

Study Skills presented by Ms. Janice Dunn

Time Management presented by Mr. Robert Oselen

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Consumer Complaints Rank Top Scams of 2014

Reprinted from The Jackson Sun
By Randy Hutchinson
President of the Memphis BBB

The National Consumers League and the BBB have released their lists of the top ten scams of 2014. NCL’s was based on an analysis of 10,000 consumer complaints it received. The BBB list represents the consensus of BBBs across the country about what scams they heard about most often.

Phony sweepstakes and lotteries are a perennial problem and made both lists. The most recent version we’ve seen involves people being told they’ve won a sweepstakes conducted by the Consumer Protection Bureau, which is an attempt to impersonate a legitimate government agency (the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

You need to pay some fee or tax to claim your prize by either wiring the money or loading it onto a pre-paid debit card. Once you send the wire or give the crooks the number on the card, the money is gone and you get nothing in return.

Another scam on both lists are phony calls from Microsoft, Dell or other tech support companies saying there’s a problem with your computer and you need to give them access to it to fix the problem. Instead, they install malware on your computer and steal your personal information.

Two other scams that appeared on both lists were phony government grants and fraudulent Internet sales. Scams that were on just one list but that I’m sure both organizations dealt with include:

The consensus number one scam that BBBs heard about was the “arrest scam.” Consumers receive calls purportedly from the IRS or police saying they owe money and need to make immediate payment arrangements to avoid being arrested.

A similar scam targeted at businesses involves callers who claim to be from the local utility company. They say the business is past due on its utility bill and its power will be shut off, often at its busiest time of the day, unless it sends money immediately via a prepaid debit card.

Scammers use many of the same techniques as legitimate sales professionals to hook their victims. They build relationships, establish credibility through fake websites or hacked emails that come from a friend’s account, and play on emotions.

The BBB offers this advice for avoiding scams:

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Southwest To Host TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII Basketball Tournament

Southwest Tennessee Community College will host the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) / National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region VII men’s and women’s basketball tournament next week at the Verties Sails Gymnasium on the Union Avenue Campus.

Community college teams from across the state of Tennessee will compete in the tournament which begins on March 3 and ends with the championship games on March 7. In addition to the host institution Southwest, other participating teams include Chattanooga State, Cleveland State, Columbia State, Dyersburg State, Jackson State, Motlow State, Roane State, Walters State and Volunteer State. Tournament champions advance to the NJCAA National Tournament March 16-21 in Hutchinson, Kansas, (men) and Salina, Kansas, (women).

The tournament’s top seeds are TCCAA regular season champions Southwest (men) and Walters State (women). The Southwest men are ranked 11th in the most recent NJCAA Division 1 Poll while the Walters State women are ranked 8th.

View the 2015 TCCAA/NJCAA Regional VII Basketball Tournament Schedule.

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Southwest Baseball Team Gets Split in Conference Opening Series

Matt Mills

Matt Mills

The Southwest baseball team opened conference play on March 1 in Harriman, Tennessee, against Roane State and split the two-game series. After dropping the first game 3-2, in 10 innings, the Saluqis came back to win the second game 4-0.

The first game loss spoiled an outstanding effort by starting pitcher Milton Macias, who allowed only one earned run and struck out eight batters in eight innings. Game two winning pitcher Matt Mills turned in an even better outing, allowing just three hits in the seven-inning shutout. Vince Hoyt was the hitting star with six hits (including a double) and three runs batted in on the day. Kyle Bynum added two hits in the first, and drove in a run in the second game.

The Southwest baseball team will host Volunteer State this weekend in a three-game conference series at USA Stadium. The Saluqis and Pioneers will play a single game at 1 p.m. on March 6, followed by a noon doubleheader on March 7.

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Southwest Softball Team Splits Conference Opening Series

Olivia Johnson

Olivia Johnson

The Southwest softball team finally got back on the field on March 1 (for the first time in two weeks) for the conference opening series in Harriman, Tennessee, against Roane State and came away with a split, losing a heartbreaker in game one 7-6, and winning game two 7-0. The Lady Saluqis’ record is now 5-3 overal, and 1-1 in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association.

Hitting stars on the day were Olivia Johnson, who reached base all seven times (including a home run) and drove in three runs and Dallas Chipman, who had a single and home run with three runs batted in. Hannah Wright was the winning pitcher in the second game, striking out six batters in the five-inning shutout. On the defensive side, outstanding plays were made by Alissa Rice, Elena Maxwell and Anna Johnson.

The Lady Saluqis will host Volunteer State in a four-game conference series this weekend. The games are scheduled for March 6-7 at Buckhead Creek Recreation Complex.

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