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Laura Dearman has over 20 years experience teaching in early childhood classrooms. Most recently, Dearman taught early childhood art, reader’s workshop and writer’s workshop at Presbyterian Day School.
As Director of Teacher Development, Dearman leads the Martin Institute Residents program, having built it from an idea into a highly sought after source of exceptional teacher development. Dearman also serves as director of the Institute's annual conference, held each June.
An expert in developing early literacy skills, Dearman has presented at various conferences, including TAIS, TAEYC, MAEYC, Shelby County Schools In-Service, and the Martin Institute Conference. Her popular workshops include “Come On! Let’s Write”, “Literacy Development and Little Explorers” and “Literacy Development in Kindergarten.” Dearman earned her bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss and her Master’s degree from The University of Memphis.
Dearman is passionate about developing teachers as leaders, and giving back to the city of Memphis. As Director of Teacher Development, she plays a key role in continuing to design, expand, and cultivate programs and networks that advance the work of The Martin Institute. The particular emphasis of the Institute’s teacher development program is to provide resources and support to increase Memphis area teachers’ abilities to design and lead transformative learning in the classroom.
Laura and her husband, Buddy, have two children and one crazy dog.
“Lessons from the Real World is an hour-long film your local board of education, PTA, and teachers should watch. It shows what school can be. Should be. Every member of Congress should be required to watch this film.” – Susan Ohanian, Winner of the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language
Saturday, November 15 • 9:30am • Malco Paradiso
Many people feel our public schools are failing, or at best, muddling through. What to do about this critical issue has almost exclusively focused on the efforts of No Child Left Behind and now Race to the Top legislation to improve test scores in core subjects like math and reading.
The future of our nation and our ability to compete in the economic marketplace with other countries is considered to hinge on these high stakes tests, with teachers, schools and entire school districts held accountable for failure. The results, afforded much media coverage, have been mixed though the process has produced many students turned off to formal education. An equally important consequence is that the increased narrowing of the curriculum to try to achieve these limited objectives, has undermined the ability of students to become active, informed and engaged citizens in a democratic society – capable of doing something about the issues which dramatically impact their lives.
Lessons From the Real World, contends, like many educators, that focusing on test scores to improve student achievement is looking in the wrong place.
Learning to read, do math and other subjects will come if students care about what they are learning, rather than drilling them with subject matter largely divorced from their real lives, and the community and societal problems which often impact those lives.
In Portland, Oregon, teachers at a wide range of schools are putting this idea into practice. While this is their story, it can help point the way to rethinking how schools everywhere can be successfully transformed.
Lessons From the Real World, a highly informative and entertaining documentary, filled with engaging teachers, students and lessons will surely bring much needed attention to a long neglected and critical aspect of the debate around public education.
Sign up now for our New Teacher Network seminars! The series will begin on September 30 at 4:00.
|New Teacher Network
|September 30||Routines and Procedures and Mindset|
|October 28||Teaching Each Child|
|December 2||Building Relationships for Positive Collaboration|
|January 27||Data Analysis|
|March 31||Literacy Development|
|May 5||Taking Care of You: Time and Stress Management|
The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence is pleased to be collaborating with Dr. Samantha Alperin and Dr. Wendy Ashcroft of Christian Brothers University to learn about Special Education: Understanding Needs and Resources.