Katie Ferguson, the 2012 New York State Teacher of the Year, will share insights that led to her success in the classroom during a keynote address on Thursday, September 27, at 5:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.
“Be the Spark!: The Importance of Belief in Education,” reflects Ferguson’s teaching philosophy and her belief that all children can and will learn. In an e-mail this week, Ferguson indicated that she will emphasize the importance of believing in students, "…even if they cannot believe for themselves, since it is from your belief that theirs will blossom."
The 42nd New York State Teacher of the Year, Ferguson has taught second grade at Jessie R. Zoller Elementary in the high-needs City of Schenectady School District for 15 years. She is a member of the Schenectady Foundation of Teachers and is a master teacher who credits the numerous literacy development workshops she has taken as key in creating her own literacy program.
Ferguson grew up in a large family in inner-city Schenectady and developed a love of learning early on.
"My whole life I wanted to be a (fill in the blank) or a teacher. For example, in third grade I wanted to be a ballerina or a teacher, then a pilot or a teacher," she said. "But it really was in second grade that I first realized I might like to teach when I taught my friend how to subtract."
Ferguson’s visit is co-sponsored by the Buffalo State School of Education and the Professional Development Schools Consortium. Buffalo State teacher candidates, as well as classroom teachers from the community, are expected to attend.
"Everyone is eager to hear how Katie got where she is," said Leslie Day, assistant chair for undergraduate programs and advisement for the Elementary Education and Reading Department and director of the Professional Development Schools (PDS) Consortium. "We hope she will be an inspiration to those in attendance."
Ferguson also will address PDS members at their annual retreat on September 28.
"It’s exciting to have someone so accomplished and close to home speak," Day said. "And I think she is someone our teacher candidates can relate to and strive to be."
For more information, call (716) 878-3005.
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