Terrapin Teachers (TT) welcomes two new Shared Master Teachers (SMTs) in computer science, Elias Gonzalez and Jennifer Manly.
The SMT initiative continues to provide unique and exciting opportunities for Terrapin Teachers and for our partner school systems. SMT brings additional Master Teachers to TT. However, rather than being a full-time employee of the University of Maryland (UMD), the SMT is a teacher in a local public high school who continues to be a school employee, but who is assigned by the school system to TT for a significant portion of her/his time. The SMT teaches two courses during the morning at their home high school and then spend their afternoons with TT, including teaching classes for the program. The SMT typically holds the position for 3-5 years before returning full-time to their school.
In the previous model, the SMTs taught biology and mathematics courses at their respective high schools and co-taught TT introductory courses, TLPL 101 and TLPL 102. Beginning in fall 2019, the SMTs model will expand to also include computer science. During the academic year, computer science SMTs will split their time between TT, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and the Computer Science Department.
There are many advantages to this model for both TT and the local schools. For example: the SMT gets to be part of an exciting college-level program and to experience college teaching, bringing the college perspective back to their high schools. At the same time, TT benefits from the involvement and perspective of an individual who is intimately involved in the schools, bringing high school teaching expertise and collaborations to TT. Finally, the schools join the Professional Development School (PDS) program, receiving access to, and involvement with, TT and UMD.
Of course, another real positive for the SMT program is that even when the teacher returns to their school full time, he or she will maintain collaborations and contact with TT. This allows for the continued sharing of ideas as well as opportunities for TT students who work in the school as apprentice teachers.
Jennifer Manly earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Georgia and is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in STEM Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. For the past three and a half years, Jennifer has pioneered an innovative computer science curriculum at Old Mill Middle School South in Anne Arundel County Public Schools that offers students the opportunity to do authentic projects for real-world clients. She is a Project Lead the Way Master Teacher and a Certified ScrumMaster, facilitating workshops on using Scrum in the classroom at the national level. As an SMT, she will teach computer science at Paint Branch High School and co-teach TLPL 101 in the Terrapin Teachers program during the fall 2019 semester. Jennifer will teach the Introduction to Computer Programming via the Web (CMSC122) course in the Department of Computer Science during the spring 2020 semester.