Concert: Bach cello suites by Matt Haimovitz
Renowned Israeli-born soloist Matt Haimovitz performs all six Bach cello suites, while visiting four Central New York locations. (The “moveable feast” begins with a Tuesday live-at-noon broadcast from the studios of WCNY FM (91.3), followed by a 3 p.m. appearance at the River’s End Bookstore. The musical tour resumes at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Tyler Gallery in Penfield Library.) The remaining suites at 7:30 p.m. Sheldon Hall: $15 ($5 for SUNY Oswego students), including parking in lots adjacent to and across Washington Boulevard from Sheldon Hall. http://www.oswego.edu/arts. 312-2141.
Location: Ballroom, Sheldon Hall
Wednesday, Sept 16, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Author talk: "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves"
Karen Joy Fowler, author of this year's Oswego Reading Initiative book, "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves," will speak. Shortlisted for the international Man Booker Prize in 2014, the book examines life from the perspective of young adult Rosemary Cooke and her primate "sister," weaving a humorous, poignant and multilayered plot around the theme of scientific experimentation with animals as well as animal rights. Fowler is the author of six novels, two of them New York Times bestsellers. Free; parking for those without a campus parking sticker is $1 -- see oswego.edu/administration/parking. 312-2232.
Location: Ballroom, Sheldon Hall
Wednesday, Sept 30, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Men's Soccer Tournament - William Paterson vs. Houghton
Location: Oswego, N.Y. - Laker Turf Stadium
Friday, Sept 4, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Women's Soccer vs. University Pittsburgh-Greensburgh
Location: Oswego, NY- Laker Soccer Field
Friday, Sept 4, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
2015 New Jersey Event
Find out more and register: http://bit.ly/1T3Y0iT
Location: Ridgewood Country Club 96 W. Midland Ave., Paramus, N.J.
Thursday, Sept 17, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
GOLD Third Thursdays
Visit http://www.facebook.com/events/453070221388940 for the latest locations or suggest your own!
Location: Various Cities
Thursday, Sept 17, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
An average day for Derrick Smith begins with checking into his classroom at Corcoran High School around 6:45 a.m. to make any necessary preparations for the day. From there, he teaches social studies at 7:50 a.m., with a break for lunch. He’s in his classroom holding office hours every day until at least 2:50 p.m.
If it’s between November and March, Smith will be working as the varsity assistant coach for the Syracuse City School District wrestling team from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
One day a week, Smith misses practice to travel to SUNY Oswego for class. On top of being a teacher, he’s also in the process of earning his master’s degree in literacy education. After class, he goes home to finish whatever schoolwork, grading or planning that needs to be done before going to bed to start up again the following day.
It may seem like a lot but for Smith, the workload is worth it.
“You’re making a far greater difference [as a teacher] on a daily basis,” he said. “Schools need great teachers – it’s a make-or-break for a lot of those kids.”
Smith’s short time at Corcoran High School (he started as a long-term substitute there in the fall of 2010) has already left an impact; his students’ test scores have improved 15 percent between last year and the year before.
Smith’s story of dedication and commitment is another example of the high quality educators that come out of SUNY Oswego’s graduate education programs.
Threaded continuously throughout the program is having teachers think about what it means to teach for social justice – which, in part, means ensuring that all students have equal access to quality education, according to Dennis Parsons, coordinator of the literacy education program.
“It makes you more aware of some of the motivations students have and where they’re coming from,” Smith said. “You have to take their background into consideration before you judge their behavior.”
In the curriculum, that means teaching students to understand what it means to be literate in the 21st century, Parsons said. As educators, graduates of the program are prepared to question the current systems to ensure all students have access to quality education.
“In all areas of our program, we expect our graduates to examine critically the texts that we create and those that, through engaging with them, have a hand in creating us,” Parsons said.
Understanding teaching for social justice prepared Smith to deal with situations that others may not feel prepared to address. According to Smith, he deals with teaching and social justice on a daily basis.
In February 2012, many of Smith’s students asked why the world history class wasn’t discussing black history month. He had to explain that the curriculum he had to adhere to for the state exams didn’t focus on black history to match his students’ interests, especially at their current chronological place within the course.
“I had to explain to them that the standards and curriculum I have didn’t give me the opportunity to get into some of the less Eurocentric aspects of world history they might be more interested in,” Smith said.
“It’s great that they bring up questions, and it’s good that I’m prepared to talk about historical inquiry and the injustice different groups experienced over time so that they understand the origins and can continue to challenge it.”
Smith chose to pursue his master’s degree in literacy education. Specialized education degrees, like his in literacy, can help distinguish graduates as they enter the job market.
“Literacy in an urban setting is a huge issue, so this additional coursework and prospective certification definitely gives me an advantage with my students even though I’m not planning to work as a literacy coach or specialist,” he said.
And with the focus on literacy continuing to be emphasized in schools, literacy degrees continue to be relevant and marketable in the education world.
“There’s such a focus on literacy that if you don’t understand it, it’s going to be tough to be a general classroom instructor in any core subject,” Smith said. “Literacy is etching its way into every single subject, so a literacy degree gives you a huge advantage.”
When the days feel hectic, Smith reminds himself of the difference he makes in his role as a teacher.
“Having a full-time teaching position while coaching and attending graduate school does make for a very busy life, but I have a very supportive wife and I just keep reminding myself how blessed I am to have a job and the difference I’m making on a daily basis…the workload is worth it.”
SUNY Oswego’s literacy education program has a deadline of March 1 for fall admission and October 1 for spring admission. Interested students can request more information about the literacy education program, and all of SUNY Oswego’s graduate programs, by visiting the Information Request Form.