- Last Updated on February 29, 2012
- Written by CMI Staff
Editor’s Note: Kelly Wardle is a Drury University student and participant in the Ozarks Teacher Corps. Hailing from Willow Springs, MO, Ms. Wardle has an excellent perspective on schools in the Ozarks. She was recently asked to make a presentation on the Ozarks Teacher Corps to a class of Drury teacher education students. The following is her recount of that experience; the PowerPoint featured below was part of her presentation.
The Drury Education 212 meeting, led by Dr. Craig, began by explaining to the students that Drury had created EDUC 212 with the purpose of informing the students about the college, the upcoming requirements and opportunities, and the process of applying and being accepted into the Drury Teacher Education program. Presenter Kelly Wardle recalls that Dr. Craig covered topics such as Drury’s Mission Statement and conceptual framework, MoSPE standards, philosophy, assessment of dispositions, and diversity.
“Dr. Craig is a wonderful speaker; I always enjoy listening to him,” says Kelly, who was asked to share her experiences with the students since becoming an Ozarks Teacher Corp (OTC) recipient through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO). Wardle is currently an OTC recipient who is student teaching in Willow Springs.
Kelly recalls that she spoke about the application process: the essay, recommendations from the college, and the requirement of an endorsement from a rural school’s superintendent. She also discussed the commitments students make upon accepting the scholarship, which include becoming certified within a two-year period, interning within a small rural school, and teaching in a rural school or hometown for at least three years.
“I explained that the $4,000.00 scholarship was only a small part of the program. I stressed the benefits that come along with the scholarship greatly outweighs the funds if you chose to take advantage of all opportunities. I briefly touched on seminars, memberships, conferences, webinars, rural school visits and networking,” says Wardle.
She also informed the students about how OTC/CFO keeps teachers “in the loop” regarding grants and scholarships, as well as changes in education and the ideas other rural schools are implementing through their extensive networking of email and facebook.
“I explained the Conservation Grant that I recently received along with Mrs. Reynolds 4th grade class in Willow Springs through CFO and how it was just another opportunity I utilized,” continues Wardle.
In conclusion, Wardle says, “just to prove the point of successful networking, I have been creating an itinerary for an upcoming trip to England and I keep running into questions, but am having difficultly finding the answers. I met Drury’s FolioTek instructor, Asikaa Cosgrove, at this meeting, who happens to be from England! I spoke with him about some of my questions and he suggested I send him an email or even stop by and speak with him. Sometimes networking plays a huge role in one’s success.”