On December 14, 2016, the Terrapin Teachers program was the recipient of the “Make a Difference” award from the Office of Community Engagement. The purpose of the award is to recognize those who have helped the Office of Community Engagement achieve its goals to connect the University with the wider and diverse surrounding community. It is bestowed to community partners, supporters, and University departments, units, faculty, staff, and students. The Terrapin Teachers program was awarded for our commitment to connecting the program with many of the school in Prince George's County as we continue to strive for academic excellence in our surrounding schools.
In May 20106, representatives from Terrapin Teachers, three master teachers, two students, our co-director, and and an advisor from the College of Education, represented the University of Maryland at the 10th Annual UTeach Conference in Austin, Texas. While there, the team had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with faculty and students from universities all over the country. One exciting highlight for us was the showcasing of our Terrapin Teachers undergraduates in the undergraduate poster session. Neha Soni and Pamela Tarectecan each presented posters based on work they did as a part of a research experience and inquiry into teaching respectively. Neha’s poster, “Do Sex Steroid Hormone Levels Vary by Obesity among U.S. Adolescent Males?” reported on statistically significant associations found between sex steroid hormone levels and obesity. Pamela’s poster, “A Close Look at Student Learning in Step 2: Analyzing Evidence of Student Thinking in Middle School Science” presented on how middle school students’ ideas about genetics, elicited during a Step 2 lesson, informed the design of follow-up lesson. Both Pamela and Neha really stood out for the content and quality of their posters, their knowledge, enthusiasm, and confidence.
Another exciting highlight was the presentation conducted by our three outstanding master teachers, Dr. Catherine VanNetta, Dr. Anita Sanyal, and Sarah Henson-Darko. As a team, they did a series of two presentations, one intended for undergraduate students and the other for course instructors. The first presentation, “'Talk moves’: Facilitating productive discussions in K12 classrooms,” engaged undergraduate students by analyzing videotaped class discussions focusing on the teacher’s “talk moves.” The second presentation, “Using video of classrooms to interpret learning and teaching” presented how we use classroom video to engage undergraduates in close analysis of classrooms in Terrapin Teachers. Both sessions were extremely well attended (standing room only in the first) and received rave reviews in the conference feedback.