Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Introduction Spring 2015

December 31, 2014

Dear Spring SCED 4200 Students:

Greetings! By way of introduction, my name is Amy Wilson. This is my tenth iteration of teaching SCED 4200 at USU, which makes me think, "When did I suddenly become so old?" I am also feeling a little elderly these days because I frequently experience exhaustion and have developed dark rings under my eyes. I call these rings "love circles" because they come from my daughter, who is about five months old, and whose days and nights are currently topsy turvy. She is our first, and all I can say is that I have such a newfound respect for all of you students who maintain a rigorous course schedule with little ones at home.

In addition to having a beautiful new daughter, some interesting facts about me and my family are that my brother is the world's tallest bagpipe player, and I have a fifteen-year-old sister who speaks Afrikaans as a first language. In terms of hobbies, well, my favorite hobby now is to sleep whenever I get the chance, which isn't as often as I would like.

In a former life, I was a middle and high school teacher in Alpine School District and Jordan School District in Utah, but I also taught briefly in a private school in Cincinnati, Ohio and Manchester, New Hampshire. I started out as a history and English teacher, but my doctoral work focused on middle school earth science and mathematics. And recently I have been working with the College of Engineering on projects involving engineering literacy. So when you ask me, "What is my discipline?," I have experience with many.

What drew me to content area literacy? Well, I found that my middle school students seemed to struggle most with understandings concepts in science and mathematics, and I wanted to learn strategies to further support them. My teaching experiences caused me to pursue a doctorate in literacy education, which I earned from the University of Georgia in 2011. Go Bulldogs! As they say, "I bleed Georgia red." And for those of you who know football, you know that the Alabama Crimson Tide is like Voldemort to us...he who must not be named. (If you want to know what football means in the South, check out this recent article, which captures my experiences at UGA perfectly: )

How do I define literacy? Aww, now that's just cheating if the teacher answers this question. Besides, I don't want my own answers to color yours. But I look forward to reading what you all have to say on the subject, and I am excited for number ten with all of y'all.