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.


  1. I feel for you for the tiredness experienced with a first child. I remember the constant sleep deprivation during the first six months of my first. I was so tired during that time that I could no longer respond with a real smile when people would congratulate me about my baby. I sometimes fell asleep on my feet. During my marriage my wife wanted to buy a house in Ogden so I worked two full-time jobs and commuted to SLC to make it happen. I was getting around 4 hours sleep a night. Sometimes I slept in the car overnight because I was too tired to make the drive home. I was pretty tired during that time but I do not remember feeling as tired as I did after the birth of my son. There are some things that can't really be prepared for or understood without going through them. We had two girls in the two years that followed but I didn't feel as tired with them. I think I was just as tired but it was not as much of a shock and didn't seem as bad since I knew what to expect with them. Hang in there. It does get better. Children are worth any sacrifices we make for them. Children are a joy and a blessing.

  2. That is a pretty cute baby, but I keep telling everyone that my grandbaby is the cutest baby on the planet...I'm not biased at all. I'm glad that it's my son and his wife having a baby and I just get to spoil him rotten and send him home. I think that being a life-long learner is important, maybe I should branch out and find a way to not dislike a few subjects. It actually might be interesting to find out how all the subjects fit together.

  3. Well, I suppose I must tell you "welcome to the class of new parents". Seriously though, it's a blast isn't it? Yes, school and work are fun, but come on now... Can anything really compare to coming home to a smile and dirty diapers? Sigh... anyway, I digress.

    You taught in Alpine School District? Far out! That's where I went to school. I graduated from American Fork High (Go Cavemen!). We should sit down and have one of those, "do you know ____?" parties. All in all, this should be a fun class. If anything else, we'll get to meet a lot of interesting people. :)