Loving Teachers & Loving Schools

Dr. Karen Riem, Teacher Educator, Central Connecticut State University

Dr. Karen Riem,  Associate Professor 

Biographical Sketch
Meaningless tasks and boring busywork have no place in my classroom. I draw upon my years as a middle and high school teacher in Language and Communication Arts and Special Education and my work with practicing elementary education teachers to create a reality-based, constructivist learning experience for teacher candidates at Central. I relish the challenge of combining a love of content and children with the sciences of philosophy and learning, and the art and craft of fine pedagogy. In my classes we reflect upon who we are and why we choose to do what we do. We enlarge our perspectives on who and what it is we are teaching and we hone those skills and attitudes necessary to learn and teach well. The development of a hybrid course has allowed me to learn and model use of appropriate technology and to facilitate a rich and creative learning environment, connecting students with me, with one another, and with teachers and colleagues in the field in more seamless and exciting ways than ever before. I am pleased to have been recognized across campus for teaching excellence honors, and I am an enthusiastic participant in CCSU's Center for Teaching Excellence and Leadership Development.

I can think of few things more satisfying than participating with caring colleagues in the growth and development of future teachers. Because collaboration multiplies possibilities and divides labor, I truly enjoy working as a team member with other educators in the department and on campus. My favorite off-campus teamwork involves my connection to a wonderful school in Hartford, Connecticut: the Naylor School. As University Facilitator for this dynamic Professional Development School (PDS), I oversee CCSU student field experiences, supervise student teachers, engage in action research, participate in professional development with teacher candidates and school colleagues, learn from and about children, and take part in the day-to-day life of students, families and teachers in a diverse urban learning community. My long-term commitment to the Naylor PDS and its community furthers my goals of preparing teacher candidates for satisfying and successful work in urban schools and preparing urban students for successful futures in higher education. On campus, I enjoy collaboration across divisions in the Department of Teacher Education, and across the boundaries of departments and programs. My collaborative curriculum and program development with colleagues in K-12 and Secondary content area programs is especially exciting. These shared efforts create integrated and powerful programs while also providing models for the kinds of multi- and inter-disciplinary work in which we hope our students will be prepared to engage as future teachers and leaders.

Contributing to the growth of teachers is the best way I know to keep my own life exciting and to make life better for students and all of us in the future. I enjoy supervising teacher candidates in internships, student teaching and field experiences as they make connections between theory and practice. Because I also believe that teachers have a responsibility to be leaders, I have taken an enthusiastic role in building partnerships and developing community outreach opportunities. I have also been active in program/policy design, in evaluation and long range planning, and in governance across campus, in the local community, in the professional field and within the School of Education and Professional Studies (SEPS). Currently, I serve as Chair of the Teacher Education Department Evaluation Committee and as President of SEPS Governance Council.