Naomi Feldman - Music
I started my professional life as a teacher of preschool, disabled children in San Antonio, Texas. I also taught learning disabled elementary children in Houston and was a fourth grade teacher, as well. These experiences helped me to understand that reading is at the heart of most learning. So, based on this idea, the fact that I am a lifelong, passionate reader, and the realization that the best way to support children in learning to read is through well prepared, highly motivated teachers, I next moved to a doctoral program in Reading Education at Vanderbilt University. There were a few brief stops on the way to Baldwin-Wallace College, where I have been teaching literacy courses in the Division of Education for the past 18 years.
Here are some of the things that I am passionate about besides teaching teachers: mystery books, gardening, my teenage son and my husband, making lists, taking pictures, earrings, Richard Allington (don’t get excited – he is a leader in literacy education who never heard of me) traveling, children’s literature, teapots, the Daily Show, and my dog, Misty.
What have you learned while teaching at B-W?:
I have no doubt that students at all levels learn by transforming information. By that I mean that to really understand something learners must work with ideas and make them their own. It means that to learn really thoroughly one must become actively engaged with important concepts by doing things such as translating concepts to actions, putting ideas in one’s own words, explaining them to someone else, or connecting ideas to one’s own experience. In other words, in order to really understand, learners must be actively engaged.
What inspired you to get into college teaching?:
It was a logical step in my professional development. I loved children and working with children and I wanted to know more about this. Once I did, it made sense to pass this on to future and current teachers.
Describe the ways in which you mentor students interested in your department:
I am here a great deal and my door is always open. I love both spontaneous and planned discussions with students. I work hard to give my advisees accurate and clear advice to plan their teacher education program. I also truly enjoy discussions in which we talk not only about what courses to take, but what teaching will be like and about the future beyond commencement day.
If you weren't teaching what would you be doing?:
I’d be a singer in a rock and roll band.
What do students like best about your class?:
I think you’d have to ask them, but in some classes I read children’s literature out loud and we discuss it. Many students enjoy the literature and the discussions.