News from the Graduate Programs Volume 13: May 2020

News & Events from Professional Graduate Education at Mount Holyoke College (Newsletter May 2020, Volume 13)

Volume 13 | May 4, 2020


We have been hard at work developing and curating resources to help educators adapt and be resilient so they can support high quality learning.

Online learning

Tips on Asynchronous Learning
Michael Lawrence-Riddell, MATL’22 and Gwen Bass, director of the teacher leadership programs have created a video with tips for asynchronous online learning.

Watch the video here:

Educational Leadership

Lessons learned from the transition to online education for K-16 schools
Michael Flynn, director of the math leadership programs was interviewed for Educational Leadership magazine from ASCD: Read the article here.

Upcoming Events and Learning Opportunities

New Course!…… Instructional Design for Online Learning Social Policy: This class will introduce innovative best practices, instructional tools, and virtual facilitation techniques for online teaching and learning for youth and adults. Topics include: basic principles of instructional design for online learning, synchronous and asynchronous teaching, incorporating multimedia and open educational resources, and strategies for cultivating collaboration and community online. Participants will apply their learning directly to individual projects developing the scope, sequence, and online learning activities for a course of their own. Through the class, students will use the tools to workshop and fully develop an online or hybrid course.

New Course!…… Online Pedagogy and Distance Learning for PK12 Educators: In this class, we will review current research on effective online pedagogy and teaching with technology in PK-12 classrooms. We will examine teaching in synchronous and asynchronous formats, utilizing different types of devices. We will also evaluate curricula, platforms, and web-based tools that support planning and assessment for standards based, online teaching. Students will develop electronic portfolios that address content and performance standards. We will explore the work of national teacher technology organizations and open educational resources.

New Course!…… Digital Literacy and Computer Science: In this course we examine the skills and resources required to support PK-12 students as they navigate today’s dynamic and technology-driven world. Participants will develop tools to ensure that their PK-12 students are able to use and assess technology while also preparing them to successfully participate and work in a technological world. Students will learn about digital tools and the essentials of computer science, makerspace activities, and programming. They will become familiar with systems and computational thinking while engaging in collaborative problem solving using high- and low-tech tools to make ideas tangible. This course is designed for pre-service and in-service teachers.

New Institute!…… Instructional Coaching and Leadership certificate: If you are a skilled educator who wants to take on a leadership role during this time, our one-year, cohort-based, Instructional Coaching and Leadership program will equip you with the skills and dispositions you need. Join colleagues from across the globe who share your passion and are facing similar challenges. More information:

New Institute!…… Independent School Mentoring certificate: Our one-year, cohort-based certificate program supports educators in becoming effective and emotionally intelligent mentors for the next generation of independent school educators. Join a network of colleagues from across the globe who share your passion for quality, equity, and longevity in the independent school workforce!

New Course!…… Schools, Schooling, and Society: An Introduction to Education and Social Policy: This exciting new offering familiarizes students with the historical foundations of public education, current movements in education reforms such as Race to the Top, Common Core Standards, Every Student Succeeds Act, and theories of change. The course examines the social policies and catalysts that have caused transformation in society and public education and includes contemporary events. This course examines how education has been constructed as a tool to dominate diverse racial, cultural and linguistic communities in the U.S.

New Course!…… Introduction to Teaching English Language Learners: an ESL MTEL (54) Prep Course: This course will cover in detail the 10 objectives on the ESL MTEL (54) as well as test-taking tips. Students will also receive one-on-one advising from the instructor. While material required for the ESL MTEL test will be the main focus of the course, discussions around multilingual education, classroom practice and test taking strategies will also occur. More information:

Communication & Literacy MTEL: Reading Subtest prep course. Online. Free.

May 2, 2 pm Sign up.

Communication & Literacy MTEL: Writing subtest prep course. Online. Free.

May 9, 2 pm Sign up.

Turning Adversaries Into Allies: Building Community-Wide Support for Your Initiatives in Mathematics Education

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ 100 Days of Professional Learning

June 11, 2020 7 pm EDT | Speaker: Michael Flynn

Register for the Webinar

Any initiative in mathematics education, whether classroom-based or state-wide, requires support from stakeholders (students, parents, administrators, school board, etc.) if it is going to be successful. However, building and sustaining that support can be challenging, especially if there are pockets of skeptics actively working against your goals. This session will address these challenges and provide educators and leaders with strategies and resources to help them build momentum in their communities to support meaningful and powerful mathematics education for each and every student.


Excellence in Teaching Awards

2020 Winners of the Harold Grinspoon Excellence in Teaching Award include some of our current students, alum, and Supervising Practitioners:

Kelsey Adkins, MATM’21. Hampden-Wilbraham Public Schools
Kristin Iverson, Supervising Practitioner. Amherst Regional Schools.
Parmatma Khalsa, MAT’15. South Hadley Schools. In memoriam.
Jeremy Lessard, Supervising Practitioner. Springfield Public Schools.
Emma Martin, MAT’18. Northampton Public Schools.
Samantha Morin, MATL’19. Holyoke Public Schools.
Victoria Munroe, Supervising Practitioner. Amherst Regional Schools.
Marilyn Squier, MAT’17. Greenfield Schools.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Other News

Virtual Classroom

Sonia Nieto, author and recipient of an honorary doctorate from MHC in 2018, visited an MAT class to talk to our new teachers. Her book, “Why We Teach Now” is used as a required text for the course. Dr. Nieto has devoted her career to examining - and providing answers to - questions around social justice in education. Her visit to our Capstone seminar class provided pre-service and in-service educators with the opportunity to directly ask her questions about how to best serve today’s students. Topics included, how teachers can survive - and thrive - in today’s culture of standardization and accountability; how can education attract and retain teachers of colour and what changes have occured in the past five years since the enactment of ESSA?

Gwen Bass

Gwen Bass, director of the teacher leadership programs has been collaborating with the Noble Story Group who will facilitate sessions on emotionally intelligent school leadership and educator resilience to Teacher Leadership students during the Fostering a Collaborative Culture course.

Professional and Graduate Education (logo)

Summer Programs and COVID-19: Graduate program courses will be held online this summer. For the most up-to-date information on Mount Holyoke’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit:

In the media

Making Math Moments

Michael Flynn was interviewed for the Making Math Moments that Matter about why some moments from math class stay with you and some don’t.

Listen to the podcast episode.


MAT Teacher Leadership students and alum have been working with the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College on a webinar for educators. Contributors included: Tricia Caliento, MATL’19; Beth Jarzabek, MATL’19; Lauren Kim, MATL’21; Michael Lawrence-Riddell, MATL’21; Rachel Mullervy, MATL’19; and Ann Neary, MATL’18. Watch the replay.

Read more News from the Graduate Programs.

Faculty Recommendations

Onward by Elena Aguilar

Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators by Elena Aguilar, published by Wiley. Let’s face it, teaching is a stressful job during normal circumstances, let alone during a global pandemic. Mike Flynn highly recommends this book for educators to help them recover their energy and passion for education, even in the most stressful times.

Program Spotlight - Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students and English Language Learners

New Program!

Our Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program is now offering two options; a new 36 credit, non-licensure track for candidates interested in deepening their learning about working with culturally and linguistically diverse students - including emergent bilinguals (English language learners); and a 42 credit licensure track that leads to Massachusetts licensure in teaching English language learners (ESL; PreK-6 or 5-12) and a master’s degree. It includes:

  • a rigorous but supportive program, based on the most current research and taught by experienced scholars and practitioners
  • A focus on preparing educators with the pedagogical, assessment, planning and theoretical tools required to meet the needs of diverse students, with the skills to apply this learning to practice.
  • an explicit commitment to equity and social justice
  • personalized advising

The licensure program includes a year-long practicum experience in area schools, which offer opportunities to work closely with experienced local ELL educators and to explore teaching diverse learners in a range of settings.

The online, non-licensure program culminates with a Capstone Project.

These programs prepare candidates to meet the needs of one of the fastest growing groups of students in the United States today, multilingual students. The skills taught in these programs prepare educators to work with diverse students both within the U.S. and internationally.

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