Getting Schooled on Great Teaching by Mayme Hostetter and 3 outstanding local teachers

National teaching expert Mayme Hostetter presented on instructional strategies that are proven to close the gap. She was joined by a local panel of outstanding educators for a discussion moderated by MinnPost education reporter Beth Hawkins. (Panelist bios are below.) Watch the video here

Mayme Hostetter, Dean of the Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City, both told and showed the audience what great teaching looks like in the last of three Minnesota Meetings on closing the achievement gap. Invited by the Minneapolis Foundation and its community partners to discuss effective teaching as part of the RESET campaign, Ms. Hostetter kept the tone playful and productive as she laid out the ways Relay addresses what she calls the "access gap."

Mayme Hostetter shared teaching strategies proven to close the "opportunity gap."

As Minneapolis Foundation head Sandra Vargas mentioned in the opening remarks, teachers are the single most influential school-based factor in student success. Great teachers have characteristics in common, according to Ms. Hostetter, including using data in real time to adjust teaching and setting high expectations for all students.

Little evidence exists that a traditional master’s degree results in gap-closing learning for students, Ms. Hostetter contents. Instead of learning educational theory, to go from good to great, teachers need a curriculum that teaches specific classroom techniques and significant time teaching in the presence of experts—their professors. They need authentic assessment.

Moderator Beth Hawkins, Mayme Hostetter, and three outstanding Minneapolis teachers: Angela Mansfield, Holly Kragthorpe, Crystal Ballard

Although assessment at Relay includes reviews of lesson plans and video submitted to professors, Ms. Hostetter says, "The ultimate assessment is student outcomes." These outcomes account for [50% of graduate school grades] at Relay. In Ms. Hostetter's view, students must be learning for teaching to be considered effective.

Our esteemed panelist Crystal Ballard, Angela Mansfield, and Holly Kragthorpe, along with Mayme Hostetter and Sandra Vargas

After "class," Ms. Hostetter joined local teaching experts to answer audience questions. Moderated by Beth Hawkins of MinnPost, a panel of three outstanding teachers—Angela Mansfield, a Milken-award winning teacher who will launch Arch Academy this fall; Holly Kragthorpe, a founding teacher of Ramsey Middle School; and Crystal Ballard, an Olson Middle School teacher recently selected for the Aspiring Transformational Principal Academy of Minneapolis Public Schools—discussed both specific tools and techniques and general culture that helps ensure all students are learning. For these teachers, reaching every student is the bottom line.

We'll post a video of the event as soon as it's available.

About our panel of teachers

ANGELA MANSFIELD worked for the Minneapolis Public School district for nearly 15 years. She was a classroom teacher, then a literacy coordinator, and finally an instructional leader. Among other recognitions, she received the coveted national Milken award. After leaving the district, Angela participated in Charter School Partners’ fellowship program, which prepares educators to open high-performing, achievement-gap closing urban charter schools. This fall, Angela is launching Arch Academy, a K-5 public charter school in South Minneapolis. Angela earned her Masters and is pursuing her doctorate, both in Literacy Education, at the U of M. She completed additional educational studies at the University of St. Thomas.

HOLLY KRAGTHORPE teaches at the newly opened Ramsey Middle School, where she has been a founding teacher. As an educator and instructional leader, Holly has worked for the Minneapolis Public Schools since 2001, and she is a PTA member and parent of two children who attend MPS. Holly has also worked as an independent educational consultant and has been an adjunct and community faculty member at St. Mary’s University and Metropolitan State, respectively. She has a M.Ed. in Social Studies and a K-12 reading license from the U of M, and she is a member of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Educators 4 Excellence.

CRYSTAL BALLARD teaches at Olson Middle School and has been with the Minneapolis Public School district since 2009. She also coordinates the AVID and extended day programs for her school. Olson serves 336 students in North Minneapolis, 91% of whom are children of color and 84% of whom are from low-income families. Crystal was recently selected to participate in a new district program to develop transformational school leaders. Crystal has a B.A. in Elementary Education/Special Education, an M.A. in Educational Psychology from the U of M, and an Urban Teaching certificate from Hamline University. She is a member of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and the African American Leadership Forum.

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