Foundation Award for Teaching

Dr. Kayla Lewis

Reading Foundations and Technology
College of Education

I. Philosophy of Teaching

As someone who prepares future teachers, I take my job very seriously.  I realize the importance of teaching others how to teach children.  I believe the best way to lead is by example.  I utilize a variety of instructional techniques within my classroom to accomplish this goal.  Although lecture is sometimes a necessary component, I prefer employing hands-on cooperative learning and group discussion as often as possible.  I believe students learn a great deal from me, but they also learn a great deal from each other.  I believe an engaged classroom is one in which a lot of learning takes place.    

The content is an essential piece of teaching, but so are relationships.  I believe John Maxwell’s quote, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” rings true in any classroom.  I teach my students the importance of building relationships with their own students just as I strive to build relationships with them.  I believe having a mixture of strong content, engaging activities, meaningful relationships, and a positive learning environment is the best way to help each of my students reach his or her full potential.

II. Example of Courses/Topics

  • RDG 318 – Foundations of Reading Instruction

  • RDG 421 – Practicum – Methods of Teaching Reading and Language Arts in the

  • Elementary Schools

  • RDG 640 – Analysis and Correction of Difficulties in Literacy

  • RDG 660 – Diversity Issues in Literacy and Content Area Instruction

  • RDG 780 – Assessment Procedures for the Literacy Specialist

  • RDG 781 & RDG 782 – Assessment and Remediation of Literacy Problems

III. Future Projects

My research interests primarily lie in three areas: interventions for struggling readers, culturally authentic Native American literature, and preservice/in-service teacher education. I am working collaboratively with colleagues from a variety of programs on three separate projects related to these research interests.  I am working with a local school district to evaluate a new intervention program designed for struggling readers in a summer school setting.  I am also working with a colleague to evaluate culturally authentic Native American literature for children and young adults.  Finally, I am working with colleagues in four other programs across campus on an Interprofessional Education project aimed at helping preservice teachers and in-service teachers learn more about professional collaboration.

IV. Topics related to teaching and of interest to the University Community, for which you are available for presentations and/or consultations (e.g., presentation tools, special topics, technology, public affairs).

  • Student Engagement

  • Cooperative Learning

  • Breaking Native American Stereotypes

  • Multicultural Children’s Literature

  • Interventions for Struggling Readers