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Teacher in Residence

 

Bates students become Bates alumni, and alumni sometimes become members of the Bates faculty. But Ed Zuis ’88 has been an alumnus, student, and faculty member all in the course of the current academic year.

Zuis, the College’s first teacher in residence, is a public school teacher charged with improving Bates’ education of its aspiring math and science teachers.

On sabbatical from a Maine high school where he teaches physics and freshman science, Zuis took courses at Bates to refresh his own practice last semester. Now he’s leading the Bates education course “Teaching Math and Science: Curriculum and Methods.”

Zuis, who proposed the teacher-in-residence concept to the College, was hired for the position through an open search. The program is funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, an important supporter of Bates math and science initiatives.

“Ed had just the right personality for it, the right rapport with students and faculty,” says assistant dean of the faculty Kerry O’Brien. “He has really made it a success because he arrived thinking outside the box.”

Zuis describes the situation as a “win-win-win-win.” His 18-year teaching experience benefits both the College’s education curriculum and, of course, his Bates students.

For example, “the whole choreography of running a lab is a learned art,” says O’Brien. There are big issues around equipment, organization, and safety. “So our students can learn about teaching a lab in a very hands-on way, which is how we teach science in any case.”

Zuis also brings what he calls an “in the trenches” perspective, offering Bates students the real dish on such classroom realities as government-issue learning standards. (Typically, anywhere from six to a dozen Bates students graduate each year with a concentration in teacher education.)

Zuis’ students at Oak Hill High School, in Sabbatus, “will benefit because he’ll be bringing new content back to them,” O’Brien adds. “And Oak Hill will benefit because there is now this direct partnership with Bates that can offer lots of support — knowledge, sometimes financial support, certainly support in terms of our student-teachers.”

Sweetening the deal for Zuis is the chance to spend time at Bates. Way back when, he got married here to one Christine Squires, and “just walking back into the Chapel brought back so many memories,” he says. “I can remember a name that I hadn’t thought about for 20 years, or a soccer game. It’s just neat to have these memories pop up.”


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