Stacy Williams, Clinical Fellow
Each year, several clinical practice fellows are selected to gather together and discuss, as well as pose, solutions to current issues in teacher education. Clinical practice fellows are a group of highly motivated teaching professionals and coordinators who have a strong interest in research within clinical practices. The 2019 Clinical Practice Fellows Symposium centered around the theme of Re-Imagining Clinically-Based Teacher Education Programs. Clinical fellows were required to rethink the nature of traditional clinical practices, methods, and experiences—and instead—propose a new and more effective course of action. Loyola University Maryland is pleased to announce that one of our own School of Education faculty members, Stacy Williams, was selected to attend and present at the 2019 symposium.
Stacy Williams is the coordinator of clinical experiences at Loyola. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Biotechnology and Pre-Medicine from James Madison University. She also received her Master of Arts in Teaching in secondary science from The Johns Hopkins University. Stacy led several classes in biology and AP biology as well as served as a director of professional development. We sat down with Stacy to ask her a few questions about the symposium and her career.
What inspired you to want to be a clinical fellow?
I have been passionate about teacher preparation for most of my career. As a classroom teacher, I hosted preservice teachers during internships and I supported early career and veteran teachers before coming to Loyola as a director of professional development. I came to Loyola 11 years ago as a clinical faculty member, hired to supervise preservice teachers and support professional development school partnerships. In my current position as the coordinator of partnerships and clinical experiences, the clinical fellows opportunity was a natural fit. The teacher education department has a commitment to continuous improvement of our teacher preparation program, and we know that our local school partners are an essential component to effective teacher preparation. The clinical fellows program is a forum for like-minded teacher educators to share innovative ideas and practices.
What did you learn from this experience? What do you hope to implement with your students?
While we always have room to grow and improve, I learned that Loyola’s teacher education department is an outstanding example of an effective teacher preparation program. The clinical fellows experience has inspired me to continue to think of innovative ways to engage our school partners in preparing new teachers and in supporting them during their early careers.
What are the essential components of becoming a successful educator?
Successful educators share similar characteristics: they have the ability to create a positive environment where all learners are successful, they know their content and make it accessible to learners, they plan instruction based on the learners’ interests and needs, and they are able to adjust their lessons as needed. They strive to grow professionally and continue to learn from their students, their colleagues, and the communities in which they teach.
How does being a clinical fellow relate to the future of the School of Education at Loyola?
As I continue to collaborate with other clinical fellows, I will have the support to realize the School of Education’s goals of collaborating with our partnership schools not only to impact Loyola’s teacher candidates but also to improve achievement and success of children in the communities of Baltimore.