What is it about teachers that make them so special?
It's a profession of caring people who inspire students of all ages, backgrounds and interests in their journey for knowledge. It's a profession guiding students to discover who they are, and helping them shape their life's view. It's a profession that can make a difference in our communities and in our world.
In the education program at Bay Path you'll understand and develop the critical skills, processes and strategies that link teaching and learning. The curriculum incorporates a strong liberal arts foundation in history, math, science and other disciplines, and you'll learn how to present these subject areas to children that will encourage their interest and curiosity. In the special education courses, you'll examine the best practices for teaching children with disabilities or challenges. After successfully completing your prerequisites, you build on your theoretical base with pre-practicum experience. Throughout your development as a teacher, you'll be encouraged to define your own educational philosophy and style of teaching that can be integrated into a classroom, school and community.
The elementary education program prepares you to teach in public elementary schools, grades 1 through 6. You build critical teaching skills and strategies, and develop a strong foundation in the academic disciplines, which provides a basis for excellence in teaching.
Our faculty prepare you to teach all the subjects required of an elementary school teacher including: geography, U.S. history, government, math, science, reading and language arts, English, art and music. Complementing these subject areas, you take courses in child development, special education, reading, and curriculum development. Most important, your professors work with you individually to build your unique teaching style through student practicums and teaching.
Erin Gruwell Professor of Practice Educator and Founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation
Erin Gruwell is a teacher, an education activist, and the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation. She created the Freedom Writer Methods, a progressive teaching philosophy and curricula designed to achieve excellence from all students.
By fostering an educational philosophy that values and promotes diversity, Gruwell transformed her students’ lives. She encouraged them to re-think rigid beliefs about themselves and others, reconsider daily decisions, and ultimately re-chart their futures. With Gruwell’s support, they chose to forego teenage pregnancy, drugs, and violence to become aspiring college students, published writers, and catalysts for change. They dubbed themselves the “Freedom Writers” –in homage to civil rights activists The Freedom Riders—and published a book.
Inspired by Anne Frank, Erin and her students captured their collective journey in The Freedom Writers Diary. Through poignant student entries and Erin’s narrative text, the book records their “eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding.” In early 2007, Teach With Your Heart, Erin’s powerful memoir and call to arms was published.
While Erin has been credited with giving her students a “second chance,” it was perhaps she who changed the most during her tenure at Wilson High School. She decided to channel her classroom experiences toward a broader cause, and today her impact as a teacher extends well beyond Room 203. Erin founded the Freedom Writers Foundation where she currently teaches teachers around the country how to implement her innovative lesson plans into their own classrooms. Recently, Erin’s teaching methods from her time in Room 203 have been published in the Freedom Writers Diary Teacher’s Guide. Proceeds from the sale of all books directly fund the Freedom Writers Foundation.
Erin and her students have appeared on numerous television shows, including Oprah, Prime Time Live with Connie Chung, Barbara Walters’ The View, and Good Morning America, to name a few. Erin and the Freedom Writers have earned them dozens of awards including the prestigious Spirit of Anne Frank Award.
Erin is a graduate of the University of California Irvine, where she received the Lauds and Laurels Distinguished Alumni Award. She earned her Master’s Degree and teaching credentials from California State University Long Beach, where she was honored as Distinguished Alumna by the School of Education.