Dr. Tanya Hudson Embraces Bronco STAR Faculty Programs

With more than 15 years experience in education, Dr. Tanya Hudson is more than a little familiar with the concept of “show and tell.” Now as an assistant professor in the Department of Elementary Education at Fayetteville State University she is taking it to a higher level.

Hudson has embraced the learning opportunities presented through the faculty component of Bronco Star at Fayetteville State. She recently attended the course redesign workshop at ECU and is now applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning to her elementary math teaching methods class.

Hudson said she wants the teacher candidates in her class to not only remember the course material but also the aspects of how it was presented so they can emulate some of the strategies in their own classrooms. Her 13 years as a teacher and administrator in the Gaston County public schools have shown her the need to share material so it can be understood by a wide variety of learners. 

“Doing what is best for students is always my priority,” Hudson said. She said her hybrid course, Math for 21st century K-6 teaching, lends itself easily to multiple ways of representing material. The on-line and face-to-face components naturally create different ways of presenting material and focusing on engagement. She hopes she is modeling for her students what they can do when they are the teacher.

She also uses a Surface Pro to do math problems so students can watch the process and have it sent to them via e-mail along with back up notes. This enables them to watch rather than concentrating on taking notes, she said.

The challenge, Hudson said, is adding multiple ways for the teaching candidates to demonstrate their mastery of the material since math is logical and may not lend itself to some of the solutions used by other instructors. That’s one reason why she enjoyed interacting with faculty outside her department and university at the redesign workshop.

“It was very eye-opening and a good way to look at various models,” she said. For example, one thing Hudson is considering is structuring the class so multiple activities build toward a culminating project. “That way,” she said, “the students can build it throughout the semester and it won’t be so overwhelming.”

Hudson said she is excited about participating in a faculty learning community at Fayetteville State so she can share what she is learning and talk with others about their experiences. It will be yet another venue for “show and tell.”