FACULTY PROFILES


 

 Kim PLS picture

KIM MILLER 

A LEGACY OF LEARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS



Kim Miller taught at Malcolm Price Laboratory School from 1985 through 2012 when the school was closed.  During those 27 years she worked with K-7 MPLS students as well as pre-service students and practicing teachers who were a part of the multigenerational mission of the school.

Kim Miller's goal has always been to make a difference in the lives of students whether they be elementary children, middle level students, pre-service teacher education students or practicing teachers. Her instruction both at MPLS, in the Department of Teaching or in the Department of Special Education has allowed her to impact the world through the imprint she has left on these many groups. Throughout all of her teaching, she persistently values an ethic of care and tries to convey this through her actions.

She holds herself to a high standard in her teaching. She is driven to grow, change and collaborate because in the end she cares--cares about the colleagues she works with and the students who have the privilege of being in her classroom. Her professional record is replete with evidence of strong collaborative partnerships including guest teaching with colleagues in some courses and taking full responsibility for others.  In both settings she collaborates in planning and delivery of instruction, which results in growing and changing with others.  She believes that instruction is deeper and more rewarding when it involves collaboration. 

In addition to her teaching at MPLS for 27 years, she also had the experience of teaching a course titled Teacher As A Change Agent for the Department of Teaching in the College of Education.  With this course she has supervised university students enrolled in Level I and Level II field experiences at the Laboratory School and in the local schools.  This entailed teaching the pre-service students about the dynamics of teaching including lesson planning.  In addition she also had the opportunity to teach in the Department of Special Education.  She taught a course titled Methodology and Assessment of Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities (K-8) that required supervision of a field experience titled Experience in Special Education: Phase II: Instructional Strategist 1

Kim has focused her professional work in the following three important areas--(See Kim's Vita for specific details):

1.  Professional Organizations--Learning Disabilities Association of Iowa and the Learning Disabilities Association of America:  Kim Miller has served on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Iowa since 2001.  Her major role has been to co-chair the State Learning Disabilities Conference which is held each year in Des Moines. (Read more about Kim's involvement in the LDA organization of Iowa....)

2.  The MPLS Citizenship Program: In 1993, the elementary faculty at Price Laboratory School (PLS) at the University of Northern Iowa expressed concerns about students not transferring the level of respect they demonstrated in the classrooms to the more unstructured areas such as recess, lunchtime, and before and after school.  They decided to move forward with a proactive response to these civility concerns.  This school-wide character education initiative was titled the PLS Elementary Citizenship Program.  This program was rooted in a strong developmental and preventative philosophy.  Its main goal was to develop and maintain a cohesive community  of learners who valued and respected each other.

Two staples of this sustained character education program were the monthly citizenship themes and the monthly all-school assemblies held on the last Friday of each month.  The monthly themes were determined each year with student, teacher, and parent input.  At each citizenship assembly that particular month’s theme was reviewed and the next month’s theme introduced.  Music, drama, and other creative approaches were incorporated into these assemblies that made them an invigorating and learning experience for all participants.  Another constant at these assemblies was the leadership role the PLS Elementary Student Council members took by leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the PLS Pledge and reporting on the service-learning project they worked on during that particular month.  Also, teachers incorporated the monthly citizenship themes in their classrooms by creating and teaching lessons about the particular themes and designing and displaying bulletin boards and other visuals about the particular themes.

In 2005, Price Laboratory School was one of five schools in the U.S. to receive the First Amendment Project Schools Award.  First Amendment Schools (FAS) is a national reform initiative that is dedicated to the teaching and practice of the rights and responsibilities of freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of petition, and freedom to assemble. The First Amendment initiative at MPLS was an extension of the school's commitment to citizenship education. 

Until 2012 when the school was closed, this student-centered character education program continued to evolve and be shaped according to the needs and interests.  However, the founding principles of building a caring community and nurturing positive and contributing citizens was a constant (Miller & Struck, 1996).  Read more about the History of the Elementary Citizenship Program....

3.  Co-teaching as a delivery model for meeting the needs of special education students.  Kim Miller was implementing elements of the co-teaching model in the classrooms of MPLS before co-teaching had become a professional norm for special education teachers.  From the time she started teaching at MPLS in 1985 she was innovating in the area of instruction for all students.  She worked to blur the lines between the "special" student and the "regular" classroom.  A significant part of that blurring involved co-teaching in the P/K-7 classrooms of MPLS.

Co-teaching began for Kim in 1988.  She had a student who didn’t want to be stigmatized by going to the resource room.  Kim decided that she would go to his fourth grade classroom instead.  Her co-teaching blossomed from there into sixth grade, where she recognized the importance of co-planning and shared responsibility for the teaching.  Kim continued co-teaching in the general education classroom in order to meet the individualized and differentiation needs of all the students in the classroom.  Her teaching was shaped by all of the master teachers she collaborated and co-taught with throughout the years.  Kim did over 50 presentations on co-teaching at the local, state, and international level.  She will always be grateful for her colleagues and friends who presented with her: Amy Lockhart, Mary Guenther, Clare Struck, Mary Stichter, and Denise Tallakson.  (Read more about Kim Miller's involvement in co-teaching in special education.....)




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