Office of Professional Experiences with Dr. Margaret Piccoli

September 27, 2022

BATON ROUGE, LA - As the new Coordinator of the Office of Professional Experiences, I would like to introduce myself and highlight some of the exciting initiatives the OPE has launched this fall. Learning and teaching languages have been a passion of mine for over 25 years, and it will never cease to amaze me when I see students acquire a new language. I have been fortunate to teach world languages in the United States and in Italy. My primary research focus is on second language acquisition, but most recently I have applied the theatre arts to improve language acquisition, particularly improvisation. I wrote my dissertation on the subject and self-published a book of activities and games that help the world language class come alive.

With the help the amazing supervisors in the OPE, we have implemented several initiatives designed to improve the quality of our students’ residencies this fall. The first of these is our new observation protocol or POP Cycle (Pre-conference, Observation, Post-conference). This new evaluation process provides Teacher Residents with detailed feedback from their Mentor and Supervisor at each step in the development and delivery of a lesson. In addition to the observation cycle, we have adopted a new observation rubric based on the Danielson Framework for Teaching, a comprehensive tool with 22 components organized into four domains of teaching responsibility. These are critical instruments and protocols, but none of it would work without the highly qualified and dedicated team of supervisors that are working with our students. Our supervisors have embraced the instrument and observation cycle with enthusiasm. You make it all work!

Also starting this fall semester, the OPE will collect all Teacher Residents’ data through our program specific OPE Moodle pages where students will upload the program’s required assignments, hourly logs, and POP cycle documents. These data are crucial for accreditation and state compliance. But are also helpful for us to monitor progress and to showcase our success to the community. We are doing a lot, making a difference, and people should know about it! Moodle also allows us to keep in constant communication with our students. We have a biweekly newsletter that keeps them on track on any important deadlines, meetings, and resources they need during their residency and beyond. It’s a lot, but your support and the office resources will ensure their success!

We are doing a lot, but I believe the OPE can do more to support the state’s communities and school systems. You cannot watch the news without hearing about the dire shortage of teachers in the State and across the nation. I have made it made it my priority to focus on recruitment of future educators into our teacher preparation programs. The OPE and the Geaux Teach Humanities faculty have already set a date of October 19th from 4:15-6:15 in Peabody 225 for all Humanities and Social Science students that would like to learn more about the teaching profession and how to start on the pathway to become a teacher. This is just the first of many recruitment initiatives. You are the lifeblood of this program and I appreciate your help and your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any ideas concerning any of our initiatives and, importantly, on how to improve our communication and recruitment.

Contact me!
Dr. Margaret Piccoli
223G Peabody Hall