Sue Ellen Read
After a career in public and private schools, followed by a stint as an adult educator, I settled in to teach at a regional university in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Northeastern State University (NSU) has an enrollment of approximately 9,000 students on three campuses and graduates more Native American students than any other institution of higher education. The NSU College of Education has long enjoyed a reputation of excellence. Both the Secretary of Education and the Superintendent of Schools for the State of Oklahoma are NSU alumni.
During most of the years in which I taught, I thought I considered myself a good teacher. This belief was reinforced by flattering evaluations from students, peers, and supervisors. I was in great demand; my classes were always full, and I frequently was recruited to teach at other institutions. I worked hard because I loved teaching and because I was determined to prevent the Oklahoma hills surrounding us to become a barrier that prevented the arrival of state-of-the-art education.
Two courses that I teach, Cognitive Learning Styles and Instructional Strategies, are required for all Masters of Administration and Masters of Teaching candidates. A few of my students began to truly soar as a result of information they learned in those classes. In particular, students in my Cognitive Learning Styles classes began to change the way they taught. They were doing what I had been advocating. When another professor asked for a list of former students who were using learning styles in their own classrooms, I was delighted. That colleague had wanted to make a film for her