Meet The Faculty
I believe teaching is a true application of the Liberal Arts. To be an excellent teacher, you need a rich knowledge base, a critical attitude, and a devotion to the issues that challenge our world and our students.
Teaching, when done well, is an amazing process and I am fascinated by its complexity. Effective teachers have the power to design relevant learning experiences that can engage students in important, meaningful tasks-- experiences that produce rich understandings and help dispel the compliant and disinterested attitudes that frequently develop in so many students within our current system.
In addition to exploring the many attributes of excellent teaching, I am committed to supporting students and teachers as they develop the core values and practices that support inclusive education. It is important for teachers to begin to re-conceptualize classrooms in order to thoughtfully address the diverse needs of their students. It is more than a special education issue. Responding positively to diversity is a critical component of a healthy democratic society. It is a matter of social justice.
After spending more than 20 years in public schools as a general and special educator, I am excited to be working with pre-service teachers and feel the academic atmosphere and small class size at Wells supports the critical dialogues needed to develop thoughtful, knowledgeable decision-makers and change agents.
M.S., Emotional Disturbance/Special Education
State University of New York, Oswego
B.A., Elementary Education
EDUC 105 Teaching in a Diverse Society
EDUC 225 Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice
EDUC 315 The Inclusive Classroom
EDUC 325 Managing and Motivating Classroom
EDUC 405 Elementary Methods in Math and Science
EDUC 408 Student teaching Reflective Seminar
EDUC 410 Student Teaching
SC 101 Childhoods Lost: An Exploration of Resiliency in Youth
"Having the opportunity to work with aspiring teachers is very rewarding. I equate this experience with that of a first grade teacher who experiences the joy of teaching students to read and write. As I guide students through the learning process, I am provided with the pleasure of watching them turn theory into practice and evolve into teachers. The close connections I have with students in the Wells Education Program are very important to me. Because Wells supports low student-teacher ratios in the classroom, I am provided with the opportunity to help students develop to their greatest potential."
Susan Wansor joined Wells College in 2002 to teach the reading and writing courses required by NYS for childhood and adolescent certification. She has 15 years of teaching experience at the elementary level. Beyond classroom experience, she has also worked as a K-6 reading specialist and a K-8 reading coach. She holds NYS permanent teaching certification in nursery, kindergarten, and grades 1-6 and reading grades K-12.
In the field of education, Professor Wansor believes that teaching and research go hand-in-hand. In order to grow as an educator, one must be a life-long learner. For her, action research is beneficial when identifying ways to improve practice. This method of research allows educators to look at their specific population, identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan that will promote growth within the school.
Professor Wansor also believes that literacy instruction must be integrated into all areas of learning. She supports a comprehensive approach to teaching literacy that integrates reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills at all levels. Her goal is to provide students with the skills necessary to develop into teachers who are passionate and committed to making a difference in literacy instruction. When students receive certification through Wells College, Professor Wansor wants them to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to immerse students in literacy, model literacy strategies, provide guided practice, continually assess students' abilities, and use assessment to guide instruction.
1988 B.S. SUNY Fredonia
1995 M.Ed. Towson State University
EDUC 225 Technology in the Classroom
EDUC 275 Using Children's Literature in the Classroom
EDUC 301 Primary Literacy and Diverse Learners
EDUC 302 Literacy for Diverse Upper Elementary Classrooms
EDUC 331 and 332 Reading & Writing in the Content Areas I & II
EDUC 408 Student Teaching Reflective Seminar
EDUC 410 Student Teaching: Preparation and Analysis
SC 101 Childhoods Lost: An Exploration in Resiliency
Sara A. Levy
“Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more human.” – Haim G. Ginott, Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers
My teaching philosophy is grounded in a deep, ongoing commitment to working for social justice, which drives my pedagogical choices and provides necessary bridges between course content and students’ lives. It is my obligation to acknowledge, respect, and affirm the knowledge and experiences students bring with them to my classes. This is particularly important when working with college students, as their diverse views, opinions, and backgrounds can profoundly impact not only their own learning and growth, but also that of their classmates. I firmly believe in student-centered learning that allows and encourages students to construct their own knowledge and to develop and support their own opinions.
My research is driven by the same commitment to social justice as my teaching. I focus on teaching and learning in public school history classrooms around global historical events with which students have heritage connections. As public school classrooms in the United States grow more diverse, it becomes incumbent on the research community to investigate how historically marginalized students are connecting to and making sense of history in their classrooms. My research, which is grounded in the qualitative paradigm and relies on the tenets of sociocultural theory, responds to this need by interrogating the complicated and complex intersections between students’ historical understanding and their lived experiences outside the classroom.
2000, B.A., History, Clark University, cum laude
2001, M.A., History, Clark University
2012, Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies Education, University of Minnesota
EDUC 105: Teaching in a Diverse Society
EDUC 215: Issues in Multicultural and English Language Learner Education
EDUC 325: Managing and Motivating Classrooms
EDUC 406: Instructional Strategies for the Secondary Classroom
EDUC 408: Student Teaching Reflective Seminar
EDUC 410: Student Teaching Supervision
SC 101: Childhood’s Lost: An Exploration of Resiliency in Youth