Lee Hosts English Training Class

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - by Sara Groos, Lee University
From left, Dr. Ryan Goodman, Dr. William Kamm and Dr. Jason Bell
From left, Dr. Ryan Goodman, Dr. William Kamm and Dr. Jason Bell

Lee University hosted a training session for the Tennessee Rural Education Association at the Helen DeVos College of Education. Local teachers were educated on how to connect to rural Chinese students and teach them English using online technology. 

This event developed from a partnership between TNREA and VIPKIDS, which allows teachers to teach English online to Chinese students. Through VIPKIDS, the lessons are created for the teacher and no grading is required. 

“TNREA and Lee University are thinking outside the box by providing an unrivaled professional learning experience partnering with the highest-rated remote positions company by Forbes,” said Dr. Ryan Goodman, director of innovation for Polk County Schools and current TNREA executive director. 

The Tennessee Rural Education Association was established in 2011 and is a partner organization with the National Education Association. TNREA strives to improve the educational opportunities and challenges for rural students in Tennessee, as well as other states and countries.  

“This event was an excellent continued connection with our community and definitely benefited students who wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to learn or practice English otherwise,” said Dr. William Kamm, director of graduate studies in education at Lee and TNREA board member. 

Recent TNREA projects include grant partnerships, hosting regional rural symposiums connecting educators to business leaders, improving resource sharing among rural schools and school districts, and helping schools and school districts work to build a better bridge for rural students between high school graduation and workplace readiness. 

“Rural teachers rarely get access to such a unique opportunity, and I’m very excited that TNREA got to partner with Lee University to deliver this training,” said Dr. Jason Bell, TNREA board member and supervisor of secondary curriculum and assessment for Polk County Schools. 

For more information on TNREA, visit Facebook or Twitter



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