West Middle Teacher is a Fulbright Scholar
(Shelbyville, KY) Jennifer Gerber, a teacher at West Middle School, recently received exciting news. She has been accepted to the Fulbright program for the summer of 2020. She is one of twelve chosen out of over 1000 who applied. This program at Towson University, through a grant from the US Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, will provide an immersion experience in Chinese culture for five weeks for twelve public school teachers. The project intends to develop educators’ intercultural competence and enhance social studies curriculum and instruction on China in secondary education classrooms in the US by expanding their scope of knowledge in the areas of history, sulture, religion, economics, language and educational systems. Teacher participants will work with Towson University faculty members to design and implement curriculum that accurately reflects Chinese heritage and culture.
Ms. Gerbr said, “We will be traveling throughout China for 34 days working in both urban and rural classrooms. We will then work to create lessons to incorporate into ELA and Social Studies classrooms utilizing Chinese literature, culture, history, and political and economic documents from the Chinese perspective.”
The lessons will be published by the Department of Education for teachers to use nationwide.
Ms. Gerber has a BA in Economics from UofL, MBA UofL, MAT Bellarmine University, Reading Specialist Certification through Oldham County and Bellarmine University. Before becoming a teacher, she worked for United Defense in price estimating and contracts for major weapon deliverables which were sold to the U.S. Navy and Allied nations. She has been teaching for 12 years. Ms. Gerber spent 2 years teaching Introduction to Business classes at Sullivan University and Spencerian College. While obtaining her MAT through Bellarmine, she taught under their Alternative Certification program at Spencer County High School (Introduction to Chemistry and Earth Space Science) and Maurice Bowling Middle School (Social Studies and ELA) in Owen County. After graduating, Ms. Gerber taught ELA and RTI at South Oldham Middle School for 6 years and then Social Studies and ELA at WMS for the past 2 years. She resides in Shelby County, with her husband, Rick Gerber and her two children, Ethan a senior at Collins and Graceson an 8th grader at WMS. In addition to teaching, Ms. Gerber is also the assistant academic team coach at WMS.
In addition to her school service, Ms. Gerber participated in the McConnell Center’s Teaching American History Grant, Gilder Lehrman Teaching American History Seminars and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation teaching common core through technology program.
“ Last summer, I led a WWII teaching trip with 52 middle schoolers from Jefferson, Oldham and Shelby County to England and France with Education First. I was inspired to apply for the Fulbright program because of my experience with Education First. Through the program, I was able to connect with teachers all over the world. Plus I have been able to bring a unique perspective to my students while teaching our 7th grade informative unit which includes a study of WWII. We utilized artifacts and literature that I brought back, as well as, photographs and propaganda that I purchased that were replicas from the war.”
Ms. Gerber stated, “I am excited about traveling to China with the Fulbright Program to collaborate, learn, and share with the Chinese teachers the strategies that they utilize in their classrooms. When we return, we will be creating lessons to incorporate into ELA and Social Studies classrooms utilizing Chinese literature, culture/ history, and political/economic issues from the Chinese perspective. The lessons will be published through the Department of Education and available for teachers nationwide. Personally, I hope to incorporate the information into my narrative and informational units for ELA, as well as, work with my Social Studies counterpart to create some cross-curricular lessons about Chinese Culture and history.”