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5 questions for award-winning educator Ingrid Carter, Ph.D.

The associate professor received the 2019 Colorado Association of Science Teachers Award for Excellence in Teaching.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 28, 2019

Ingrid Carter in classroom with students.On Nov. 8, Ingrid Carter, Ph.D., associate professor, Elementary Education, will accept her second teaching award of the year. In addition to her 2019 Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Award, Carter was selected by her peers for the Colorado Association of Science Teachers Award for Excellence in Teaching College Science.

Before joining MSU Denver, Carter volunteered with the Peace Corps, earned a doctorate from Indiana University, Bloomington, in Curriculum and Instruction and taught bilingual second and third grades. These experiences inform her work as an associate professor and as graduate-programs coordinator for the School of Education.

Carter spoke with the Early Bird about her banner year and about her continued growth as an educator.

What does this recognition mean for you personally and professionally?

This recognition means so much to me as a professional. It is such an honor to be recognized by CAST — an organization that I value and appreciate — and I am thrilled to continually grow as an educator. Personally, it also means a great deal to achieve this honor as I balance my roles as both a faculty member and a family member, especially with regard to being a wife and a mother of two toddlers.

What is intuitive about the way you teach, and what is informed by research or best practices?

My relationship with my students and asking them for feedback and input on their learning, and responding to that feedback, is intuitive to me. I truly love teaching, and I think that shows when I am teaching and interacting with students in the classroom. I think critically about the topics we discuss in class, and I focus those topics on best practices within the field of science education (for the Science and Health Methods course that I teach).

How has your time at MSU Denver helped you develop as an educator?

I think the most powerful impact on my teaching has been being surrounded by other amazing teachers. From my time as an elementary teacher, to being a graduate student, and to being faculty member, I have had the great fortune to work with amazing mentors and colleagues. Rolly Schendel, Ph.D., associate professor of Literacy, and I were hired at the same time, and early on we built a peer mentorship with regard to our teaching. The similarities and differences in our teaching styles have given me huge insights into what works and the potential for continual growth.

How do you adapt your teaching styles to your students’ needs?

Teaching is a dynamic activity, and I try to connect with my students throughout the entire teaching experience. This means not only in the moment of teaching but also being available before and after class as well as answering emails in a timely manner. I value the diversity of our students’ experiences and admire the grit and tenacity that many of our students demonstrate not only in getting to MSU Denver but also as they continue their studies. I try to maintain a balance of being understanding of students’ unique circumstances while upholding consistent and high expectations for their work.

How will you celebrate the honor?

I am so pleased that my husband and a couple of my colleagues will attend the awards ceremony with me on Nov. 8. I am also hoping my husband and I can get a date night in to celebrate. We don’t have many opportunities to go out alone together since the birth of our twin boys!

Topics: Award, Best practices, Excellence

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