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Dr. Scott Simpson
Before joining the TIE team as a Learning Specialist in 2008, I spent 6 years as a high school English, drama and speech teacher in Texas, Nebraska and Colorado, and taught 10 years as a full time English and English Education professor at York College in York, Nebraska, at Black Hills State University, and at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. I hold an M.A. in English Curriculum and Instruction and a Ph.D. in English Creative Writing, both from the University of Nebraska-- Lincoln. I also spent about 3 years as the Executive Director of a youth and family camp in the Rockies of Northern New Mexico. I'm a published poet, writer and songwriter and do most of my best thinking while hiking Black Hills trails with my dogs Abbey, Bugsy and Dakota.
Specialty Areas short-list:
Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings (The WoLakota Project)
English Language Arts (including speech and theater)
Common Core State Standards
Formative Assessment / Assessment for Learning
Professional Learning Communities
Student Engagement / Intrinsic Motivation
Professional Renewal (Courage and Renewal Facilitation)
Character Education / Bullying / Cyber Citizenship
Film / Documentary Production
Creative Writing / Songwriting
(Sidney Byrd's Boarding School Story)
Wyoming's AdvancEd Conference Prezis
Workshop for Reluctant Writers
Click on buttons to left to explore resources:
WoLakota is very exciting project involving the Oceti Sakowin Understandings. These are a set of "Understandings" that have grown out of work done by Lakota and Dakota elders. We are in the process of producing classroom and media resources to support teachers across the state as they incorporate these understandings into their classrooms and curriculum. It's an exciting time in South Dakota as we increase our understanding of not only ALL of our neighbors, but also our natural environment and ourselves.
Teaching From Within
In 2012, the TIE Media team produced a new film, Teaching From Within: Engaging Students Intrinsically. I wrote and directed the film, composed the music, and have developed a workshop for schools and districts that accompanies the film. At the link to the left, you will find the support site for the Teaching From Within workshop, which we will be relocating to its own web domain very soon. View the film trailer, explore the 12 Understandings, read comments from educators who have experienced the workshop, and very soon, preview excerpts from my upcoming book of the same title!
Courage To Teach
One of my greatest joys as an educator has been to be a part of three full South Dakota Courage to Teach cohorts. Based on the work of Parker Palmer, "Courage Work" is an international movement impacting not only individuals in education, but also in health care, law, clerical work and many other vocational callings. I am one of only three Courage and Renewal facilitators in the state, and we are in development of new Courage Circles now. Learn more, read Courage to Teach, and get involved!
Prairie Winds Writers
For more than 30 years, Prairie Winds has been a SD Arts Council supported publication that highlights both student and educator writing. Prairie Winds has hosted many, many writing workshops over the years across South Dakota and even into Wyoming. I have worked as a writer with Prairie Winds since 1998, and in 2010 became the editor of our online journal. Visit the Prairie Winds Writers site, read some great writings, and consider submitting or having your students submit to our next issue.
Dakota Character is a character education initiative in South Dakota, funded by a grant from the Department of Education. I have worked as a trainer and representative for three school districts for the past three years, Wall, Newell and Harding County. Dakota Character has partnered with TIE in support of our Teaching From Within film and has brought many rural South Dakota character education issues into the light in Washington DC. I was pleased to represent Dakota Character and present Teaching From Within in Washington in 2012.
This is a three, full-day, book-study workshop, originally designed for the Lander Wyoming school district. Based on The Motivated Student by Bob Sullo, this workshop laid the groundwork that eventually became Teaching From Within. Though my Student Engagement and Teaching From Within workshops have some overlap, there are many elements in each that are unique. I can tailor a workshop to fit the needs and the time constraints of your school.
In 2009, a team from TIE went to Portland, OR for training in Formative Assessment from Rick Stiggins. I was a part of that team. We went on to do trainings in formative assessment, or "Assessment for Learning" across Wyoming and South Dakota. You can access some of the training materials and tools we developed at this link. I continue to actively work with Formative Assessment in many schools trying to implement the new Common Core Standards. Assessment for Learning is a key component of making this shift successfully.
Professional Learning Communities
My first three years at TIE, I was engaged intensely with work in Todd County, helping the district there to develop a healthy, sustainable Professional Learning Community. I have gone on to develop training for schools and districts who would like to introduce the process of collaboration, shared leadership and student-learning focused teams in their settings. I've seen both healthy PLCs... and toxic PLCs (which really aren't PLCs) and I think I've learned some about how to make the PLC model an authentic, systemic, cultural change... not just a new reason to have meetings.
SDI Plus Grant
The South Dakota Incentives Plus program was a 5 year, 20 million dollar grant program that impacted several large school districts in the state. I worked for several years with the Todd County School District to implement Building Leadership Teams and PLCs across the district, among other things. The results of the SDI Plus program has informed the ways that South Dakota is approaching not only instruction in rural schools, but also administrator training and support, teacher recruitment and retention, professional development, accountability and the new longitudinal data system, STARS. Here, you can see a video interview with several educators involved in the SDI Plus program.
Standards in Practice Protocol
Standards in Practice is a protocol for teachers to come together collaboratively and give feedback to each other on student work. It's a wonderful tool for fine-tuning lessons and assessments based upon actual student performance and response. Several of us in the state of South Dakota received this training back in 2010, and by following the link to the left, you can view some of the resources that I developed for trainings.
Prezi Online Course
Prezi is amazing! Once you get it, you'll never do a PowerPoint again. I currently facilitate an online, self-paced starter course on Prezi through TIE. If you're an educator, you can get a 1 hour credit if you so choose. Click to the left to view the course site, and also to view some of the Prezi's that I've constructed for my projects at TIE.
Common Core State Standards
As the state of South Dakota has made the shift to Common Core State Standards, I have been working as a CCSS developer and trainer contracted by the SD Department of Education. I was involved in leading the disaggregation of the 9-12 ELA standards and with trainings with most of the English Language Arts teachers in the state. I have worked as a trainer with CCSS Modules 1, 2, 5 and 6, and have developed trainings addressing KUD, Webb Leveling, Learning Target and Common Assessment development. I am also on the Literacy Standards team, the team working with the new Science Framework Standards, and developed training for the World Languages Standards.
Film Work with TIE Media
I have worked for the past three years with the TIE Media group, writing, editing, planning, videoing, interviewing and composing film music for a number of very exciting film projects (some even award-winning!). Follow the link to the left to links to several projects I've been involved in, as well as the TIE Media site where you can find out about other projects, ongoing projects and future projects!
Each year, TIE hosts not only the massive TIE Conference, but also partners with MAPLE to support the System's Change Conference. Here you can find links to some of my presentation materials and topics at these conferences as well as some of the other conferences at which I've been invited to speak.
I am, at heart, a poet. Here, you may follow a few links to some of my poetry that is available online. When I have the time, I may also add new things I'm working on to this page.
Poetry can sometimes be a very solitary pursuit... find yourself a community of writers, and write!
Contact me to arrange a poetry writing or creative writing workshop.
Here, you can follow some links to my available music. Some of it you can stream, some of it you can sample, some of it you can download for free... and some of it you are welcomed to!
Contact me for a songwriting or independent music production workshop.
Elders' Wisdom Children's Song
This is one of my side pursuits, but what a wonderful program it is! I have been fortunate to have been a songwriter working with the Elders' Wisdom project in Spearfish schools for many years now. Hank Fridell got it started years ago, and it stuck. Custer schools have also been doing this for a number of years, and other districts, like Wall, have
experimented with it as well. This year I'll be helping Oelrichs get their program started! Read about it, think about what it might look like in your school!
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