Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2017
Todd Cole ‘83, fourth grade English and Language Arts teacher at Laurel Elementary in New Castle, PA, came to Westminster to share some insight into the ever-changing field of education with a group education majors. Cole completed his undergraduate degree at Westminster and graduated from the Reading Specialist M.Ed. program in 1991.
Dressed in a George Washington costume, a homage to his favorite president, Cole started his workshop greeting the group of Westminster students at the door much like he does his students at Laurel. He led a president’s day theme writing assignment and had the group create their own truffala trees from Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax,” which he suggested to use as an earth day activity in their own classrooms one day.
Cole comes to Westminster at least once a year to share teaching tips, offer advice and best practices with the group of emerging educators. Most importantly, he brings his collection of children’s books that are perfect for just about any occasion. Whether it’s “First Day Jitters” by Julie Danneberg and Judy Love or “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio, Cole’s collection of books all share positive messages for young readers and challenge students to think critically.
Cole has been featured on WFMJ TODAY as an education expert. “It’s a great outlet to get my message out there,” adds Cole. He advises every parent to read with their children every day. “Reading with them is the best medicine you give them and it creates lasting memories”.
As a reoccurring guest on WFMJ, he discusses educational issues creating challenges for local schools. He also provides tips for parents regarding children’s literature, preparing for the first day of school and summer activities to help children retain the skills they learned throughout the school year.
Cole ended his workshop at Westminster with an exclusive reading of his new children’s book, “You Are a Masterpiece,” a motivational piece that inspires children to have positive self-esteem and “celebrate the masterpiece in us all”.
Cole has been an educator at Laurel Elementary for 34 years. He spent 25 years as a first-grade teacher and the past nine years teaching fourth grade. In previous years, Cole was named Teacher of the Year by the Laurel Community Foundation, Lawrence County's Educator of the Year, and was named one of the top three early educators for Disney Teacher of the Year.
In July, Cole will begin his adjunct teaching career at Westminster by teaching a graduate class featuring children’s books.
To learn more about Westminster graduate programs, visit westminster.edu. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org and call 888-378-2779.
For more information, contact Tom Fields at email@example.com or 724-946-7190.