Cynthia Field has been retired from the classroom since 2001. Prior to that, she taught English to eighth graders at Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor, CT. Ms. Field considered herself an "advocate for experiential learning where participants actively engaged in acquiring and increasing their understanding of new information." In her writing/reading workshop, her philosophy of teaching was put to the test daily: students chose their own writing topics and genres, selected their own readings, set their own goals, and responded to the comments of both teacher and peers. Ms. Field also conducted workshops for her colleagues from other disciplines who were interested in pursuing experiential learning strategies. Ms. Field wanted to see these strategies combined with a multidisciplinary, integrated curriculum to help students understand "that learning is not departmentalized." Ms. Field helped create and implement such a curriculum with an integrated unit called "Imprints of Amerindians," involving a two-day camping expedition during which students simulated the life of Native Americans from the Connecticut River Valley. This event, a highlight of Ms. Field's teaching career, illustrated her belief that today's curriculum "must emphasize learning as a process of discovery." As a Language Arts Consultant, even after retiring from the classroom, Ms Field continued to share her expertise with colleagues. After receiving a grant from American Councils for International Education, Ms. Field coordinated and conducted an exchange program with teachers and students from the country of Uzbekistan, and she continues to support programs that encourage mutual understanding and lifelong relationships with people in different parts of the world.
During these tough economic times as educational budgets are being slashed and excellent teachers are losing their jobs, it is more imperative than ever that our voices be heard. As respected and talented professionals in our communities, we need to write to national, state, and local legislators and participate in state and local budgetary hearings to encourage our leaders to continue to commit to and support successful educational programs that enrich every child's life. I was fortunate to have been in the classroom when money for education was readily available. My students and I reaped the benefits of that windfall. Let's do our best to work toward renewing and energizing that monetary commitment to education.
1966 University of Connecticut, B.A. and Central Connecticut State University, MA