Teacher becomes a facilitator of change

March 24, 2014
Marvin Williams

Marvin Williams looks for opportunities where they may not be obvious. His OCL courses have allowed Williams to share and receive different perspectives on change. But what sets him apart from his classmates is Williams is one of only two teachers currently in the program.

After earning his degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007, Williams taught high school social studies before taking a position at Milwaukee College Prep, a free K–8 public charter school. Williams applies the school’s mission statement: “Knowledge plus character pave the road to college and beyond,” to himself in a big way.

Williams wants to be a part of the rapid changes occurring in education. A master’s program he started in urban studies did not focus enough on how to facilitate change in education, and after a tip from a Facebook friend, Williams found the UW-Platteville OCL program. He liked what he saw because it was new and different.

“I found this to be an opportunity for a teacher to learn how to be involved in the change going on in education. So much has changed since I started seven years ago and even in the last two while I’ve been in the program. A lot of the changes come down to us, and we are not always asked our opinion, but when I have the opportunity, this program has shown me how to be involved,” Williams said.

“The professors are really good at designing a course that allows us to use our experiences–and utilize our strengths that allow us to share. There is a lot of give-and-take. I like that it’s not so rigid that it forces us to do things a certain way. I like the flexibility to apply what we learn to a real-world situation.”

Set to graduate in May, Williams is looking forward to attending commencement at UW-Platteville. This spring he will complete his final project, establishing a partnership between his school and the nearby Feeding America
Distribution Center.

“The goal of my project is to get the school involved in the organization. We can get school-aged kids involved by creating a program that has curriculum and will involve a food drive and yearly visits to the distribution center,” Williams said. “Our students can help throughout the year and will learn about community service and volunteering.”

“Working with students on capstone projects is always rewarding,” said Derek Dachelet, Williams’ capstone advisor. “The projects are even more memorable when they are focused on making a positive change in the lives of others.”

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