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Ball State credentials lead teacher to new classroom

Ryan Osborn
“They were impressed with my Ball State credentials. They were impressed that, for my few years of teaching, I had earned CTE certification and would have my master’s by December.”

High school teacher and graduate student Ryan Osborn on the interview that led to his new teaching position

High school teacher and graduate student Ryan Osborn tells two versions of how he recently and unexpectedly landed a coveted teaching job.

“My wife’s cousin held this job, and he called me to tell me the position was open. It just fell into my lap. It was the perfect opportunity,” says Osborn.

But version number two includes a couple of career planning decisions that probably helped him in hindsight: “They were impressed with my Ball State credentials,” says Osborn of Evansville Harrison High School officials who extended the job offer. “They were impressed that, for my few years of teaching, I had earned CTE certification and would have my master’s by December.”

Osborn was teaching business classes at a small rural high school in southern Indiana when he learned of the Evansville Harrison position.

One big attraction, he says, was the school’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter, a program which offers students competitions at regional, state, and national levels.

Osborn also liked the fact that the school was up to date with its technology. “It’s what I was looking for as a business educator,” he says.

As a business educator, Osborn knew that post-baccalaureate education was essential. He started Ball State’s online master’s in business and marketing education a year ago after warming up to online education through the career and technical education license program.

“It was very intimidating to say the least,” says Osborn, of his entry into online education, “but I will say that Ball State makes online study as accessible as you can make it.”

In the master’s program, Osborn has compared notes on education funding, classroom technology, and evaluation tools with teachers from states such as Colorado, Texas, and Massachusetts. “I’ve been able to get a perspective on how Indiana matches up,” he says. “That wouldn’t be possible in a face-to-face classroom.”

Graduate programs such as the master’s in business and marketing provide practical tools that can be immediately applied in the classroom. To students at his previous school, Osborn introduced a social learning network, developed specifically for K-12 schools, known as My Big Campus. This network facilitates opportunities for group collaboration, group communication, and access to Educational Resource Library, a comprehensive collection of online resources.

“We would talk about projects in class, but students could access discussion boards from home so you could watch the debate going on outside of class,” says Osborn.

Osborn found more than technology tools to take into his classroom. An educational psychology class, one of his favorite classes so far, revealed how students are individuals and products of different circumstances.

“It’s easy to misjudge student behaviors—to maybe think they are lazy when they are just tired,” says Osborn. “That class has prompted me to get to know students a little better.”

It’s just one of the teaching strategies he’s using in his new high school classroom.
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