Why I Love Teaching at Molloy College
Molloy is a culture of kindness which you can feel the minute you step on campus. It is a place in which everyone opens the door for everyone else. You can ride the elevator with the president and the head custodian and you will find your day equally brightened by the presence of each. Both will not only to talk to you, but each will make you glad that you chose Molloy College. The Dominican Pillars upon which the school was founded are not merely words but are the living, breathing embodiment of the school itself.
My mission at Molloy seeks to create teachers who envision the social sciences as dynamic and changing as the world that they inhabit. These teachers will come to understand that the study of the social sciences is in essence a series of open ended questions and that the answers to these questions are ones that the learner must discover through individual investigation and evaluation. Molloy teachers will challenge their students with these questions as partners in the journey to find the answers, rather than posing as the repository of static knowledge.
What I am working on
Currently, I am working with the De La Salle School in Freeport, NY on the role of hope in the success of children of poverty from underserved communities. I am doing both qualitative and quantitative research examining the reasons behind the extraordinary success of these young men with the idea that the lessons for this school can provide us with a blueprint for success for all children of poverty.
Peter O' Toole, in Confessions of an American Scholar, made a statement in my undergraduate study that is still with me today and that has shaped the core of what I believe about college teaching. In a beautiful metaphor, he suggested that his role university professor is somewhat akin to a bee that does an inspiring dance around a flower. Although he hopes students enjoy his dance, he prays that no matter how much students enjoy his dance: they ultimately realize that his dance is merely to inspire them to create their own dances around the flower. What I hope for my students at Molloy is that they create their own unique and individual dances around the flower of social studies instruction. To accomplish this mission, I have driven our students to create new knowledge and directions for social studies through the construction of curricula for real audiences that extend far beyond the walls of Molloy College.
Doctoral Candidate at Hofstra University working on Hope Theory and Its Impact on Children of Poverty.
Accomplishments at Molloy and Beyond
2010 - New York State Council for the Social Studies Distinguished Social Studies Educator Award
2006 - Presidential Leadership Award--Long Island Council for Social Studies
2003-2006 - SAANYS Government Relations Team--Met with the Commissioner and the New York State for four years on the state of education in New York State
2002 - NY State Social Studies Supervisor of the Year
1999-2008 - Turnkey Trainer for Long Island on the Grading Social Assessments 5th-8th-10th-11th
1996-99 - Served as a Member of the State Design Team for New Assessments
1997 - Authored Global Scope and Sequence-New York State Curriculum
1996 - Goals 2000 Team Selected to Revise New York State Regents
Sheehan, K., Donovan, B. & Blair, M., (2010) Practicing what we preach: making the co-teaching model come alive in the college classroom. Insights on Learning Disabilities, 7(2), 31-42.
Sheehan, K., Connelly, C., Huber, K. & Joseph, C. (2011) Using local history to build understanding. Social Science Docket, 11(1), 26-27.
Sheehan, K. & Laifer, L. (2011) An Eastern Hemisphere meeting of the minds: an action plan for creating sixth grade citizens of the world. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 23(4). [PENDING]
Sheehan, K., Connelly, C., Huber, K. & Joseph, C. (2011) Using local history to build understanding. Socia Science Docket, 11(1), 26-27