Professor of Education, Music Performance, Instruction and Administration, Georgetown College, GA

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Andrea Peach, Professor of Education, Instruction and Administration

What programs do you teach at Georgetown College? What drew you to these fields of study? What keeps you excited about them?

I primarily teach courses in Instructional Technology, research methods, and foundations of education and learning theories. No matter what I’m teaching, my passion is the PreK-12 students who will be impacted.

For example, I have spent many years working with educational robotics. During the past 15+ years, I have worked with so many dedicated teachers, coaches, volunteers, and students and have witnessed tremendous growth in the inclusion of robotics activities for all students.

I’ve also received and worked with grants and programs to include special needs, gifted/talented, and ELL students in robotics activities and have worked with community organizations to include students from low SES areas in these activities. I continue to work with the Kentucky Department of Education through their Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) to host a robotics competition. I also organize a summer robotics camp for students in the Central Kentucky area.

I also currently direct the M.A.Ed. Initial/Alternative Certification program. My interest in this program is working with new and prospective teachers who are, in most cases, career changers. I can relate to my students because I had a similar experience in my teacher education program. In my case, I could complete my initial certification because I couldn’t afford to quit my full-time job.

Now we have alternative routes to teaching, where you can be hired as a teacher while completing your certification. Raising kids while working full-time is tough, so I try to do what I can to help my students navigate the workload.

How will your programs better prepare/equip educators for the current climate they are facing? How will they help them tackle the challenges of COVID and post-COVID teaching?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers needed extensive professional development in using technology to deliver and assess learning. Because of this, I revamped some of my classes to include more content on designing online learning and gave my students opportunities to earn relevant certifications, such as Google for Education, to fulfill some of the requirements of the classes.

Even though teachers are mostly back to face-to-face instruction, the need for continued professional learning about research-based practices in using technology, personalized instruction, high-quality instructional materials, and teaching all students is needed. According to the ImpactKY 2022 survey just released, teachers reported needing professional development that was related to their content, individualized to their needs, and helped them explore new ideas. These are the types of classes that I like to teach!

What attracted you to teach at Georgetown College? What sets them apart?

Being from Kentucky and growing up in a Baptist church, I have been aware of the unique educational experiences offered by Georgetown College since I was young. However, it was not until I was in college that I set my sights on teaching at a small liberal arts college, and Georgetown was the perfect fit.

I love how I get to know my students, not only academically but, in many cases, personally as well. I keep up with them on social media, through interactions at meetings and conferences, and by keeping up with their accomplishments. The personal relationships, combined with high-quality academics, keeps me excited about teaching here at Georgetown College.

I also love our outstanding faculty and staff. We are a team of full-time faculty who have many years of experience here at the college (I’ve been here for 23 years) and part-time instructors who have current school experiences. We all work together with our amazing staff to ensure that everything is done at the highest level. This collaboration is key to the success of all our graduate students.

What is your professional background as an educator? Why did you become interested in education?

I come from a family of educators. However, I came into education through rather unconventional means. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music performance, and while working on my masters’ degree, I taught music theory and studio performance classes to undergraduate students. I decided to become a music teacher and completed most of the music education program while working full-time.

However, I was also interested in technology since high school when I took my first computer programming course. During my undergraduate education, I earned a minor in computer science, and after graduation from my masters’ degree, I worked as a computer programmer/manager and as a faculty development specialist. Because of these real-world experiences, along with my love for being in the education field, I chose to earn my Doctorate in Instructional Design and Technology.

This field of study allowed me to study learning and instructional theories and apply what I learned to design high-quality instruction using technology tools. I have worked closely with teachers and professors throughout my career to implement research-based strategies to use instructional technology to improve student learning.

What would you tell prospective students considering your program about yourself? What’s something that students and colleagues should know about you?

Even though I am a professor, I am also a learner. I learn from and with my students, and I hope they learn from me and each other. We are a collaborative team seeking to improve our skills to impact our students. I create flexible assessments in my classes, encourage questions, and communicate with my students through the most convenient and effective means available. When you finish my classes, I hope you will continue to reach out to me to tell me how you are doing and how I can help.

I am also an innovator. I push my students to think outside the box and do the same. I read current research, attend education-related conferences, and try to discover what the next big thing is going to be in my primary field of instructional technology. This way, I can be ready to guide my students to embrace the changes that are inevitable in education.

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing their master’s degree? How can people stand out in this field?

Get as many different credentials as you can. If you are new to teaching and are qualified to teach in more than one area, get your certification for additional areas. If you are already certified, add endorsements or get your leadership certification so you can move up in your school and district.

Also, I would recommend getting degrees when possible to earn your rank changes. Degrees are more recognized by districts in and out of Kentucky, and, if you were to decide to move out of P-12 education, that degree could help you move into another rewarding career.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

If you have any questions that I could answer for you, please reach out to me at Andrea_Peach@georgetowncollege.edu. I would love to get to know you and help you meet your goals.