Dr. Jan Glunk, Associate Professor, Program Coordinator, M.Ed. in Teaching and Leadership, M.Ed. in Reading and Literacy, Point Park University, PA

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jan Glunk, Professor of Education, Program Coordinator, M.Ed. in Teaching and Leadership, M.Ed. in Reading and Literacy

Meet Dr. Jan Glunk, a well-versed Point Park University Professor of Education, Program Coordinator of M.Ed. in Teaching and Leadership and M.Ed. in Reading and Literacy.

What programs do you teach at Point Park University? What drew you to this field of study? What keeps you excited about it?

I teach in the M.Ed. in Teaching and Leadership and M.Ed. in Reading and Literacy. Also, my teaching takes me to students in the Letter of Eligibility Program who aspire to be district superintendents. Since I served as a superintendent, I also teach in the doctoral leadership and administration program.

Not only do I teach many online courses for the curriculum and instruction program, but also, I am the coordinator of the graduate Teaching and Leadership, and Reading and Literacy Programs. In addition, I advise and schedule students in this program. I love teaching the content in these programs because it helps teachers and perspective leaders change their professional lives, which in turn has a direct impact on their students.

The content ranges from curriculum development to instructional and assessment strategies in reading in the curriculum and instruction graduate program. In the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility program and doctoral program, the leadership skills that my courses stress are team building, quality and capacity in leadership, and the change process, to name a few.

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

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching and learning has changed drastically. There are so many demands placed on teachers and students. One day they are in-person, the next day they are remote, and some days they are hybrid. If I can ease these challenges by sharing my professional expertise, I have succeeded in my job.

As I reflect on education today, I realize we can never go back to the “way it was.” Our students are more tech-savvy; they demand more, but also, we must find ways to keep them moving forward and not backwards. We must also keep learning ourselves in how we deliver instruction and how we engage students. Education is not stagnate.

What attracted you to teach at Point Park University? What sets them apart?

Point Park University is what I consider an educational community that is constantly evolving and implementing innovations. The community of learning and teaching is what attracted me. I was not interested in working for a university that emphasizes research and not teaching. Point Park University puts its efforts on our teaching expertise. We work in the reality of the real world.

What is your professional background as an educator? 

  • Associate Professor of Education
  • Assistant Professor of Education, Point Park University
  • Field Supervisor Student Teaching
  • Adjunct Instructor
  • Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent
  • Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Coordinator Title I Program and Coordinator of Literacy

Degrees:

  • S. Elementary Education – Duquesne University
  • S. Elementary Education – Duquesne University
  • Reading Specialist Certification
  • Reading Supervisor Certification
  • Superintendent Letter of Eligibility
  • D. Administration and Leadership

What would you tell perspective students considering your programs about yourself? What is something that students and colleagues should know about you?

My philosophy now is to guide future teachers and have them share in that a deep love for teaching; to be that “guide on the side” that enables children to learn the knowledge and skills they would need for life, and to focus on the application, synthesis, and evaluative stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy in their teaching. Our Teaching and Leadership and Reading and Literacy programs do just this.

I want my students to know that I am not here to hand out grades. I want my students to learn from me everything about curriculum development, instructional strategies, and assessment.  Then, in turn, they can take these ideas and use them in their classrooms or with their colleagues.

What advice do you have for your students interested in pursuing their reading and literacy degree? How can people stand out in these fields?

The role of the reading specialist is to work with children who are struggling with regular reading programs. This certification guides educators in becoming prepared to work with children with reading difficulties. With an array of children’s reading abilities within today’s classrooms, the reading specialist can coach the classroom teacher in two ways.

First, by providing the teacher with strategies and assessments that struggling students need. Secondly, to work with the struggling reader one-on-one or in small groups and providing the specific instruction, assessment, and diagnosis needed for the student to improve.