Kenneth A. Dore, III
Lecturer, Bachelor of Science With a Concentration in Early Childhood Care and Education
Kenneth A. Dore, III was born in El Paso and attended EPISD schools on the Northeast side of town. He later taught Visual Arts at EPISD for 20 years at all grade levels, except middle school. A true Miner, with both bachelor's and master's degrees from UTEP, he started his doctoral journey in UTEP’s T.L.C., Ph.D. program in Fall 2019; he also began teaching at UTEP as an adjunct lecturer at that time. Since Fall 2022 he has worked with UTEP as a full-time lecturer.
Professor Dore's areas of interest are anything related to developing meaningful relationships between students and teachers. He seeks to understand the phenomenon involved in co-constructing knowledge within a classroom setting and the quality of conversations regarding aesthetic experiences and creative processes. He is attentive to innovative approaches in creating a classroom environment that feels safe, as well as facilitating that space toward reinterpreting ourselves and our roles within society.
"I love El Paso—it is my home," he says. "I love walking the campus of UTEP; I love being a part of this community; and although I am open to new opportunities elsewhere when the timing is right, I have no big plans of leaving."
Subjects he teaches:
I teach Early Childhood classes within the Teacher Education Department—they include: ECED 3310 (The Arts in the Early Years); ECED 4357 (Play and Learning in the Early Years); ECED 4300 (Responsive Classroom Management); and ECED 2360 (Observation & Assessment).
On what ignited his passion for these subjects:
I am enthusiastic about what my students can teach me. I make it a point to position myself as a learner in the classes I teach. Simply put, I love being both a teacher and a student. I love teaching, learning, and I appreciate the diversity in learning processes. It is within this realm of seeing myself as the “teacher-student” that I am very passionate about the relationships between teachers and students and what we both learn by way of a partnership. Be it the Arts class, Play, or Responsive Management class, my goal is always to put myself in the shoes of my students. I ask myself, “What did I not know when I first started teaching? What do I wish someone would have told me, or better yet, showed me how to do? I approach my class from both a student perspective, as well as a teacher with experience in the K-12 classroom and would like to share what I know through modeling. A lot of the time, I tell my students, “Rather than explain it to you, I can probably better show you what I mean.” All of the courses I teach, be it in-person, or online, have many opportunities for hands-on activities, class discussions, video presentations and creative performances. It is highly likely that I might post a video of myself doing an assignment in hopes of encouraging my students about how they might integrate their personality, talents and interpretation within the assignment. I am also open to share what I don’t know and encourage students to assist me with their areas of expertise.
His proudest accomplishment and biggest challenge as an online instructor:
I enjoy when my online students write me an email, either during the semester, or when it comes to a close, and share their appreciation for the class. Clearly, one of the biggest challenges that I face with online learning would have to be missing out on meeting my students in-person. In addition, I miss out on engaging with my students (in-person) during our classes. I also like to do the activities with my students and I like to walk around and visit each group and be a part of their creative processes.
Regardless of these challenges, our online courses were designed in such a way to engage students in hands-on, project-based activities—even if they are not held on campus. Most of our online assignments are very reflective and open-ended, and encourage students with opportunities to share the connections they are making. I really see most of our writing assignments as a two-way journal in which we can maintain a dialogue about their development in the course. In such ways, online learning is still a valuable alternative to a traditional face-to-face class.
On what makes a successful online student:
Always be open to learning something new from our students. Of course, one has to be listening and the other needs to make sure they are heard. Especially for the online student, it is essential that our voice comes through to both our peers and professor through our written work or presentations if utilizing resources, such as Flipgrid. I believe this most likely happens when we have fully emersed ourselves in the course material and we make it a point to highlight connections to our own experiences. Hopefully, our professors do guide us to find the relevance of class content to our lives and profession. However, this is a responsibility we should engage in regardless. When I read the work of my students who have made this commitment, their effort is evident. They are sharing pertinent, personal experiences; finding novel ways to make their prior knowledge connect with new content; reinterpreting tools and materials; making their talents known and applying them; and most of all, they are inspiring me to re-envision my approach to teaching through their insights.
His advice to his students:
This is a two-part response. First, don’t just say you're committed—show it! Especially when classes are online, our level of commitment needs to come through by the depth and quality of our work—this includes turning it in on time and being thoughtful to our peers in discussion boards. Are we confident in saying we give 100% of ourselves to our work, or are we “winging it” and disconnecting ourselves from the learning process? Chances are, we will take away from the class as much as we are putting in it.
Something to also reflect on: Are we giving the absolute best we have to offer to our community? —This includes our classroom community. This consideration leads to the second part of my advice. Within the field of Education—please, give of yourself—don’t expect. I believe we should feel indebted to our students and be thankful for the opportunity to be in service of them. We work really hard to be at the level we are at, and sometimes, we are quick to expect what we feel we are deserving of. It is important to remember, that many times, it isn’t about what we say out loud, but through our actions or written words that speak about who we are and what we represent. Hopefully, our words and presence—be it in-person or online—reflect the admiration we have for spaces of learning; that we find enjoyment when investing our time and energy in our educational pursuits; and that we give the very best of ourselves without expecting anything in return.