Teacher visits historical display in her honor
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- At 88, Dorothy Dodds still has a standing offer to substitute teach at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The resident of Eventide Senior Living Communities visited MSUM Tuesday to see the newly renovated facilities and a his...
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- At 88, Dorothy Dodds still has a standing offer to substitute teach at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
The resident of Eventide Senior Living Communities visited MSUM Tuesday to see the newly renovated facilities and a historical display in her honor.
Dodds, a lifelong educator who created MSUM's early childhood education major and minor, left a lasting legacy on campus.
She began working for Moorhead State College in 1949 as a kindergarten instructor for the Campus School, which closed in 1972. Dodds then began training teachers through MSUM's education department until retiring in 1985.
Her visit to MSUM Tuesday was coordinated through Eventide's Day Dream Program, which grants wishes to residents.
As part of a recent renovation project at Lommen Hall, where Dodds used to teach, a display of historical photographs recognizes Dodds' contributions. She saw the display for the first time on Tuesday.
Judy Johnson, who directed MSUM's Early Childhood Center after Dodds retired, said she's never seen another teacher as gifted as Dodds.
"She really focused on discovery learning," said Johnson, who supervises student teachers for MSUM. "She was totally child-centered."
Dodds' ability to connect with children was evident Tuesday.
She beamed and bobbed her head to the music as preschoolers sang and danced to "Tooty Ta."
On the playground, children ran up to Dodds' wheelchair and brought her gifts -- a leaf and a piece of bark.
"I got something to take home," Dodds said.
Elizabeth Hannaher of Moorhead, Dodds' close friend, said Dodds can hear a child's voice from a half-mile away.
"Children are attracted to her somehow," Hannaher said. "There's something about her smile and her demeanor."
One of Dodds' former first-graders, Wayne Ingersoll, stopped by to greet Dodds.
"She is a lovely lady and a wonderful teacher," Ingersoll said.
Dodds has continued to be an advocate for early childhood education. A scholarship endowment in her honor provides support for current MSUM early childhood education majors.
"The early part of a child's life is so important," Dodds said. "As long as they have a good beginning, things usually go well."
Amy Dalrymple is a reporter
at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.