Max Frazier has spent 43 years in the education field, with the past 17 years spent as an associate professor of secondary education at Newman University
“I personally believe that spending your days working with young people of any age is a pretty great way to spend your time. Teaching is never boring,” he said.
Frazier uses his prior teaching experiences to best prepare his students to take on real-world classrooms.
Frazier graduated from the University of Kansas in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. He eventually obtained his Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Wichita State University in 1987 and his Doctor of Education from Kansas State University in 2003.
He spent 26 years teaching at Wichita area middle schools, instructing at WSU and K-State and eventually becaming the instructional technology coordinator for Manhattan Public Schools.
“I think education is a great career because you work on quite a few different things and have a variety of different experiences if you look around and are willing to try something new,” he said.
Seventeen years ago, a position at Newman University opened and Frazier applied. He was eager to take on a higher education role after many years in K-12. He said he interviewed all over the country but Wichita was familiar, close to family and he enjoyed the people in the School of Education at Newman.
His passion for education is obvious in his classroom.
“I get to know my students very well and we spend a lot of time together before they go into the classroom to student teach. We literally spend hours talking about the work of a teacher and the kind of knowledge, skills and attitudes a teacher needs when working with students. I won’t say I teach them how to be successful but I help them understand what they will have to do in order to be successful. I also help them to understand what a great opportunity it is to spend your day working with young people,” he said.
He and the students know that one of the most important elements of an education degree is the semester-long experience of co-teaching in an actual classroom.
The faculty at Newman find it is important that they themselves have real classroom experience in order to teach students best practices leading up to that semester.
As for Frazier, he’s been in the business long enough to teach or meet up with his students at more than one stage in their education.
Frazier instructed one student as a sixth-grader and then, after a few job changes, ended up teaching her when she entered Newman University’s education program. After she graduated, he found himself visiting her classroom to interview her for a sabbatical leave project in 2015.
Just last year he placed a student in the classroom of one of his very first secondary education students at Newman University.
“All in all – it has been a real adventure for me. I don’t know where 43 years went — it was certainly never boring,” he said.