News

Education professor Forgan at University for 36 years

Dr. Harry Forgan is one dedicated ‘Cane. UM wallpaper covers every wall in his office. A giant plush Ibis head rests in a corner above his desk, as little UM lights wrap around bookshelves, chairs, and the doorframe. An extra-large plush Curious George sits atop a UM-themed outdoor bench, sporting a very fashionable orange-and-green boa around his neck.

Aside from being a hard-core fan, Dr. Forgan, a professor at the School of Education, is dedicated to his job and his students.

“I became an elementary school teacher because I wanted to help children learn how to read and the other basics,” Dr. Forgan said.

Graduating with a doctorate from Kent State University, Dr. Forgan came to UM at the age of 26. Now 62, Dr. Forgan grew up at UM, dedicating 36 years of his career to helping UM students of today become the successful teachers of tomorrow.

“I decided my freshman year of college that I wanted to be an elementary school teacher,” Forgan said. “I wanted to help those children that were having difficulties…especially those children who were behind because of their learning disabilities.

“I thought I’d have more influence on teachers,” Forgan said, reminiscing on why he decided to teach at the college level. “I hear a lot of success stories UM students have had with their own students. So, that’s very satisfying.”

His opinion on what makes a great teacher?

“A great teacher first of all cares about the students. If you don’t really have a sense of caring and commitment to the students then you don’t have the faith in them, you don’t have the high expectations,” Forgan said. “Being a caring person and a competent teacher really makes the difference.”

“The best part of my job is working at West Lab School when the UM teachers teach kindergarten throgh sixth graders. We’re fortunate to have an elementary school right on our campus. I teach my classes at that lab school and the UM students actually get a chance to teach. They enjoy that so much and I love being there with them.”

Dr. Forgan has some advice for all incoming aspiring teachers:

“Volunteer. Get into the schools as soon as possible. There are opportunities [everywhere], even on our campus at Canterbury preschool. The sooner you get involved in the actual instruction of the children, the better.”

Forgan has also authored and co-authored many books, both practical and textbook alike, that have been used in universities all across the U.S. And teaching runs in Forgan’s family. His wife and two children are all educators.

“All of the people in our family are teachers. And we have four grandchildren, and they’re all going to be teachers,” Forgan said with a chuckle.

Forgan was on sabbatical last year, researching and studying independently. This year, he will resume teaching TAL 420, Introduction to Literacy Instruction in the Elementary School, and TAL 421, Literacy Instruction in the Elementary School II.

“Check in to all the different schools and see what the different programs are because we have so many different options here at the University of Miami. It’s hard to decide before you come…so keep your options open, and think about being a teacher. ”

Christine Dominguez can be contacted at

c.dominguez1@umiami.edu.

August 1, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

He is considered among the finest defensive line coaches in the nation. And now, according to a writ ...

This is the time of year when every win or loss can make a difference in a team’s NCAA Tournament ch ...

Mike Brey doesn't pay much attention to the NBA draft stock of opposing players, but the Notre ...

He used to be a Gator. But junior Danny Reyes is plenty happy to be back home and playing for the Un ...

It’s a Wednesday morning, and one by one, the familiar Hurricane faces make their way into the non-d ...

At the University of Miami, the professor has the last word on whether students can use their laptop ...

Members of the University of Miami first response teams remind us of resources available and what to ...

Mexican activist, poet and novelist Javier Sicilia deplored the violence stemming from the “drug war ...

From the North Pole to the South Pole and everywhere in between, the art of UM alumnus Xavier Cortad ...

Walker IV scored 19, Izundu scored 14 and the Canes picked up a crucial win in South Bend. ...

The No. 25-ranked University of Miami women's golf team moved into a sixth-place tie on day two ...

After a standout first weekend at the plate with the No. 24 Hurricanes, Miami's Danny Reyes was ...

Miami women's basketball notched an impressive 77-62 triumph Sunday at Virginia, giving head co ...

Former University of Miami track and field standouts Shakima Wimbley and Tiffany Okieme were among t ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.