Below are some program highlights from the many professional learning opportunities provided by NYS Teacher Centers. For more information on any of the programs, please email the contact listed.
- Mentoring Program – Induction of new teachers is a primary focus of the West Genesee District and Teacher Center. West Genesee strives to hire the best. Supporting all teachers new to WG (regardless of years in the profession) establishes district expectations while helping to insure a successful, sustainable career at West Genesee. This year we have 13 pairs of mentors/mentees. Every workshop ends with participants completing evaluations. At the end of the year, all mentors and mentees are surveyed on the strengths and weaknesses of the program. Based on the participants’ reflections of the degree and quality of the implementation of their new learning, the mentoring facilitator will adapt the program to support teachers’ needs. The Center’s Mentoring Committee periodically reviews the current mentoring program and evaluation process for continual improvement. Brian Kesel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 315-487-4564
- Growing the P-16 Teaching Profession – In partnership with Niagara University, the Far West Network created a 2 part online program designed to support either cooperating teachers or any educator interested in improving their instructional practice (both pre- and in-service). Part 1 is for cooperating teachers only (either current or future). This 9 hour segment discusses the new edTPA requirements in great detail and provides strategies for cooperating teachers to support their student teacher and develop a successful co-teaching environment. Part 2 is for any educator. This 6 hour segment focuses on the 7 NYS Teaching Standards and provides strategies for teachers to embed the standards in their daily instructional practice. Topics include: planning, instruction and engagement, assessment, and reflection. The program was piloted last year to 25 teachers across the region with great success. The participants from the pilot provided feedback which was used to modify this year’s program which begins January 25. Cheryl Herman, email@example.com, 716-731-6800 x3772
- Habits of Mind – This program is offered by GRTC & TCTRC’s directors who are Nationally Certified Trainers with The Institute for Habits of Mind. Developed by Art Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind are an identified set of 16 problem solving, life-related skills that are necessary in order to become a self-directed learner. These are learnable skills that promote strategic reasoning and problem solving, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity and craftsmanship. The understanding and application of these 16 Habits of Mind serve to provide students and adults with trans-disciplinary skills that enhance both academic achievement and allow people to work through real life situations, especially when facing new problems whose solutions are not immediately known. The Habits of Mind include dispositions including persisting, managing impulsivity, striving for accuracy and precision, communicating with clarity and precision, and listening with understanding and empathy. Data from the first cohort’s feedback sheets indicated that the 4-day training exceeded expectations for all participants.
Long Island (LINC):
- Technology Conference – Nassau TRACT, in collaboration with Hofstra University held a full day Technology Conference at Hofstra University with 145 teachers. Our presenter, Jennie Magiera, is the Chief Technology Officer for Des Plaines Public School District in Illinois. Participants had the opportunity to explore and try out various K-12 appropriate, cross platform ideas and free web-based resources. The morning session focused on tools to better assess students and differentiate instruction, and how these tools can address or solve common problems of practice around assessment and differentiation. The afternoon session explored Google Apps that promote student creation and engagement. Participants learned how to find space for creation in an already busy school day. From a digital map maker to virtual field trips to video creation tools, participants learned and practiced with new tools and concrete ideas to try with their students. Les Cohn, firstname.lastname@example.org, 516-605-1345
- Math and Movement – In partnership with the National Math Foundation, The Teacher Center of Central Westchester has trained about 30 teachers from 4 districts (8 schools) and provided nine Math and Movement large-scale mats to each school. Two more districts will receive mats and training in January. With the goals of improved math skill, improved retention of those math skills, and greater appreciation of math, this Teacher Center is using pre and post-tests of students, teacher assessments (surveys and interviews), teacher videos of students, student surveys designed to be fun while determining change in motivation, and student state test scores compared to the previous year’s scores. Mary Beth Anderson, email@example.com, 914-368-8772
New York City:
- Instructional Coaching Program – A school-based instructional coach is someone whose professional responsibility is to bring evidence-based practices into classrooms by working with teachers and other school leaders. The NYC UFT Teacher Center’s instructional coaching program responds to state and school system priorities, school-based initiatives, and to the needs of individual practitioners. UFT Teacher Center synthesizes ongoing policy initiatives with careful application of current research on effective classroom practice in order to provide professional development that builds and sustains learning communities that address the needs of all students, preparing them for college, careers and civic life. We have focused on addressing the instructional shifts required to reach the NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards and our work is designed to deepen content knowledge and enhance pedagogical skills, including the integration of instructional technology tools and resources.
- Collaborate, Reflect, & Share: Literacy Research – During the month of December, SUNY Cortland graduate students of Dr. Nance Wilson’s literacy class teamed up with the Lansing and Groton Central School District teachers to create a platform to share literacy focused research projects. The teachers from our districts helped create a positive learning environment for graduate students to present their research. This mutually beneficial learning environment helped highlight key literacy topics for our tenured teachers and helped bring the importance of reflective dialogue to life for our graduate students. The two sessions included 2-3 group presentations that paved the way for rich conversations during and after each topic. The engaging research topics, such as the impact of SES on literacy development, increasing effectiveness of informational texts in the primary grades and developing reading independence through intrinsic motivation helped motivate participants to reflect on their own practices and refine their current teaching practices. The program was designed for immediate feedback evaluating the presentations through both reflective conversations and survey forms for each presenter.
Poverty Training with Dr. Eric Jensen
In October 2016, Eric Jensen, former teacher and educational leader and author of 29 books visited Rochester for an engaging, fast-moving, results-oriented program during which he taught more than 240 educators in our network to differentiate their teaching and school environment in ways that successfully reach students of poverty. The Greater Rochester Teacher Center Network […]
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