TEACHERS AS ARTISTS
Teachers from New York City and beyond started their Election Day with CPET Director Dr. Roberta Lenger Kang, who challenged them to consider life from the perspective of the Aspen tree, an organism connected to its community through a shared root system, growing on a strong foundation, seeking nourishment from the environment to stand tall season after season. Teachers moved into critical reflections sessions and then on to workshop sessions that most interested them – that spoke to their way of teaching or looked promising in inspiring the art they were creating, from lesson plans to analyzing student work to discovering ways to support themselves and others experiencing trauma.
We saw teachers create mobiles, balancing objects that represented elements of their heavy loads. Teachers collected student engagement techniques through a fast-paced bingo game designed to connect teachers as they worked. Facilitators provided resources for teachers to explore creative, collaborative, critical, and global mindsets, followed by space in which they dug a little deeper and found ways to integrate their learning in the classroom.
BEYOND PLANNED OUTCOMES
Throughout Inspire, educators participated in content discussion groups, engaged in critical reflection, collaborated with colleagues, interrogated relevant research, and previewed innovative workshops. They arrived willing to take chances, and with a commitment to enhancing their practice for themselves & their students.
As they reflected at the end of the day, teachers shared these ideas:
Self-care is important for both teachers and students.
Take care of yourself.
Students experience trauma – that affects their behavior. Students are NOT their behavior.
Behavior is communication.
Education changes, and so must we.
Try new stuff in the classroom!
Perhaps their words respond to a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Teachers are finding ways to remain artists, and that is inspiring.
We're looking forward to our next Chancellor's Day event, which will focus on the power of project-based learning. The Big Learning Challenge will allow educators to design 21st century projects around a common theme, that they can then take back to their classrooms.
Can't make it for Chancellor's Day? Check out all our upcoming PD sessions to see which is right for you.
If you’ll be at the 2018 NCTE convention, stop by and see our stellar coaches! They’ll be showcasing their research, best practices, and passion at this year’s event, which takes place in Houston, TX. Read on for a preview of their presentations!
The sunlight is still Summer while the breeze feels like Fall. Teachers stream in, eager to find their names at check-in and chat with colleagues on their way to hear the keynote speaker frame the day, “It’s not that differentiation is part of the work. Differentiation is the work itself. We all can make progress and we can all grow. Each student deserves a goal that they can work hard to achieve!”
So begins Differentiating Like a Star, one of four mini-conferences CPET recently offered to early career teachers from the Bronx. The New York City Department of Education, Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality (OTQR), partnered with us to bring this series of professional development workshops to life. Each mini-conference was CTLE credit-approved and offered words of inspiration rooted in the reality of our classrooms, followed by a customized workshop session designed to model the practices and strategies of 21st century skills and work on authentic tasks educators could use in their classrooms.
The Art of Instructional Design: Many new teachers struggle with daily (or rather, nightly) lesson planning, which is often inefficient and ineffective for long-term learning. These breakout sessions supported teachers in taking their planning to a new level by helping them understand the basic components of any plan, and cultivate strategies for long term planning.
Differentiating Like a Star: Differentiating instruction is an essential, and often misunderstood, pedagogical strategy. These breakout sessions were designed to tackle one element of differentiation that teachers struggle with and provide them with a clear foundation for what differentiation is and isn’t, as well as provide tangible strategies for immediate implementation.
Digging Into Danielson: Each breakout session, aimed at understanding the Danielson evaluation system, focused on 1-2 of the key Danielson domains. Teachers explored the language of the rubric, made connections to their own practice, learned 2-3 techniques aligned with the expectation of Effective Practice, and created a plan for implementation.
Teaching Through the Test: Each breakout session analyzed high stakes assessments within each content area. Teachers anticipated their students’ strengths and likely challenges, and made connections to essential content knowledge and skills in addition to highly effective strategies for teaching through the test, rather than to it.
As each mini-conference drew to a close, teachers provided feedback, sharing that their experience exceeded expectations at a significantly higher rate than any other ranking! Participant comments point to accessible and expert facilitators, practical application, and engaging material: