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Wednesday inservice a time to teach teachers


Wednesday inservice a time to teach teachers

Students’ day off means increased instructor education

American Education Week is intended to draws attention to teaching and learning, a process that never stops, not even for teachers.

Last Wednesday was marked as an inservice day — a day of collaboration, conferences and learning opportunities.

Depending on the grade level or the teacher's’ objectives, Charles City Community School District educators found themselves learning new techniques. According to High School Principal Josh Johnson, teachers spent time collaborating on project based learning initiatives, developing new curriculum, familiarizing themselves with updated standards and assessments and establishing new rubrics and assignments.

Some teachers worked together in conference rooms or classrooms within the district. Others found themselves collaborating with teachers in Iowa City, Fort Dodge and even Minneapolis.

“Teachers get to network with local schools and even schools from around the country at conferences to see how they are tackling standards, utilizing instructional strategies, scheduling, response to intervention,” Johnson said.

“Most importantly they are able to listen to nationally recognized speakers and workshops on how and why education is evolving,” he said. Not only do these day long conferences and collaboration opportunities arm teachers with new ideas, but it also enlivens them.

“Each time a teacher spends a day or a couple of days at a conference they come back excited about what they have learned,” Johnson said.

“Conferences with hundreds of like-minded educators tend to have a significant impact on teacher morale and culture, so bringing back ideas has a great impact on their classrooms and our buildings.”

New ideas are gained through a variety of ways.

According to Johnson, whether it’s personal research, conference calls or face-to-face meetings the act of seeking new ideas and knowledge is positively impacts the education Charles City students receive.

“I can’t say one is better than the other, as it tends to depend on the learning involved,” he said. “Instructional strategies — like Project Based Learning — tend to take a significant amount of research followed up by visits, workshops, or conferences.

Working with learning targets or mapping curriculum can be tackled with conference calls or webinars, something a little less personal.”

Just as students work together to advance their knowledge and become prepared for their educational futures, so do teachers.

“They have inquired new instructional strategies, new lesson or unit plans, and other ways to impact student learning,” Johnson said.

By Amie Johansen [email protected]

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