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Posts tagged ‘professional development’

Coming March 18: Three Free PD Workshops for CEA Members

PD March 18CEA is providing three exciting professional development workshops to members free of charge this March 18.

The topics of the workshops are as follows:

  1. For K-3 educators—Common Core Standards and their impact on our youngest learners
  2. For all educators—Understanding your rights and responsibilities when handling aggressive student behavior
  3. For Association presidents and treasurers—Your role in managing local funds and protecting members’ dues dollars

Click here for more information on the workshops.

The three free workshops will run concurrently on Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Hartford South in Rocky Hill.

Click here to register for one of the three professional development workshops.

Registration and a complimentary continental breakfast begin at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

Free PD Sessions from Mystic Seaport

mystic-pdMystic Seaport offers a series of free, monthly professional development sessions for teachers. The upcoming workshops, and food, are free, but space is limited, so sign up now.

Connecticut’s Unsung Heroes Program
with Barbara Jarnagin, Associate Director of School & Family Programs, Mystic Seaport

November 16, 4-6 pm 

Connecticut was and still is a very inventive state full of ingenious people. There are many Connecticut citizens who have invented great things to make our lives safer, easier, and fairer. What was it about the small developing towns in this small state that produced such big thinkers? Read more

East Hartford Teachers Strengthen Professional Skills to Benefit Students

IB World Rebecca Tubbs, Laura Griffin, Lia Hickey, and Darcy Noble Malone.

East Hartford kindergarten teachers Rebecca Tubbs, Laura Griffin, Lia Hickey, and Darcy Malone at the I Teach K! conference this summer.

When it comes to professional development, research shows that sustained, job-embedded, collaborative professional learning opportunities are most likely to help teachers better support students. The opposite of a morning lecture on a generic subject, this type of learning opportunity requires a substantial time commitment and a focus on the specific skills teachers need for their content area.

It’s just the type of professional development East Hartford kindergarten teachers Laura Griffin, Darcy Malone, Lia Hickey, and Rebecca Tubbs were able to participate in this summer thanks to a grant from the Fund for Teachers.

“I feel like kindergarten is kind of a stand-alone grade,” said Hickey. “It’s very different from pre-K and very different from first grade.” Read more

New Guidelines Spell Out Importance of Union Voice in Teacher Evaluation

New guidelinesnew PDEC guidelines distributed to superintendents this week have the potential to increase the effectiveness of local Professional Development and Evaluation Committees (PDECs) and ensure teachers’ voices are heard in discussions about teacher evaluation and professional learning.

The guidelines were developed by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) after CEA and AFT-Connecticut brought teachers’ concerns to the council.

“Most districts want to follow what is required by statute, but sometimes there is confusion or districts aren’t aware of what is required,” said CEA Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field. “I’ve found in my work with local Associations that there are often teachers and administrators who aren’t aware that there needs to be a representative from the local bargaining unit on the PDEC.” Read more

Something to Listen to at the Gym or During Your Next Long Car Ride

2015-10-14_14-02-29Imagine having the time to collaborate with colleagues to design lesson plans and being able to try the lessons out while receiving feedback from fellow educators. In Japan this method of improving teaching, known as lesson study, is common practice, and now some schools in the U.S. are experimenting with it as well.

In lesson study teachers come together to identify a teaching problem they want to solve. The teachers research why students are having trouble mastering a specific concept and together design a lesson plan to better teach that concept.

Then they hold a public research lesson where one teacher uses the lesson plan to teach a class of students while the other teachers observe. The observers focus on the students and how they respond to the lesson being taught.

Lesson study is the focus of one segment of a radio documentary from American RadioWorks, titled “Teaching Teachers.” The documentary explores methods for training new teachers and helping current teachers improve, and is worth a listen during your next long car ride or trip to the gym. Read more

Unique Learning Experiences for Teachers in Mystic

From left are

Teachers spent three days participating in workshops and hands-on activities at Mystic Seaport this week. From left are Jennifer Paul, Southington; Kristina Kiely, Wallingford; Blaise Messinger, Cromwell; Beth Horler, Groton; and Deborah Sanders, Cromwell.

More than a dozen Connecticut Teachers of the Year (TOY) wrapped up a three-day trip to the Mystic Seaport today. The TOY finalists and semi-finalists were not vacationing, but learning. The teachers spent their days in educational workshops and participated in hands-on activities and guided tours of the Seaport, learning how to improve lesson plans and bring history and science alive for their students in the classroom.

“This is the best professional development program that I’ve experienced in my 27 years of teaching,” said Groton teacher and local Association president Beth Horler.

Horler wasn’t alone in her proclamation. The teachers all had rave reviews for the unique professional development program. Read more

New Teachers: Conferences Just for You Coming Soon

Teachers are busy and Saturdays are precious, but you can learn a lot and connect with other new teachers in just a few hours at a regional new teacher conference convenient to you.

CEA’s New Teacher Conference has been redesigned this year into four Regional New Teacher Conferences, giving you a variety of dates, locations, and workshops from which to choose.

The cost of the conference is only $20, including a continental breakfast and lunch, and some local associations will reimburse that fee.

All conferences run 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Below are the dates and locations.

  • February 7 – Spa at the Norwich Inn, Norwich
  • February 21 – Trumbull Marriott, Trumbull
  • March 7 – Sheraton Hartford South, Rocky Hill
  • May 2 – Heritage Hotel, Southbury

Click here for the brochure, and click here for more information and to register.

Students, teachers, and school districts benefit from computer science professional development

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Sixteen teachers from across the state participated in a Mobile Computer Science Principles professional development course at Trinity College this summer.

Sixteen teachers from across the state gave up the majority of their summer to learn something new to enhance their teaching skills for themselves and for their students. They participated in a six-week class to better understand mobile computer science principles and build apps.

The teachers participated in the Summer Mobile Computer Science Principles professional development course at Trinity College in Hartford.

The program, funded by the National Science Foundation and sponsored by the Connecticut Computer Science Teachers Association (CT CSTA), improves the computer science skills of teachers, who then deliver their expertise, experiences, and skills to students throughout Connecticut’s school districts.

“With the growing importance of computing in society, there is a huge need for students to understand the fundamentals of computer science and for teachers to have the continued professional development and resources needed to teach in this constantly changing field,” said Chinma Uche, president of CT CSTA.

Uche says the highest paying jobs are going to students with computer skills, and the nation needs to invest in technology education.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be more than nine million jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by the year 2020. Half of those jobs, will be in computing with an average annual salary of $76,000.
Learning new skills
Bridgeport teacher Laura Grover said the professional development program was “awesome.” She especially liked that it was taught by a college professor who worked with the teachers on developing each lesson plan.

“It gave us a well-rounded view of computer science and how things work, why they work, and how to make them work. We will bring that all back to our students and help them learn.”

The teachers spent 40 hours per week in classrooms learning to build socially useful mobile apps and increased their computer skills—learning everything from coding to sorting. In its second year, the program instructs educators to teach lessons on building mobile apps by using computer science principles.

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Manchester teachers Matthew Meisterling and Chase Solarz displayed the app they created called “MHS, Go Quiz Yourself!”

Manchester High School teachers Matthew Meisterling and Chase Solarz built an app called “MHS, Go Quiz Yourself!” designed to help students understand their school culture by taking fun daily quizzes that improve their knowledge of teachers, school history, and more.

Computer science principles encompass a wide range of skills including emphasis on writing, collaboration, and creativity. The teachers say working with computers is fun for students, and it can help students excel in other areas.

“Building apps and computer games all require math, physics, and writing skills, so if we get students involved and interested in computer science, they will pay more attention and do well in their other classes—because they will realize they need the skills,” said Solarz.

Meisterling added, “We can use the fun and games to get the students motivated and engaged in the project. Then they learn without realizing it.”

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Westbrook teacher Susan McManus (left), and Bridgeport teacher Laura Grover (right), created an app designed to keep parents and students informed about school activities.

Grover and Westbrook teacher Susan McManus created the “My School” app, designed to keep both parents and students informed about school activities, programs and events.

“It’s a fun way to get students’ attention,” said McManus, “while teaching them a wide-variety of skills.”

“There’s hands-on teaching, problem solving skills, teamwork, and math and logic components that all help the students get a well-rounded experience,” said Grover.

Across the country, too few students have the opportunity to take engaging and rigorous computer science classes, and there is little diversity among those who do. Rachel Martinich, a teacher at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, said this program can help change that.

“We can use what we’ve learned to teach students about programing and coding and show them that they are accessible to everyone. We need to debunk the stereotype that the computer science field is only for white males. Our training and new skills will help us get more girls and minorities interested in computers.”

Solarz agreed, “Computer science and technology are the future of our society, and we are all becoming increasingly more dependent upon them. So either we understand them and become part of our new world, or just be a user and not understand. Our training can help us teach our students to embrace it.” Read more

TEAM, Certification Requirements, Professional Development – What You Need to Know About Important Changes

TEAM replacing BEST, new certification requirements, professional development committees – legislative changes are affecting teachers in Connecticut and you and your colleagues need to be informed.  Don’t wait until changes have already occurred in your district and it’s too late for you to have a voice.

Come to one of CEA’s Professional Issues Updates to learn more about the changes, find out how you can have input in your district, and understand how CEA can help your local.

CEA is encouraging a five to six person team from every local association to attend an update.  Your team ideally will include your local president, one or two other executive board members, and three teachers willing to serve as your local association’s information contacts for professional development, TEAM, and certification information.

There are five more Professional Issues Updates occurring this fall (dates and locations below).  If you haven’t already signed up for one, go to www.cea.org, find Upcoming Events on the left side of the homepage, and click on the Professional Issues Update session you are interested in attending.

  • Tuesday, October 20 – Red Barn restaurant, 292 Wilton Rd., Westport
  • Thursday, October 22 ‐ Mystic Marriott, 625 North Rd., Groton
  • Monday, October 26 – Inn at Woodstock, 94 Plaine Hill Rd., Woodstock
  • Tuesday, October 27 – Eli’s on Whitney, 2392 Whitney Ave., Hamden
  • Thursday, November 19 – Georgina’s, 275 Boston Turnpike, Bolton

All sessions will begin with registration and hors d’oeuvres at 4:00 pm, followed by the presentation and a Question and Answer period from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.

For more information, or if you have questions, contact Linette Branham at linetteb@cea.org.

Legislative Changes and How They Affect You: Attend a CEA Update to Learn More

CEA is offering Professional Issues Updates this fall at locations around Connecticut.  We are encouraging teams from every local association to attend and hear about 2009 legislative changes that affect you and your district.

Some of the important issues that will be discussed at these update sessions include:

  • Updated information about the TEAM program which will replace BEST
  • Explanation of changes to certification that were passed this year
  • Information about a new requirement that districts have professional development committees that include bargaining unit representatives.

We are encouraging a five to six person team from every local association to attend an update session.  Your team ideally will include your local president, one or two other executive board members, and three teachers willing to serve as your local association’s information contacts for professional development, TEAM, and certification information.

To sign up for one of the Professional Issues Updates go to www.cea.org. On the left side of the homepage find Upcoming Events and click on the Professional Issues Update session you are interested in attending.

The sessions will be held on the dates and at the locations listed below.

  • Tuesday, October 13 – Chowder Pot , 165 Brainard Rd., Hartford
  • Thursday, October 15 – Crystal Peak, 164 Torrington Rd., Winchester
  • Tuesday, October 20 – Red Barn restaurant, 292 Wilton Rd., Westport
  • Thursday, October 22 ‐ Mystic Marriott, 625 North Rd., Groton
  • Monday, October 26 – Inn at Woodstock, 94 Plaine Hill Rd., Woodstock
  • Tuesday, October 27 – Eli’s on Whitney, 2392 Whitney Ave., Hamden
  • Thursday, November 19 – Georgina’s, 275 Boston Turnpike, Bolton

All sessions will begin with registration and hors d’oeuvres at 4:00 pm, followed by the presentation and a Question and Answer period from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.

For more information, or if you have questions, contact Linette Branham at linetteb@cea.org.