So, we get a lucky Thursday off the third week of school, and where am I? At work (well sort of). But I’m sure a lot of other teachers are working today too.
I’m actually at the CTA Headquarters in Monrovia working with the Region 3 Teacher Leadership Cohort. We are all working on leadership projects at our respective schools and districts and not surprisingly many of our projects are focused on the Common Core. Why? Because people are FREAKING OUT!
But, really I find this all SO exciting. We get to teach collaboration, critical thinking, reading and writing in math. It feels real, it feels relevant, it feels useful – giving our students tools for their world (besides knowing to choose C for their answer).
Our discussions in Monrovia today seem to be along this vein of relevant and useful. The important thing about Professional Development is that it needs to be relevant and useful to the teachers. In the past lesson study has encompassed this: it has been very relevant and useful for everyone involved (students included).
So a new development at school this week is with our intervention programs. I teach Spark and two other teachers teach our Valued Youth Program. We are all newcomers to these programs but are fortunate to have our Community Liaison as our expert educator. She has been involved with both programs since their inceptions and we are teaching with and under her guidance in the classroom. But we would all like to do our best with our intervention students and were talking about how to do this… professional development?…lesson study?
So now we are entering into discussions about doing a lesson study too. We’ve talked about focusing on a skill to meet our students’ needs (listening skills, collaboration skills, etc?). And then I got the idea that we should also tie this in with our academic areas so the students can see a direct connection to how these skills can be useful in their classes.
It is my hope our lesson study (studies now!?) will be relevant and useful for all of us because after all teachers make the best teachers of other teachers.