Professional Advancement Institutes

November 30th, 2016 by Annie Polashock

After attending the Professional Advancement Institutes, it was amazing to be offered an opportunity to collaborate and work with some of the top leaders in teaching and other STEM fields. I have learned so much from each of the institutes, I cannot choose one Professional Advancement Institute really to say that stood out more than any other. They were all top-notch.

NCCAT provided an opportunity to really team build and get to know my Kenan family. All of the fellows are really like family members now. We hiked together, laughed together, cried together, shared secrets, had patio PD together,  white water rafted together, and shared our internship experiences with each other. These are truly people I will cherish for the rest of my life.

NCCAT also provided a space where professional development was tailored to each individual. I liked that I could pick and choose which sessions I felt I needed to learn about most. I came up with my own brand/ mantra with the help of one of the sessions– Passionately helping marketable innovators. That tagline drives everything I do in my classroom and gives me a desire/ purpose. I also went to a couple of data sessions, and I realized that “data” was not such a negative word in education. I could empower my classroom data. Paul drove me to take the Seize the Data course about Data Literacy. I have loved every minute of that class and have gained great advice from other fellows about assessing students and myself. I furthermore loved the Twitter session Allison provided. I have used twitter to learn more in the education field by tweeting to other educators across the country. I also like to post what I am doing in my classroom and have it featured on my school website. It is so powerful. Then, edcampKenan was my first edcamp experience. I did not know what to expect, but I learned a lot about other professional opportunities and ways to engage my students in the classroom.

The advancement institute session in Raleigh was short but also mind-blowing. Having Phil Boyte talk to us about classroom culture helped me feel empowered about how I can change my school culture slowly but also I learned so much more about the fellows I collaborated with during his session. I am currently reading his book and am finding ways to use it with my students and the staff around me. I enjoyed talking to business leaders about offers to work with them and how they could help us with grants and partnerships in the classroom. I liked learning about what my other fellow family members did during their internships as well. The whole internship, professional development, and Kenan experience were phenomenal. I cannot say enough about how this has changed me as a person and as a teacher. I am so thankful.

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