While participating in professional development through Kenan Fellows at NCCAT, we were charged to identify additional professional development to further our own learning, whether it is related to our internship or another interest/area for growth. At that time, my mind was racing with everything I hoped to learn and accomplish this year.
- Present at NCTIES
- Attend ISTE
- Present at Scaling STEM (no longer occurring)
- Assist with Making Science Make Sense at Bayer
- Coach and Trainer with Summer STEM
I couldn’t pick just one. I love learning. On the county side, I will also be presenting/participating in WCPSS ITLMS Convergence and hope to go through Google Certification. My goals are to continue pushing myself and growing as an educator. Previously I wrote about Making Science Make Sense, a WONDERFUL professional development hosted by Bayer each summer. All departments come together to share some of their great experiments, tour of Bayer’s campus, and countless science connections.
Summer STEM was the other major professional learning that I was lucky enough to be a part of. This is a week long professional development for WCPSS teachers, focused on project based learning (PBL), and community partnerships. Summer of 2015, I was able to attend as one of just two elementary teachers at SummerSTEM planned for middle and high school. Upon completion, we were able to support Wake Ed Partnership and WCPSS in planning for SummerSTEM 2016. I was then selected as a coach/trainer to support a 4 teams of teachers from across the county. This professional development is absolutely amazing and transformational. We spend 2.5 days in professional development sessions and exploring PBL implementation. All teachers are able to select two business immersions, to spend a full day learning and exploring their company. What an amazing opportunity! This reminded me of my Kenan Fellowship, we heard from all departments within these businesses. All the involved businesses were STEM focused and provided amazing extensions to the classroom content. Teachers were able to select from Cisco, RedHat, EPA, Biogen, BASF, Syngenta, SAS, NCDOT, and so many more. It is a golden opportunity for teachers. We don’t often have to see what businesses. What better way to prepare us for the real world industries than to experience it? Those days were full of professional development. For example, at the EPA we heard from air quality, about solar panels, the tree people, climate change, The Village Green project, cook stoves, energy, and even mosquitos.
As if the PD on PBL, not one, but TWO business immersions weren’t enough, we got to learn from Wake Tech Community Programs! We spent half a day learning about certification programs they offer: GIS mapping, game design, electrical, plumbing, welding, auto collision, HVAC, and nursing. All of which were experienced first hand as teachers were thrown into the content and participating in hands-on learning.
Being a part of this experience has been amazing. It continues to impact me, as my internship has. We will continue to support our teams and learn from each other throughout the entire year to present at a Symposium in the spring after they taught their lesson plan. This is a great chance for WCPSS teachers, we are able to reach 100 teachers each year and change their teaching trajectory. It’s almost a mini Kenan program. I am so excited to see what these teachers plan to improve their students’ learning.