The Teacher Preparation Initiative, SCSU and its six Partner Districts hosted two New Teacher Workshops in the fall semester. On October 20 new to the profession teachers in our Partner Districts and recent SCSU Graduates were invited to campus for a half-day gathering. John Reeves, Monticello Social Studies Teacher, revisited relationship building from his presentation in August. John is a dynamic speaker who engages the audience with his passion and conviction for the importance of knowing our students. Classroom management panels that differentiated for teachers and graduates’ level of instruction were offered. In those panels were veteran teachers and SCSU Faculty who set the stage with the topic and engaged the audience in discussion. Lastly, the new teachers and graduates could select a topic to discuss in a small group within the areas they teach. The day ended with John Reeves presenting on the importance of being a reflective practitioner for a lifetime of teaching.
On December 1, new teachers gathered for a full day workshop. This is the time of the year when novices may experience disillusionment with the teaching profession. They are often experiencing stress and sickness. Dr. Steve Hoover worked with them on mindfulness based stress management. His engaging and humorous presentation included a self-assessment, building resilience and preparing for stress, and helping students manage stress. Next, the teachers rotated through stations that touched on the topics of students who are at risk in the classroom in the areas of behavior, academics, and English Language Learning. After a catered lunch, the new teachers chose a session on differentiation from six offerings. The sessions included: Using Technology for Formative Assessment, Differentiated Reading Strategies Across the Curriculum-Elementary and Secondary, Creating Differentiated Assessments-Elementary and Secondary, and Procedures for Data Driven Grouping. Next, the new teachers were able to request the groups of teachers they wanted to network with. For example, there were groups for science, social studies, language arts, special education, primary, intermediate and specialist teachers. P-12 Veteran Teachers and/or SCSU Faculty Members facilitated the groups. The day concluded with an inspirational presentation on “Pictures of Professionalism” by Gregg Hermerding, Media Specialist in Monticello. Gregg spoke on the importance of learning from and building relationships with our colleagues.
How can faculty support P-12 novice teachers at new teacher workshops? How might school districts follow up with new teachers after workshops?