Thank you to Beth Mann, the TPI P-12 Liaison, and Support Working Group Facilitator, for summarizing the final New Teacher Workshop of the 2013-14 Academic Year.
The Teacher Preparation Initiative and its six Partner Districts hosted the final 2013-2014 New Teacher Workshop on Wednesday, February 26. Invitees included first through third year teachers in our Partner Districts and SCSU recent graduates and Teacher Education Faculty. 95 participants were treated to dinner and networking. Joe Dockendorf, Assistant Superintendent at Monticello School District, set the stage for the evening.
Joe summarized data from 10 Partner District Principals on what they look for in retaining new teachers. Information was categorized by how often a principal mentioned a certain trait. You may be wondering which traits were mentioned the most often! Seven principals mentioned that the following traits were important for new teachers to possess: good parent relations, staff rapport, likes children, knows boundaries, ability to connect with kids emotionally and socially, positive advocate for students, and inspires others. In the end, Joe shared that teaching is all about building relationships with students and shared the quote by Ed Dunkelbau, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”
The keynote presenter was Willow Sweeney, co-founder of “Top 20 Training.” Willow’s presentation focused on becoming aware of our thinking so we know when it is working and when it is not working. It explored the conditions that come up in our life that invite us to go Below the Line, indicators telling us when we are Below, how to handle Below the Line experiences with more grace and dignity and, how to trampoline back Above the Line. Take-aways include defining what we do when we are Below the Line, what living Above the Line looks like, recognizing that we receive invitations from others to go Below the Line and have the ability to choose our responses. She also inspired us to strive to Keep our Day, which is a reminder that all each of us has is today and we can make choices on how we want to live each day.