Both in-person and virtual professional development must be beneficial and provide innovation and practicality, but they can't be taught the same way, assert instructional coach Ashley Powell and academic coach Moniquea Willingham of the Cobb County School District in Georgia. In this commentary, they explain how to succeed with virtual PD even in the absence of body language cues.
Teachers in a North Carolina school district have been learning the science of reading as part of a professional development effort that began in December. Teachers have begun integrating what they've learned as well as a starting a phonemic awareness program that one veteran teacher praised as helping improve the skills of her first-graders.
The recent National Catholic Educational Association convention drew thousands of participants with a focus on teaching and learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Bishop Gerald Kicanas, chairman of NCEA's board of directors, addressed virtual attendees, saying Catholic-school educators have "stepped up" and demonstrated creativity.
Federal relief funding under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is expected to help address issues affecting educational outcomes for students, write global economy and development fellows Helen Shwe Hadani and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. They advise that funding also be used to help educators focus on teaching the 6 C's -- collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence -- which are skills they assert will help students thrive in school and the workplace.
A growing number of new Catholic schools are focused on classical liberal arts education. Corpus Christi Academy in South Carolina, for example, is set to open in the fall and will offer in-person, hybrid and online learning options.
A Catholic school in Iowa has maintained its commitment to service learning even during the coronavirus pandemic. As part of one recent project, students have been sending letters to residents at an area assisted living facility and preparing gift bags of hygiene products for them.
Artificial intelligence will greatly affect teaching and learning in the years to come, according to a report from CIRCLS. Jeremy Roschelle, principal investigator at CIRCLS, said AI technology used in education should be human-centered and focus on what drives good teaching as well as the "supports and tools that assist teachers."
A culinary garden and teaching kitchen at Belle Chasse Academy in Louisiana are helping students learn hands-on lessons in math, social studies and science. Students grow the food they cook in the kitchen, and study topics such as the history of global cuisines as well as nutrition and healthy eating.
Explaining the purpose behind social-emotional learning exercises can help students internalize the lesson, says educator Ashley Taplin. For example, Taplin suggests telling students when you are checking in with their feelings that knowing their energy level helps you determine how best to teach the day's class.
A vision statement can be the "most powerful tool in a principal's arsenal" and should be crafted from passion, writes Robyn Jackson, author, former educator and president of Mindsteps professional development firm. Jackson discusses specificity, not settling and several other factors for creating an ideal vision statement.
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