Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Myth of Summer Vacation

The school year has started and we’ve all had the chance to begin swapping summer adventure stories.  I had the chance to hear many stories first hand from teachers last Monday, during our first professional learning day of the year. Sure there were great stories that involved exoctic travels, new hobbies and time with loved ones, but I was definitely struck by the number of teachers referencing conferences attended, books read and units redesigned during their time off.  Upon further investigation, I discovered that over thirty percent of the LASD teaching staff was involved in some type of professional development directly related to a number of initiatives in our district.  The percent is probably even higher, since these are just the trainings and attendees that I am aware of.  Below are a few of the trainings that teachers were involved with this summer -

iLearn Summer Academy
iLearn Summer Academy was  facilitated by four LASD Teachers (Ellen Kraska, May Samari, Amy Shelley, Kami Thordarson) and focused on the integration of technology into the instructional program.  Two or three teachers from each site attended and will act as Lead Learners during the 2012-2013 school year to continue building capacity with instructional technology at each of our school sites.

k-12 Design Thinking Boot Camp, Stanford d. School
The offered a three day free K-12 Design Thinking Boot Camp  designed for teachers interested in bringing innovation into their classrooms or districts.

The Nueva Design Institute
Teachers learned about design thinking at Nueva's world-renowned Innovation Lab (I-Lab), created in partnership with IDEO and Stanford's to better understand how to incorporate this thinking process into the educational program.  This institute enabled teachers to efficiently create projects that will foster our students' Design Thinking skills, preparing them for the future.

Curriculum 21:  Common Core Standards Implementation
Transitional Kindergarten Training

Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, a national expert in 21st Century Instruction and author of Curriculum 21,  led this professional development that focused on the implementation of Common Core Standards through the lens of 21st Century Instruction.     

International Society of Technology in Education Conf
The theme of this year’s conference was “Expanding Horizons” and focused on technology integration into the educational program.  Not only did LASD teachers attend, but two presentations were given by LASD teachers and administrators.  One presentation was on blended learning and the other was on computer programming.  

This training focused on how to best incorporate transitional kindergarten into our instructional program.  Teachers learned how to effectively: create developmentally appropriate TK Curriculum with the Kindergarten Common Core State Standards, support individual students with their social emotional development and plan for English Learner strategies that support young learners.  

Judging by both the amount of learning that took place this summer and the energy on our first professional learning day, I know this will be an incredible year of learning for both students and teachers.

by: Alyssa Gallagher, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction

1 comment:

  1. I was so proud on August 20th when so many educators stood up to be recognized for their Professional Development efforts over the summer. Impressive! I've found LASD teachers to be very hard working and dedicated to improving their practice!