Teaching requires a commitment to lifelong learning. As a teacher, I have already begun attending professional development programs to help me succeed in the classroom. These programs allow me to discuss important education issues with more experienced professionals. Consequently, I develop a deeper understanding of content and pedagogy that I can apply in my classroom. I also become more familiar with the latest issues in education. Below is a list of trainings I have attended and some lessons I have learned from each.
*High Impact Strategies Training- This 2-day session offered through CAIU familiarized me with research-based strategies. These strategies engage students in the learning process and provide the necessary scaffolding to support students' learning. As students participate, they focus on an essential question that guides the instruction. The instructors modeled various strategies and then asked us to share strategies we have used in our own classrooms. By communicating with the other teachers, I learned new strategies that I could implement.
This session also addressed standards-based assessments. I recognized the importance of forming objectives based upon the standards and grading students on what they know rather than the appearance of their work. The session provided a firm reminder that an assessment must accurately measure the learning goals.
*Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training- This Crisis Prevention Institute workshop prepares teachers to handle physically threatening situations that could arise in the classroom. While the session emphasized preventative strategies, it also addressed the correct ways to intervene in hostile situations. I learned strategies for de-escalating serious situations and protecting myself from physical harm.
*Project Food, Land, and People Environment and Ecology Workshop- Using the Food, Land and People "Resources for Learning," I completed this workshop through a series of activities. Because the several mini lessons provide content knowledge regarding agricultural science and its economical facets, they integrate both science and social studies. I hope to use some of the activities in my own classroom someday.
*Autism Training- This training through Youth Advocate Programs awakened me to the struggles faced by children with autism spectrum disorders. A man with Asperger syndrome spoke to us about his personal battle. From his account and the provided instruction, I learned the characteristics of autism and ways to address those characteristics in the classroom. Since then, I have continued to study autism by researching the topic for a class paper and presenting the information to my classmates.
*Urban Education Seminar- During my freshman year of college, I took a seminar about urban education. Throughout this course, I learned about the struggles that urban children face and ways to combat these challenges. I researched the topic of high-stakes testing and wrote a paper regarding its relationship to urban education. I still maintain a strong interest in urban education.