Secondary Instruction Team Leads Training to Support New Teachers
Being a new teacher can be a challenging experience. It requires the development of many new skills, such as classroom management and lesson planning, as well as building relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. Fortunately, new teacher professional development from the Secondary Instruction Team, as well as school-based training, can provide invaluable support and guidance to help new teachers develop the skills and strategies necessary to succeed in the classroom. During the past school year, the Secondary Instruction Team met with the new teachers from Discovery, Liberty, Bob Jones, and James Clemens during two all-day sessions to learn and grow.
The first session, during the Fall semester, was focused on strategic teaching and classroom management. Strategic teaching is an approach that emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills in students. The morning focused on teaching strategies such as scaffolding, modeling, and metacognition, which can help students become more independent and confident learners. By using these techniques, teachers can help students to think more deeply about their learning and develop a growth mindset. Effective classroom management is essential for creating a positive learning environment. In the afternoon, new teachers learned how to set clear expectations, establish routines and procedures, and build positive relationships with students. They also learned strategies for addressing challenging behaviors and promoting student engagement and motivation.
The next session, during the Spring semester, was focused on Quality Questioning and Tiered Instruction. Quality questioning is a powerful tool for promoting critical thinking and deepening understanding. The morning, influenced by the work of Jackie Walsh, focused on teaching teachers how to ask effective questions that encourage students to think critically and express their ideas. By using these questioning techniques, teachers can help students develop their reasoning skills and engage in meaningful classroom discussions. In the afternoon, the team spent time talking about ways to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners. New teachers discussed the benefits of applying a variety of strategies, such as scaffolding, graphic organizers, and differentiation, especially to support English language learners and other struggling students. The Federal Programs Specialist, Kaetlyn Hermann, showed teachers different tools that could be used by all students, but specifically EL students.
The Secondary Instruction Team regularly gathers feedback from teachers through surveys to update this New Teacher PD and ensure that the teachers receive the best support and training they need to excel in their roles. While the four topics remain the same, continuous discussion and refinement of the professional development and its workshops are essential to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of our educators. With the right tools and resources, it is our goal to continue creating an environment that supports and encourages ongoing growth and development for all teachers.