Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Rest of February: Classrooms, Community, Committees, and Colleges

The weather in the Eastern Panhandle has us snow bound/ice bound/way-too-cold bound for yet another day this winter. Even with all of the precipitation last month, I managed to time things so that I was still able to make all of my commitments around the state. This post is a run-down of all the things I did in addition to Digital Learning Day and the WV Future Educators of America Conference - sorry if it's a little long, but this blog is also my "diary" of keeping track of all the things I do during my year.

After Digital Learning Day in Charleston, I participated in a two day committee meeting facilitated by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF) on developing a new framework for professional development for teachers in West Virginia. The goal is to move from a professional development structure to one of professional learning, where courses and in-services allow the teacher to meet and account for their needs as an educator.

The following Friday morning after returning from Charleston, I spoke to the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce Rise and Shine Program at their breakfast. I was a little travel weary, but made it through my presentation.
Berkeley was looking a little better than me at this point.

The next day, I headed back to my alma mater, Shepherd University (formerly known as Shepherd College), to speak to their Kappa Delta Pi members and Education Student Association. This is first of several times this year I will be working with Shepherd students, and I'm really looking forward to giving back to the school that prepared me to be a teacher.
Knutti Hall - where most of the education classes are held.

I briefly touched on this in my WV FEA post, but I am also a part of the High Quality Education Stakeholder committee that is working to improve standards for educator preparation in West Virginia. Working with pre-service teachers has quickly become the highlight of my year, and I'm looking forward to playing a greater role in preparing teachers for the classroom.

The following week I spoke to the Morgan County Rotary in Berkeley Springs and presented to new teachers in Berkeley County at the Holiday Inn. My keynote to new and pre-service teachers is "The Four As/Fear Not," which I will either record or type a transcript of in a blog post at a later date. At the end of the week I headed to Slanesville Elementary in Hampshire County to spend the day with their students and to interview two teachers for Be the Difference WV. That is also the same week I had an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette on the Common Core. Somewhere in there I also met with my National Board Candidates.

My picture is everywhere, and the funny thing is that I'm not that phased by it anymore.
Berkeley County new teachers program
Introducing Clay the Cardinal to students at Slanesville Elementary.
Finding where Boone the Bear is from :-)
Interviewing Teresa Thorne at Slanesville Elementary
The following week I made my way to Buckhannon in Upshur County to speak to the education students at West Virginia Wesleyan College. I spoke to two classes, an integrating literacy and elementary math methods course, and did a two hour presentation that evening. I enjoyed meeting the students at Wesleyan and being on their beautiful campus. I am greatly anticipating that I will get to speak to more college students across the state this year, as I feel I have found my target audience for my message and platform. A special thanks to Edwina Howard-Jack for inviting me to speak to her students, Dr. Deborah Bush, and Keith Saine of the theater department for helping me set up my presentation for the evening.

WV Wesleyan College

The performing arts center where I spoke that evening.

Guess who :-D
Some of the Bobcats I met that evening :-)

The next morning I spoke at the High Priority Schools conference at the Stonewall Resort, which targets working with schools to meet the needs of high poverty students. I attended a morning elementary session that addressed the need to support literacy among our high need student populations and Universal Lesson Design.

...And the following morning - the last day of February - I was back in my classroom for the first time in a long time (obviously) to be with my students. I felt like I was the substitute - but I was glad to be back. I miss being in a school and working with students, although I wouldn't trade one experience I have had this year. I am becoming a better teacher and representative of the education profession with every speech I make, classroom I visit, and person I meet. My classroom has gone from being the shape of a rectangle to the shape of West Virginia.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Erin! It looks as if you are having fun!