As teachers across the US said farewell to their young charges for the summer, these same teachers, almost simultaneously, began or continued courses for themselves that would ultimately benefit these students. This was definitely the scenario at Mater Christi School when the teachers of students in PreK-5 gathered in the school library on June 16 to begin a graduate level course which will entail attending classes during the summer and throughout the coming school year. Thanks to a gift to MCS from a generous donor, these Mater Christi School teachers began taking a course known as TIME for Teachers through the Stern Center for Language and Learning. TIME is an acronym for Training in Instructional Methods of Efficacy. The presenter of the course, Paula Costello, reviewed with the teachers research-based instructional practices in phonics and literature, and will be providing nine days of consulting and mentoring throughout the school year as the teachers translate what they learn into the school’s curriculum.
On June 17, these same teachers gathered once again in the school library for a class called “Data-Based Decision Making” likewise through the Stern Center, and, again, courtesy of the same generous donor. Instructor for this course is Janna Osman, M.Ed., and she will meet with these same teachers several times during the school year.
Not to be out-done, the MCs teachers of grade 6-8 met with Meredith Swallow from the Tarrant Institute of Professional Development. Ms. Swallow and these MCS teachers have gotten to know each other quite well since they met after school for monthly classes throughout the school year. During these classes, the teachers became acquainted with the multitude of technological devices that are available and how to use those that will enhance their teaching and the student’ learning experiences. Some of the June 17 discussion centered on the possibility of students using their personal devices since many already have these at home, and the school would make these readily available for the use of those students who do not. Everyone agreed that to be ready to do this by the end of August when students return to school will take a certain amount of planning time on the part of Mike Early, the school’s technology director, and the teachers.
Before that happens, though, teachers will be finishing up report cards and, in many cases, moving classrooms. Additionally, two summer camps will be running consecutively at the school – fortunately in two separate buildings. Members of the maintenance crew are now left wondering when and how they will get their work done!