We are in the final mile of our three-year experience. Teachers have prepared for the workshops by reading books, reading articles, and researching web sites. During the workshops, teachers interacted with historians, authors, and college professors. As a culminating activity of each workshop, teachers wrote lesson plans evidencing ways they will transfer what they've learned to their classrooms. In the process teachers have built a professional learning community.
We have scheduled three Outreach Conferences as a way of reaching other teachers face-to-face and sharing our classroom-tested lesson plans. We have selected three school districts as sites for the conferences, Euclid, Nordonia High School, and Dover High School. Scheduling the conferences in school buildings allowed us to reach teachers in the northern, central, and southern regions of the canalway. Using the public school buildings also allows the school districts to partner with us.
The work began by contacting the schools to form the partnerships. Our first conference was in the John McGowan Professional Development Center located in Memorial Park school in Euclid. Principal, Ken Ferlito was delighted to host our conference. The school provided the coffee and we brought veggie trays and cookies.
Teachers who live in the northern region of the canalway received invitations to present. All other participants were invited to attend to support the presenters. Central office administrators received personal e-mail messages and phone calls. All principals in the Euclid District also received personal invitations to bring their teachers to the conference. Every high school teacher received a flyer.
We had six teachers who made two presentations in Euclid on October 30. We had 24 audience members who selected two different sessions to attend. Superintendent, Dr. Joffrey Jones, attended the conference. Principal Ken Ferlito also attended.
Exciting things happened during the conference. Every presenter had technology to use in their rooms. LCD projectors and computers were up and waiting for them. Michael Sears actually had a mobile cart of lap tops that he could offer those who attended his session. To our surprise, he took his audience to the RRR website and this blog. Those who attended were enthusiastic about what they heard. They asked if it were too late for them to join our group. It is always fun to see what other schools are like.
At the closing of the conference, RRR participants added comments about their work during the grant. Once again, all that the RRR participants had learned and the commitment they continue to share with each other was obvious…and glorious.
Our next conference will be in Nordonia on November 19. I am looking forward to writing another glowing report of teacher outreach and leadership.