The first week in December I traveled over 1000 miles and never left the state in which I live. The first part of the week, I attended annual training for my job. I returned home on Wednesday night (550 miles) and left at noon Thursday with another group of educators to present at a Math Conference. We attended the conference sessions and made new friends to follow on Twitter. One teacher in our group was honored with Elementary Math Educator of the Year award!
The teachers have been involved with a year long grant to improve math and science instruction. The grant is comprised of three partners, a university, professional development center, and conservation education consultant. My previous interactions with them had been presenting environmental activities and lessons they could use with their students. This weekend gave me an opportunity to chat with them casually and grow our friendships.
All eight of us shared the presentation time. Some of the teachers showed video clips of their students studying crickets or discussing how to solve problems. I saw our positive influence in their classroom instruction. Other teachers shared how their teaching had changed because of the professional development from the grant. I talked about the benefits our partnership provided me personally, my employer, and the participants.
We are planning another presentation in February. It will be different because the teachers won’t present. Two of the professional development coaches and I are planning interactions with the audience by asking them to actively participate as we focus on inquiry to teach math and science concepts. It should be engaging for all in attendance.