Day 2 was spent in conversation with administrators, teachers, and students. Elaine and Bob presented the administration with six suitcases full of supplies including textbooks, microscopes, sports equipment, and general classroom supplies and teacher guide books. These were unpacked, inventoried and stacked in the principal’s temporary office. We also donated money to have bookshelves built to accommodate the additional books...they should be ready in about a week. Discussion regarding classroom supplies was held and teachers and students were included.
Days 3 and 4 were spent preparing for and delivering teacher workshops. The elementary teachers were provided with instruction and activities on Day 3 and secondary teachers received training on Day 4. We reviewed lesson planning, moved on to respect agreements in classrooms, and ended with room strategies.
A list of priorities was compiled and given to the Bishop and building committee. Included on the list was the completion of the computer lab as a top priority. Costs estimates were provided – please refer to the menu of giving options provided in this newsletter. In addition, reference books and shelving for the library were requested. Teachers expressed the need for classroom bookshelves and visual aides for the walls. They also requested ceiling fans to alleviate the afternoon heat. While the buildings are wired, there are no fans, which raises the need for a sustainable source of power.
One of the activities teachers liked best was the opportunity to collaborate with each other– they reported that this is not part of their current practice. After sharing with administration, the principal said that he would try to add collaboration time to the schedule. A template for reporting critical information to AEP per trimester was also established.
Actually being at the school and having the ability to separate the teachers by grade level proved much more efficient and productive. Teachers have improved their practice over previous years and it was gratifying to be a part of the higher level of dialogue and questioning that they brought to the sessions.
At the close of the day, the board of education chair-woman addressed the group, along with Bishop John. What a day!