7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 7, 2009 8:36 PM by tdiener

    Essentials for non-traditional teachers

      In the call this afternoon, I mentioned I was starting an Essentials session for some really important PTs tomorrow (Mar 17).  The participants are 14 teachers who are in our Transition to Teaching program in WV.  They're former nurses, business people, etc. who want to be teachers and are employed by schools as they receive training and do coursework to eventually get certified.

      The good thing about that is . . . they'll be coming to this without years of old lesson plans they refuse to give up (or change).  The bad part is . . . they'll be coming without a lot of the background that Essentials builds on.  I just hope we can get all the material covered in the time we have!

      Anyone else worked with a group like this?  How'd it go?

        • Re: Essentials for non-traditional teachers



          While I have not taught an entire class of Transition teachers, I did teach one class that did not have any Teachers in it. These PTs were all Technology people (most had not taught in a school for over 5 years.) Based on this, I'd suggest the following for your course:


          1. Help these new prospective teachers consider one unit they want to teach. (In my state, we would go to the online state core to find details.)

          2. Use the term "Target Audience" with these prospective teachers. (I reminded my group often that the "Target Audience" for a regular teacher would be the students in their classroom. A facilitator who is at the District Office doing Professional Development has a "Target Audience" of classroom teachers.

          3. Help these prospective teachers focus on what they would like to have their "Target Audience" doing.


          You are right in the idea that these prospective teachers will not come with "baggage lesson plans." This is a double-edged sword that may make them uncomfortable regarding the use of the Essential tools. I would recommend advising them to remember these tools are to learn with so they can be comfortable helping their students become 21st Century Learners.


          Good luck and let us know how it goes!

          • Re: Essentials for non-traditional teachers

            Good question Bodie. I often work with either new teachers, teachers that have alternative certifications (much like the teachers you describe) or teachers who taught long time ago and are now returning to the teaching field. A good resource for them would be on the Intel Education website http://www.intel.com/education/.  Look under K-12 Teaching Resources.  You will see the 21st Century Skills Teaching resources and then the 3 resources (Designing Effective Projects, An Innovation Odyssey (collection of stories of technology enriched projects from classrooms around the world and Its a Wild Ride. My favorite is Designing Effective Projects. There you will find a collection of exemplary Unit Plans. It is a good place to start to get the GIST of exemplary unit and lesson plans.

            • Re: Essentials for non-traditional teachers

              I'd love to hear how things are going for you in your training. From your post, it sounds like you have had at least one session with them by now.


              Although I haven't had a training full of new teachers, I have had trainings with teachers who are very unfamiliar with PBL or any type of technology integration, which is similar in many ways. One thing I would suggest is not to skimp on showing and explaining examples. Be sure to review as a whole class at least one full unit portfolio and the components of its Unit Plan. Give them ample time on their own to review the samples on the CD and/or on Intel Education's Designing Effective Projects Web site. Seeing multiple sample unit portfolios will go a long way in helping them "get it." But also strongly encourage them--especially at the beginning--that it will take a few modules until they feel comfortable with where they are going in their own unit planning. Even with veteran teachers, the frustration level can be high for the first few modules. Very often, it's not until after they create their student sample that the pieces start falling into place.


              One place where you may need some modification may be in the pedagogical practices discussions. If these teachers have not had much time in the classroom yet, they may have few ideas to share on best practices. You may want to give them just a few minutes to briefly discuss the topic, and if it seems like they are at a loss for ideas (this has definitely happened in a few of my trainings), bring them back into a whole group discussion and prime the pump yourself with some suggestions. That might be all that is necessary to help them generate some ideas on their own.


              In the Pair and Shares, give specific tips on what to look for and give feedback on. For example, have participants refer to the appropriate rubric or checklist when reviewing their partner's CFQs, targeted standards, objectives, project ideas, and so forth. Really hammer the use of those course assessment resources throughout the course--they will help bring the participants back on the main road if they start to get off on a tangent.


              Of course, Essentials is also used with pre-service teachers. Many faculty members simply spend more time at the beginning helping them understand the fundamentals (for example, creating learning objectives, understanding standards, creating lesson plans, etc.). However, you don't have the luxury, I imagine, to extend the training in that way, but hopefully, your training will be held over several weeks so these new ideas will have time to percolate.


              Good luck and please let us know how it's going!

              • Re: Essentials for non-traditional teachers

                Another activity to try, if time permits, is an extension activity that is found in the TWT course.  It is entitled "Taking a Look into Two Classroom. The classrooms include different levels of thinking skills as well as different contexts for students' learning. Sometimes it helps to see 2 different perspectives of teaching. When I was working with new teachers, this activity was an "AHA" moment for most of the teachers. They really saw the difference and was able to make the connection to what they were and were not doing in their lesson plans.

                • Re: Essentials for non-traditional teachers

                  Hi Bodie!


                  I agree with the previous posts.  Remember, just like pre-service teachers, they don't know what they don't know.  Essentials is an excellent introduction to PBL and 21st Century Learning.  Giving them exposure to the ISTE standards and some of the wonderful resources at Intel Teach, they will begin to discover some wonderful tools.


                  For the blog portion, consider sharing with them this blog post on Educational Blogs You Should Be Investigating.  You'll see some that are classroom pieces and others that are educator tools and such.  http://mrssmoke.onsugar.com/2787268.  That might get some wheels turning.


                  Can't wait to hear your latest update.

                  • Re: Essentials for non-traditional teachers

                    Thanks everyone for your input and advice!  I finished my first 2 days with this group, and quickly realized I was nervous for no reason.  This group is awesome to work with - my favorite so far!  They're soaking up the pedagogy like sponges - even saying they wish they'd had the course last summer before they started the school year.  And the tools - they love the collaborative features of the wiki we're using, and have made great blog posts at the end of each module.  Most everything else they were introduced to during those first two days were things they'd never seen before.  They think I'm a wizard!

                    Every time I do an Intel training, I learn something from my participants.  This group is no exception!

                    I've used some of your suggestions - glad I asked!


                    • Re: Essentials for non-traditional teachers

                      While I have never taught a group like this I think the Intel Innovation Odyssey http://www97.intel.com/odyssey/index.aspx might be a good resource along with the The Technology Integration Matrix at: http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/index.html


                      The Technology Integration Matrix illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. It Showcases solutions to five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative learning with video clips.