ADELANTO, CA, JUNE 21, 2013 – “School may be out for students, but the teachers of the Adelanto Elementary School District are still busy with learning. For an entire week, teachers from throughout the district are participating in training on the new Common Core State Standards.
Superintendent Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux is thrilled with the partnership with Pivot Learning Partners. “It is my goal to provide our staff with ongoing training,” she said. “This education on the new standards is vital for our district.”
The buzz of conversation among small groups of teachers in each classroom indicated the teachers were excited, too. “I am glad the training isn’t during school hours,” shared Westside Park Elementary School special education teacher Debbie Mockler. “My students have a hard time adjusting to a sub.”
That thought was echoed by other teachers during the training session on Wednesday. The five day training gave teachers the opportunity to go deep into sustained conversations about standards, teaching practices and how to partner more effectively with students and parents. “This is an extended opportunity to hash out what these [Common Core] ideas mean,” said Morgan Kincaid Elementary School kindergarten teacher Matthew ChristianScher. “We are having a conversation that we never, ever have.”
ChristianScher’s wife, fellow kindergarten teacher Dee ChristianScher concurred. “Being a teacher can be very isolating. You are by yourself in your room, with your students. Few adults come through. Our principal does give us collaboration time, but this extended time is rare.” Most teachers indicated that the opportunity to learn about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and discuss how to meet and exceed them was inspiring and enlightening.
Chief Academic Officer for the School District, Dr. Edwin Gomez, said, “The training is interactive, engaging, and truly presents the essence of Common Core. This training will really help our teachers understand what 21st century education is and give us the insights to instruct our students in the Common Core State Standards. I am excited to be here to serve our students and our community and to be a part of this endeavor.”
By Wednesday, three days into training, every small group had at least one mobile device, whether it was an iPad, e-reader or laptop, brought in by the participants themselves. Teachers used them to access online versions of the CCSS, take notes, and share online content relevant to the discussion on the special Tumblr blog created for this purpose. With the heightened focus on technology in the new standards, participants said, it is important for teachers to step into their role as technology users.
For the teachers, the Pivot training provides a glimpse of deeper ways to reach students. Said student teacher Sylvia Houser, “For me as a teacher and as a parent, I am excited about the focus on teaching the students to think for themselves. Sometimes students are just memorizing facts and if they don’t have a memorized answer, they don’t know how to respond.”
More information about the Adelanto Elementary School District can be found at www.AESD.net”
*Article written by: Alyssa Penman