Thursday, April 24, 2014

EMWP Professional Development Updates

Karen Watts

Professional Development has experienced tremendous growth this year with the formation of several year-long partnerships and the expansion of coaching work.
Beginning last summer, the consulting team of Sarah Lorenz, Doug Baker, Mitra Dunbar, Rachel Toon, and Roseanne Stark have been working with the Grosse Ile district in all buildings, K-12, holding regular meetings with teachers and providing targeted PD to support their writing goals. The elementary buildings have been focused on writing workshop, with the adoption of the Being a Writer curriculum. Middle school has been working with writing across the curriculum and student engagement, and high school ELA and history teachers have been developing a joint research/writing project that incorporates the use of historical evidence in argument writing.

A similar partnership is also happening with the Woodhaven-Brownstown district. Consultants Sarah Lorenz, Karen Watts, and Dick Koch have provided PD sessions, facilitated departmental work sessions and conducted demonstration lessons. Sarah and Julia Keider are also providing 10 days of coaching in each of the two middle schools and the high school, focusing on writing in the content areas and the use of Socratic Seminars as a pre-writing strategy to build content and support for ideas.
At Lincoln High School, Karen has been meeting with school data teams once a month to facilitate the implementation of argument writing in all content areas. Teachers have all contributed to the development of a graphic organizer for argument writing which has been adjusted to meet the needs of each class or specific project. As students use the organizer in a variety of classes, they have become very familiar with the process of stating a claim, supporting reasons with evidence and providing a rebuttal to counterclaims.
Karen, Julia and Sarah have also been working in the Bedford district, providing two hours of PD and 13 hours of coaching at each of the five buildings. EMWP ran several well-received sessions at Bedford’s district-wide PD day in March and hopes to continue working with Bedford next year.
Hand-in-hand with these partnerships is the growth of coaching as a resource/offering from EMWP. The coaching model of professional development is one that honors teachers’ experience and knowledge while providing support and building capacity for school improvement. In order to prepare more TCs to be coaches, we have offered institutes to teachers interested in becoming coaches or in furthering their knowledge and experience with coaching. Julia conducted a two-day basic coaching institute in November for TCs and other teachers and will be offering the Advanced Coaching Institute in April.
As always, if you are interested in being a part of the professional development team or in bringing consultants or coaches into your building, please contact Sarah Lorenz.

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