In August, BJE offered K-5 educators from affiliated day schools two robust programs to help prepare them for the year: Reading and Writing Workshops with literacy consultant Erin Donelson, and Recipe for a Successful School Year workshops with educational consultant Shelley Lawrence. The programs were offered at no cost to BJE Day School Consortium member schools. More than 40 teachers from 9 BJE-affiliated schools participated.
Erin Donelson’s reading and writing workshops focused on getting teachers up and running at the start of the new school year as part of a larger literacy curriculum, Balanced Literacy. The two-day programs took teachers through a series of experiences and explorations to support building independent readers and writers in their classrooms. Each teacher completed a plan for launching reading and writing workshops for their students.
Shelley Lawrence’s training – Recipe for a Successful School Year – focused on three areas over the course of three days. Day one focused on creating a classroom community to maximize student learning. Day two addressed establishing classroom organization that promotes learning and independence. The final day focused on strategies to engage students beginning on the first day of school. Additionally, any teachers in their first three years as lead teachers were invited to participate in a New Teacher Coaching/Mentoring group that will meet monthly with Shelley by Zoom throughout the school year.
“Educators have faced unprecedented challenges getting through the pandemic and emerging into a ‘new normal’,” said Betty Winn, Senior Consultant for BJE’s Center for Excellence in Day School. “By offering these summer opportunities for professional development, BJE is helping teachers feel much better prepared to face the challenges of a new school year and meet students’ ever-changing needs. Given the teacher shortage that exists nationwide, meeting such a high caliber of new educators coming into our BJE-affiliated schools was incredibly uplifting.”
Feedback from participants in the programs was universally enthusiastic:
"I learned a lot in this workshop. I really loved learning about teacher language. This will be very beneficial to my students and myself. It was a fantastic and informative workshop."
"I recommend this workshop for all new and continuing teachers!"
"Thank you for a wonderful workshop! I learned a lot and feel more prepared to tackle the new school year."