By John Meeks
This is going to make for an interesting 'How I spent my summer' essay.
As I see August creeping up on me, I look back with joy on the cruise that I took to Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico for a church convention. I went on to Atlanta for the National Education Association convention and then took the train to Maine to visit with friends.
Then, in the past week, I went to the Teachers Academy. And this was an experience that exceeded my expectations. After all, not many teachers would be keen on interrupting their summer break to sit in classes.
When I arrived at Forrest High School, I was not sure of what to expect. My past experiences with professional development and training were not as strong for social studies as it had been for other core subject areas. My outlook improved when I saw that the school system has put together a team of social studies specialists working under a director. This was a vast improvement from putting all of the social studies responsibilities on one person.
That said, I was impressed by the training that made sense of everything from teaching
ELL students who do not speak English as their primary language to making the most of data in my classroom. We had large groups that addressed CHAMPS and we had targeted instruction for our respective subject areas.
It is to Dr. Vitti's credit that the Teachers Academy, in my opinion, finally defines for us what we have in store for us and our students in the coming school year.
My take on Teachers Academy? A+