Kent County’s public school teachers spent the summer honing their teaching skills by participating in professional conferences and graduate programs. Teachers and administrators took advantage of several opportunities locally and throughout the state to broaden their teaching skills and learn new methods and strategies.
Teachers kicked off the summer at the Sassafrass Environmental Education Center for a professional development conference. Sessions were led by KCPS Supervisor of Elementary Education Gina Jachimowicz; Supervisor of Secondary Education Nina Newlin; Galena Elementary School Principal Amy Crowding; Dr. Mary Helen Spiri from Chesapeake Coalition of Essential Schools; and Jaime Belanger from SEEC. The sessions were designed to help teachers develop interdisciplinary lessons in science and social studies, and to incorporate their field experience into the classroom. Teachers spent the time both indoors and out, canoeing, hiking, and collaborating on new ideas for curriculum development.
Fine arts teachers Aimee Boumiea and Stephanie Spencer participated in MATI – Maryland Artistry in Teaching Institute 2016. The week-long conference led fine arts teachers from across Maryland in inspiring exercises to reconnect with their own inner-artist and translate that into action in their schools and classrooms. Aimee Boumiea found the program rewarding and insightful.
“I was allowed to rediscover who I am as an artist by having the chance to make art,” said Boumiea. “I was also able to talk to other artists about their processes and receive feedback about my art. This process allowed me to focus on creativity and then think about how to bring that freedom of expression to my students.”
Bill Receski, Tracy Hodge, and Lori Receski, teachers at Worton, Galena, and Rock Hall elementary schools respectively, participated in the Mathematics in Science Academy. The sessions were taught by a training team consisting of two university professors and one science teacher. During the training, the teachers were given new tools to help engage students in hands-on science and math activities. The goal of the session was to help teachers to more completely understand the “Next Generation Science Standards for Mathematics in Science” as it relates to the elementary classroom. The teachers will use the strategies they learned to bring science and math together this year in their classrooms.
Still more teachers spent their summer in college classrooms working towards advanced degrees and fulfilling state certification requirements. In order to receive an Advanced Professional Certificate, teachers must earn a master’s degree or complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate credit or achieve National Board Certification and 12 semester hours of graduate credit.
Kent County teachers are encouraged to participate in these and other professional development opportunities to enhance the education of the students in the public school system. The high level of participation in summer professional development by the county’s teachers shows the great commitment of our teachers to the children of our communities.