In my experience of 21 years of teaching, I have had my fair share of training, professional development and conferences, as well as being inundated with curriculum and programs. However, what has mattered the most is the training that seeks to connect my strengths as an educator to the experiences of my students, their background, and one that supports the whole child. Not only is that one of the most impactful components, but also a model that supports what I believe in as an educator addressing the assets that my students and adult learners bring to the table. In the OCDE Project GLAD model, we seek to align heart and mind, while delivering high level content, academic rigor, weaving cultural sensitivity and responsiveness throughout everything we do in reaching our students and their educators.
In order to be truly effective in any type of professional development and implement it well, it is essential that it is easily duplicatable, provides direct intentional feedback and allows for divergent thinking. As much as our students today need this level of support and freedom, our administration and educators need it even more. To truly know the level of support necessary, it is essential that we get to know our audience. What is the culture reflected in the district, in the school community, what type of mindset do the educators have and approach new learning with? It is essential to take the time to ask the important questions. What has been done in the past, what have the results been and where might change need to occur? What are the obstacles that may be faced when implementing new learning and how might it be woven into what’s currently expected? Once those questions have been addressed, then it is appropriate to establish dialogue about realistic expectations and goal setting for growth and implementation.
Through a needs survey, staff, students, parent community and administration have the opportunity of sharing openly about struggles, successes and shifts being seen in education. This process has several integral parts to it. The administration and support staff must have a common understanding of the value of the training provided as well as the commitment to follow through with support for administration as well as all support staff and educators. Not only is the support essential for teachers, but also considering the implications for the parent community in understanding how the support can be provided at home as well. When I see something of value and true impact, I’m moved to share that opportunity with everyone I know, bringing hope and inspiring dreams for the future. Through my work with OCDE Project GLAD, I have had the honor and privilege of working with educators, parents and students nationwide. They’ve allowed me to get to know them on an intimate level, to struggle with them through the hoops of bureaucracy and change the mindset that oftentimes overwhelms educators today. When there are so many moving parts, we lose sight of what matters, and how we deliver our instruction is truly what matters.
Whether you’re an underperforming, dual language, International Baccalaureate or a magnet school with specific focus and needs, I would love the opportunity to share my passion and expertise working in all grade levels with all levels and backgrounds of educators. The strategies that support authentic learning and language acquisition as well as higher level thinking, can be used to support all levels and areas of content. My goal is to work with the administration and staff onsite to target the main areas of need and then customize training to address those areas of needs through key strategies that can be supported in the classroom, woven into the curriculum, as well as outside of the classroom in more customized settings for ultimate levels of support.
By incorporating support staff, a multi-tiered system of support is established for optimal levels of learning and implementation. Through content integration, the process of long term planning and curriculum mapping, we can work together to support language, neurodiverse students, GATE students, bilingual students as well as special education students. Through implementation and customization of training to meet the needs of districts and staff, I would love the opportunity to provide a solution for your organization that shifts mindsets and gets to the heart of education. I hope that you will allow me to share my heart and passion for OCDE Project GLAD and open your mind to intentionally doing what’s best for our students and their needs.