We just wrapped up the final leg of our teacher boot camp tour with workshops in Pittsburgh and New York. While everyone on the team is exhausted, the one thing that keeps the energy high is meeting other teachers who are truly making a difference. I met teachers in both cities who paid to come to boot camp on their own – no funding from their schools or the district. I asked the same question you’re probably asking, “Why did you do it?” One self-funded teacher in the Pittsburgh workshop described answered with this…
I’m a professional who believes that training is important. I think that teachers who isolate themselves to their classroom never grow. I really enjoy teaching science and I came to the workshop to find new ways to get my kids fired up. Once my Principal sees the results, she’ll support more and more. I know it.
It’s tough to believe that we work in a profession where our leaders don’t believe in or support professional staff development, but I can’t help but be inspired by her dedication to teaching and to her students.
I also met these two amazing teachers… Penny Hampshire and Kim Carpenter, teachers at Clawson B.E.S.T. Pre-K. I’ve learned over the years to pay particular attention to the teachers who sit in the front row at my workshops. They either don’t know any better (and they’re going to get soaked in flying soda) or they’re extremely enthusiastic. Penny and Kim were both! Here are two teachers that do more solid science with their Pre-K children than some kids get during their entire elementary school experience. I could go on and on, but just check out the Claswson website – Science Thursdays and enjoy watching master teachers at work.
As always, I invite teachers who attend my workshops to share their comments and take-aways on the blog. Any thoughts from Pittsburgh?