Teachers are developing new education units at Wolf Creek Public Schools.
Educators at WCPS prepared themselves for another school year at Ecole Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School Aug. 26 and 27 during the division’s Summer Institute. The mandatory symposium brought more than 500 certified staff to learn about changes at WCPS.
Teachers and administrators were welcomed back by superintendent Larry Jacobs who highlighted the theme of the conference, “Knowing from doing.”
“Last year one of the things that you told us was that the clarity of what the year should look like was not as good as it should have been,” he explained.
He rolled out a plan for teachers to develop teaching units over the course of the school year. His goal is to give students the best possible education and this program’s hope is to develop enhanced education at WCPS. This has been done with teachers, administrators and staff at the main office
“What we want to do is work with you to help us all build three units and try to see if we can incorporate everything that we found out last year,” explained Jacobs.
The first unit
During September and October teachers are asked to take a unit and start to analyze it. Once finished with the unit administrators will meet with teachers to discuss how the plan went. He did not want teachers to feel they are being evaluated.
“All it is, is an opportunity for you to practice these 12 components,” said Jacobs.
The result is not as important as the action.
“It’s about trying, it’s about experimenting on the front end,” he added.
Administrators will receive special training on how to support teachers in this project.
The second unit
Once the first unit is complete teachers will then build their own unit either by themselves or with a team. If three or for educators are teaching the same subject they can come together to plan a unit. The second unit will be conducted in the late fall/early spring. Feedback is an important step in the second unit.
“We’re going to ask you to survey your students about their engagement,” explained Jacobs.
Teachers will then work with administrators on how they want to develop their unit.
“We will do everything we can to support you,” he added.
The third unit
Jacobs says researchers suggest when trying something new it must be done three times to be done right. This third unit is similar to the second and will be taught prior to the end of May. Jacobs emphasized this is not an evaluation for teachers. “The point is for you to be able to look and say, ‘How did I do?’”
Teachers will have the chance to look at their unit and determine which areas they feel are growth areas. He feels what makes this important is the discussion teachers, administrators and superintendents will have when the units are concluded.
By the end of the Summer Institute each group will have a better understanding of the process, explained Jacobs. “Which will be a discussion that helps us as a division.”