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Beginning Teacher Development

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In order to support first and second year teachers and alleviate learning losses due to COVID-19, DESE is sponsoring the Beginning Teacher Community of Practice. This is a FREE opportunity that consists of 18 different 90 minute sessions that support the identified Missouri Educator Evaluation System (MEES) areas of potential learning losses through the MEES Teacher Candidate Assessment. Even better – these learning opportunities don’t require you to get a substitute teacher to cover your class! Teachers may register for any or all of the sessions on My Learning Plan here.

To support mentors and provide a venue to build a strong community of practice for mentors across the state, DESE is sponsoring the Mentoring Community of Practice. This is a FREE opportunity and consists of nine different 90 minute sessions. Areas of focus will include support to enable mentors to work with first and second year teachers who experienced learning losses due to COVID-19. Mentors may register for any or all the sessions on My Learning Plan here. All sessions run from 5:30 pm until 7pm. 

New Teacher Support Memo 

Beginning Teacher Community of Practice 

Session 1:  Building Community & Culture

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include building relationships and culture, promoting diversity sensitivity and/or the development of culturally responsive relationships built on trust and mutual respect for all.  

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 2:  Getting to Know Your Students:  Identifying & Meeting Needs of Diverse Learners

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include gaining knowledge of the unique characteristics of your students and the impact their ways of thinking and knowing have on learning in order to meet student needs and/or developing culturally responsive relationships and diversity sensitivity. 

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 3:  Where are you going?

This session’s conversation topic(s) will be focused on engaging in on-going reflecting on practice through the use of teacher-self-assessment and using feedback to improve practice and set professional growth goals.  

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 4:  Techie Times! Technology for Student Learning

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include engaging students through the use of technology and media tools, student expression and communication, and/or student self-directed learning. 

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 5:  Too Much to Teach! Setting Priorities

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include discussion about identifying the essential concepts of content, aligning activities to standards, embedding formative assessment in instruction, and/or sharing learning objectives with students.  

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 6:  Planning for Success!  Research-Based Planning Practices

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include discussion about lesson planning, including lesson targets, activities/tasks/experiences, strategies, aligning instruction, and/or formative assessment. 

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 7:  Can I Have a Reset?  Learning Environments & Behavior Management

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include discussion about creating a respectful, safe, and positive learning environment.  Discussions may include issues and solutions pertaining to classroom management techniques, classroom expectations, and using positive interactions to engage students in learning.  Additionally, share-outs may focus on classroom lay-outs and organizational strategies, as well as behavior-management strategies. 

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 8:  Planning Instruction for Diverse Learners

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include planning lessons that vary content, process, and product and/or the environment based on an analysis of student learning needs.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 9: Facilitating Thinking & Learning: Question and Response Techniques

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include questioning techniques that result in student engagement and critical thinking; creating a classroom culture that is emotionally safe; providing opportunities for students to discuss problems from multiple perspectives and convey their ideas through a product or process of their choice.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 10: Facilitating Thinking & Learning: Student Engagement

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include strategies to engage students in the learning process; evidence –based strategies that promote high-order thinking; and strategies to promote student expression and communication.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 11: How Do I Know If My Instruction Is Working? Monitoring & Communicating Student Progress

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include strategies to gather and use information about student learning; using formative and/or summative assessment data to monitor student progress; and planning and/or maintaining confidential student assessment records.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 12: Facilitating Thinking & Learning: Providing Feedback

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include sharing learning objectives in student friendly language; aligning activities to standards and embedding formative assessment into instruction; and using tools to communicate student progress toward learning goals to students, parents and colleagues.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 13: Facilitating Thinking & Learning: Student Reflection & Goal-Setting

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include providing feedback to students; designing opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning; and facilitating students in setting realistic academic goals.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.

Session 14: My Students aren’t Getting It….What now? Revising Instruction to Meet Student Needs

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include making data-driven decisions to design and revise instruction; differentiating instruction bases on unique student learning needs; and collaboration with colleagues to plan revisions to meet student learning goals.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.

Session 15: Being Part of the Profession: Professional Rights and Responsibilities

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include building, maintaining, and seeking out positive, appropriate relationships with students, colleagues and families; aligning practices to the Missouri Teacher Standards, professional codes of conduct, and district policies/procedures; the benefits of professional association memberships; and gain awareness of Regional Professional Development Centers.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.

Session 16: Facilitating Inquiry: Learner Expression & Communication

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include providing models or instructing students in the inquiry based research model; providing opportunities for students to explore, analyze, pose questions and discuss issues from multiple perspectives; provide opportunities for students to express their ideas through speaking, writing, listening and use of other media.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.   

Session 17: Facilitating Inquiry: Leading Student Problem Solving

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include strategies or models to lead students in problem-solving; providing opportunities for students to share their problem-solving journey and to listen to other perspectives.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.

Session 18: I Made It!  What’s Next? Reflecting on Practice and Setting Goals

This session’s conversation topic(s) may include monitoring and adjusting practice based on self-reflection, student data, feedback from students, parents or colleagues; adjusting practice based on new learning and/or strategies; and setting goals based on data and feedback.

Like all of the sessions, the emphasis is on working in a community of practice with the main focus being the creation of relationships that connect people.  The sessions are designed to be collaborative and conversational with facilitator-guided conversation-starters, reflective questioning, and/or community-building strategies. The goal is for new teachers to network and find peer support as they share and grow with each other in a safe space.

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