Summer brings professional development to PCS

Published 3:22 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Teachers from Pelham City Schools have attended professional development sessions all over the country this summer. (Contributed)

Teachers from Pelham City Schools have attended professional development sessions all over the country this summer. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM—They might be on summer vacation, but school is still in session for Pelham City Schools’ educators.

The system’s teachers are traveling all over the country to participate in professional development training so they can bring new knowledge back to their peers and students.

“Its very exciting to me,” said Shannon Bogert, Pelham’s coordinator of secondary education. “I’ve never worked with so many teachers who are so dedicated to their craft and to learning.”

Over the summer, Bogert said teachers have attended programs related to Project Lead the Way, Laying the Foundation and Leader in Me. Those programs are connected to Pelham’s STEM curriculum from the elementary level up to high school.

Teachers will continue training in those system-wide initiatives throughout the school year and continue to learn and develop new strategies and techniques, Bogert said.

In addition to the required programs, Bogert said she has had multiple teachers approach her with developmental programs they have found themselves.

“What so amazing is there are certain things that are required, but our teachers are finding professional development for themselves,” Bogert said. “They want to develop themselves. That’s what’s so impressive to me.”

About 15 teachers have participated in a Spanish training program, 30 have completed Laying the Foundation training and 10 teachers completed AP training.

Teachers with the law academy at Pelham High School went to a We the People course, and Bogert said two teachers completed in-depth courses in principles of engineering and the human body system.

According to Bogert, every teacher at PHS has done at least four days of professional development this summer, and most of the teachers at Riverchase Middle School have done so as well.

“They go to the training to learn new materials, new strategies and techniques and just bring them to their classrooms,” Bogert said. “Our teachers should be commended for their dedication.”

The development also wouldn’t be possible without a supportive superintendent and Board of Education, according to Bogert. She said the board provides development for its teachers through funding the initiatives.

The response from teachers has been great, and Bogert said she can’t wait to see the new initiatives implemented in classrooms in Pelham.

“Our teachers have gained a lot more this summer, so I’m excited about seeing the new practices implemented,” she said.