Archive for June 2012

Teacher Quality Institute: A Success!

June 25, 2012

The Teacher Quality Institute that took place June 18-22 was a significant success. The focus for the week long Institute was ongoing reflection, research, and learning for K-8 teachers. Through large / small group sessions that combine direct instruction, demonstration, and active learning strategies; the Institute’s participants further developed their skills in multiple brain compatible teaching strategies, reading interventions, the effective integration of technology, and mathematical reasoning / computation.

All of the seminar sessions provided learning experiences that were innovative, engaging, relevant, practical, and enjoyable. Educators became learners so that they can be better prepared to further facilitate the learning process with their students.

What makes a performance task authentic? How does the human brain learn best? What are some of the best Web 2.0 applications for the classroom? How can we more effectively utilize SMART Board technology to further enhance our teaching? How can the iPad be used to help students with special needs? These are merely a few of the multiple essential questions that were addressed during the week long institute.

Over 70 teachers participated in the institute which included approximately 15 teachers from neighboring school districts. Each day began with a General Session that included a TQI teaching tips. These tips provided the participants with additional practical brain compatible strategies that could be used in the classroom immediately.

Presenters included Tewksbury administrators and teachers, a Lindamood-Bell instructor, an instructor from Teq, instructors from Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord Team along with additional consultants. All of the presenters engaged the participants and received exemplary ratings. All of the sessions fell within 3.5-4.0 on a 4 point scale, with 4.0 being the top score. Here are just a few general comments in reference to the institute from participating teachers:

“All 20 hours that I spent in the workshops were worthwhile. I look forward to incorporating everything I learned into my classroom this fall.”

“I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful week of workshops. I really enjoyed myself and felt that all workshops energized me for next year.”

“Great new concepts and great new ways to communicate with parents and colleagues.”

“Very meaningful presentation! Now, I can’t wait to come back to school and try this out!”

“A ton of great resources to use and expand on.”

All in all, the week was extremely valuable to the teaching and learning process. On behalf of the staff, I wish to extend our appreciation to both the Tewksbury Township Board of Education and the Tewksbury Education Foundation for making this week possible. As I have stated before, “The best learners make the best teachers.” A tremendous amount of teaching and learning took place from June 18-22 at the Old Turnpike School in Tewksbury Township. This is what a true learning community does best! 

Jim Gamble

Interim Superintendent