South Dakota 21st Century Community Learning Centers Professional Development
This program addresses the need for support in academic enrichment in the area of STEM by providing intentional and structured training and coaching on-site, with follow-up support as the sites continue to implement the program. The training and coaching is designed to meet the specific needs of each site.
Although one can learn by observing, doing while learning is very empowering. Following this philosophy, the professional development consists of three parts: a workshop, co-teaching and reflection. For the workshop, the site staff receives training where they actually do the activities, explore the educator guide, and receive guidance in implementation. Following the workshop, the Steckelberg Consulting coaches co-teach and offer support on-site the following four days. Following each day of co-teaching the activities, there is a time for the staff and coaches to meet as a group for a structured reflection session.
Some comments from participants:
Doing the projects first hand to get an understanding of what my students will be doing.
The prominence put on the staff to be TEACHERS!
Learning how to allow the kids to think through situations and carry them out was the most valuable for me because it allowed me to realize how smart some of our kids really are.
I enjoyed being able to put on the adult learner hat to go through the lessons and problem solve as the kids would. It also gave me an idea of what kids would excel and which ones may need extra help.
Advice on how to fix or change something for the next day.
Having an expert to ask questions of.
I found it most valuable to get the feed back from the co-teacher after being in the room with our students to give different strategies that would best suit them.
It gave us chance to talk about how/why things worked or didn’t work so we could prepare for the next day.
Talking about our favorite parts of the day. It’s easy to focus on what didn’t work or what went wrong but it made each of us think about the positives in each day and use that to help the students to persevere through the project.
Connecting with other sites, sometimes it feels we are all by ourselves.
Talking about problems we had and what we did to improve them.
Hearing what others were seeing happening with their kids.
Hearing that we all had the same struggles validated what I was doing and helped me to not feel like there was something I was doing “wrong”.