Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shared Professional Development at NMS & YES

Northbrook Middle School Principal Valerie Johnson gathers her staff six times a year for in-house professional development opportunities. YES Prep Northbrook School Director Cendie Stanford's school schedule releases students early on Wednesdays so that teachers are given time to plan and prepare for their classes.

YES Prep's Deion Brown leads a session on "Classroom
Routines & Procedures" for NMS and YES staff.
In an effort to create more opportunities to bring their staff together, Johnson and Stanford worked to align their schedules so that the Northbrook Middle School Professional Development days coincided with YES Prep's early release Wednesdays. Doing so has allowed the two school leaders to offer joint professional development opportunities for Northbrook and YES teachers.

On Wednesday, April 10th, the two groups gathered for an afternoon of differentiated professional development sessions, their fourth combined meeting of the year. Staff members indicated their preferences in a survey and chose from sessions led by a mix of Spring Branch ISD and YES Prep Northbrook teachers.

YES Prep Northbrook 6th grade Math teacher and Grade Level Chair Deion Brown led a session titled "Classroom Routines and Procedures." Brown shared strategies and techniques around classroom management, setting high expectations and creating consistency.

NMS's Jose Moreno and YES Prep's Angelica Hickerson
lead a session on using "Class Dojo."
A few doors down, YES Prep 6th grade ELA teacher Angelica Hickerson and NMS 8th grade Math teacher Jose Moreno teamed up to lead a joint session on using "Class Dojo," a behavior management software program. Hickerson and Moreno shared their perspectives on how each uses the program in the classroom, and encouraged participants to create accounts for their own rooms.

The NMS and YES Northbrook staff will come together again for their fifth gathering on May 1st. In the meantime, the two teams of staff left their sessions yesterday as a unified whole ready to return to their classrooms and implement the strategies they learned.

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