JOIN US MAY 21st: Teacher Inquiry in Action Forum
Tuesday, May 21st: 5-8 PM
Poster session 5-6 PM
Round table discussions 6-8 PM
Light dinner provided
Mills College, Graduate School of Business
Join us as a dynamic group of over 50 teacher scholars share the exciting outcomes of their year-long, classroom-based inquiries.
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May 9th, 2013
Like most first year teachers, 7th grade math and science teacher Robyn Chevalier-Hall began her year at Oakland’s Melrose Leadership Academy in survival mode. She started the year thinking she might [...]
I think [MTS] has had a greater impact [on my teaching practice] than anything I’ve ever done, just because it’s asking me to do more than grade work. It’s really asking me to think deeply about not only what students learn, but how they come to know it, which is different from almost anything you’ll ever do.
What I appreciate about the Scholars program is that you get the opportunity to explore something that’s really interesting to you about your practice that is self-guided and directly relates to your understanding of the kids you are teaching.OUSD
Mills Teacher Scholars enables me to judge the credibility and utility of different assessment practices.” “The program has made me comfortable in identifying and using data to inform my teaching practice.
Through my inquiry 'I communicated to them that I wanted them to be reading more difficult books…not just my focal students, but everybody…they saw [their results] right away. I showed them, ‘you read 8 out of 14 correctly, and they were this type of word…and if you look at last month…’ so they could see a little bit of change over time.
Today I woke up prepared to say, 'I can't do this, I'm over loaded.' However after coming in to this nonthreatening atmosphere I'm feeling energized to get started and do the work. I won't put reflection of my practice on the back burner to die. Dialoguing in my group really helped me to focus my research and look ahead at the next steps.... Doing this work keeps me grounded in what my goals are as a teacher.
I have thinking about emailing you for a while to thank you and share again my appreciation for your program. I don't think I realized initially how much what I studied was going to impact my teaching, but I feel like a completely new and better reading teacher this year.
[Because of Mills Teacher Scholars] as a school site…we have a clearer picture of where we have to go as a staff. It just opens up the conversation to see what is going on across the grade levels…it creates more of a cohesion in terms of a vision of our staff.
It’s really opened my eyes to figure out how I can help my students. The biggest thing it’s taught me is how to sit down with my students and ask them how they are, what do they need and how I can help them. What happens in your mind when it’s working, when you know it’s not working are some of the fundamental questions I have learned to think about.OUSD
Mills has made me a lot more confident as a teacher, and as somebody who makes mistakes and then uses those mistakes to grow and change. And I feel a lot more comfortable with making mistakes and using those mistakes to further the kids and myself.
I really appreciate the way we work with our colleagues. It’s a really different experience because we’re each bringing in something we’re interested in getting feedback from other people. We really get a chance to analyze student work that we don’t get to do as often as we would like to. Since we’re guiding it, it feels very professional.OUSD
[Mills Teacher Scholars style of collaboration is] totally different, because this is the only space where we know enough about what the other is doing to even talk about it…this is a space where I can say, I already know at the onset of our conversation, because of Mills, I already know…some of the challenges you’re facing. So we could have more of a collaborative, in-depth conversation than I could with other teachers on the site. With other teachers, it’s more talking about systemic,…
With MTS, I see myself as a teacher who understands that the students are the important factor in the classroom, which really means that it’s not so much about me modifying kids, but me modifying me, and I think that’s a big shift…Based on whatever they come into the classroom with, what kinds of modifications do I need to make in order to reach these kids?...My purpose is to reveal their process so I can modify my teaching and help them get to where I need them to go, as opposed to the…
It forces me to reflect on my teaching and gives me a chance to sit and analyze students’ work which is something I don’t get to do as often as I want to. It really lets me look at how students are thinking and meeting them where they are at.OUSD
Mills Teacher Scholars has provided a new kind of discourse for our professional learning community. They have given us a space to think together about the perplexing question, 'What do my students know and how do I know they know it?' This essential question is often drowned out by lesson planning and pacing guides.
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