BY SUZANNE KOTY
On March 10th, the District Teachers of the Year gathered to participate in a one day professional development centered around leadership, advocacy, and developing a platform. It was a full day of learning, and each teacher leader had the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences to develop their individual stories and set goals to guide their work. They each received a special surprise before leaving for the day.
Dr. Rainey Knight shared the history of the Education Oversight Committee (EOC), its purpose, and its recent activity. She outlined who serves on the EOC including 6 legislators, 5 business people, and 5 educators. The teachers were able to review the budget recommendations the EOC has made for the current legislative year. She took questions and asked for input from the group about some of their current work. Dr. Knight invited them to contact her if they wanted to share any other thoughts or get more information.
This session featured 5 mini-lessons. Dr. Suzanne Koty shared the current Supply and Demand data. Dr. Jenna Hallman highlighted retention programs: mentoring and induction and National Board certification. Toni Chewning and Craig King gave a legislative update outlining some of the misconceptions about the current Senate bill. They then heard about the impact of the Census on education. Finally, Dr. JaQuinda Jackson shared information about trauma informed school systems.
Sessions Three and Four:
Elizabeth Robinson and Carla Edwards, representatives from the SC State Department of Education shared information about the upcoming Teacher of the Year banquet. They went over ticket information, seating, and dress code as well as a schedule for the event.
Toni Chewning outlined the schedule and expectations for the legislative day.
Sessions Five and Six:
Suzanne Koty led the participants through an activity to identify their individual platform based on their teaching stories. They worked in teams to narrow down the story to a few critical words that would capture someone's attention.
Jenna Hallman guided them through a goal setting activity using the Teacher Leadership Competencies.
Bojangles' Ken Reynolds surprised each District Teacher of the Year with a Bo box of books that were chosen specifically for their grade level and content area. Each book includes a dedication so that the students will always know that the book is there because of their dedication and accomplishment in the teaching profession.