Can you believe the 2021-2022 school year is coming to an end? Your students have worked hard all year, and so have our Durham PreK teachers and directors! Our Technical Assistance Team shared the following accomplishments your children's teachers have achieved this school year! Check them out below!
One of Durham PreK's priorities is to have highly-qualified staff who are best prepared to teach your children during their pre-K year. To reach that goal, Technical Assistance Specialists support the higher learning plans of each teacher in need of an additional degree or certification, or those who want to further their education at a higher level. Many teachers and teacher assistants started their degree or certification programs this year.
Durham PreK Directors must attend a Classroom Assessment Scoring System© (CLASS©) Observer training and pass their certification assessment as one of the program requirements. CLASS© is an "observational instrument developed [...] to assess classroom quality in PK-12 classrooms." It assesses teacher-child interactions through classroom organization, social-emotional learning, and instructional support. Durham PreK uses CLASS© observations to help determine classroom quality during the RFA process, so when directors are certified observers, they are able to utilize their training to support their teachers.
Durham PreK teachers participate in a Community of Practice where they share experiences, learn from each other, and collaborate on new ideas. Each month, one of the teachers presents on an topic in early childhood education they're passionate about or on a lesson they did with their students.
In January, Ms. Morgan from Creative Schools at Davis Park was the "Featured Teacher," and the theme was Vocabulary, Literacy, and Play. She shared the ways in which she incorporates these in her classroom's center time with her colleagues.
Ms. Gina Allen from White Rock Child Development Center was the "Featured Teacher" for the March Community or Practice! The theme of that month's meeting was "creativity," so Ms. Gina shared the different strategies she used to promote creativity, curiosity, and imaginative play in her classroom!
This presentation inspired Ms. Sharelle and Ms. Beverly at Triangle Day Care Center to incorporate some of Ms. Gina's ideas into their classroom! They used cardboard boxes, stickers, cupcake liners, paper plates, crayons, and markers to express their creativity and make their own cars. Then the whole class used their cars to drive around the classroom!
In April, Ms. Kimberly Toth from Primary Colors Early Learning Center was the "Featured Teacher." The theme in April was Physical Development, so Ms. Kimberly presented her strategies on promoting fine and gross motor skills in her classroom!
While teachers in Durham PreK classrooms teach in a variety of different settings (in Head Start classrooms, at community-based programs, or in DPS elementary schools), the Community of Practice meetings give them an opportunity to work together, and as the name suggests, build a community.
One special aspect of technical assistance is the relationships that are built between teachers, teacher assistants, and directors and their Technical Assistance Specialist. This relationship is the foundation for a supportive learning environment, and it includes sharing personal wins with each other! Below are some of the many personal highlight that your teachers have celebrated this year.