TEAMS professional development reaches 270 teachers

Professional development was offered in Summer 2017 (June 5-9 and 12-16) and academic year 2017-18 concurrently across the state in six locations: Crete, Fremont, Grand Island, Norfolk, North Platte and Ogallala (science only). Three sets of sessions – dedicated to elementary-integrated STEM, secondary mathematics, and secondary Earth and space science, respectively – addressed content that aligns with Nebraska State Standards. Along with bolstering content knowledge in these areas, the sessions focused on raising teacher confidence and encouraging the adoption of research-backed instructional practices.

We encouraged the participation of teams of K-12 math/science teachers from the same district, to enhance the professional development experience but individual teachers were welcome to apply. Preference was given to districts whose schools were considered high-need by the Nebraska Department of Education: categorized as Needs Improvement by AQuESTT, at least 40 percent of students receive free or reduced-price meals, or a higher percentage of students than the state average were below proficient on the NeSA-M and/or NeSA-S.

Courses were planned for the first two weeks in the summer (June 5-9 and June 12-16, 2017), and each course was worth 3 graduate credit hours, which were earned in the Summer 2017 semester. The groups met on four Saturdays across the 2017-18 school year for follow-up activities. Teachers committed to attending both the two weeks in the summer and the follow-up Saturdays; the teachers' principals attended a half-day professional development session on June 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Selected teachers received a stipend of $15 per hour of class attended (10 days for 8 hours each day at $15 per hour for a total of $1,200), and teachers who lived more than 35 miles one-way from their TEAMS site received mileage reimbursement. Lodging was available to teachers who lived more than 70 miles one-way from their TEAMS site. Specific sites were Madison Middle School in North Platte for elementary and math; Ogallala High School for secondary science; Norfolk Junior High School; Starr Elementary in Grand Island; Fremont Middle School; and Crete Middle School.

Teacher leaders chosen to design, implement professional development workshops

Fifty teacher leaders and six statewide consultants have been selected to help UNL faculty to design and develop PD sessions for teachers. These teachers will then be directly involved in leading the PD sessions for teachers in Summer 2017 and the 2017-2018 school year. Teacher leaders have leadership capacity and interest in participating in a project that will provide statewide professional development to teachers. Demonstrated leadership capacity included leading building/district/state PD sessions in the past, serving as a math or science coach, or being nominated by an NDE content specialist or ESU as a teacher leader. Stipends will be provided, along with travel and lodging costs.

Reach out to the leaders in your region if you have any questions for them: