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Thursday, April 06, 2017

MTA/DESE Professional Learning Events

Yesterday I attended the MTA's Teaching and Professional Learning Committee Meeting and today I attended the Massachusetts Department of Educations' West/Central Teacher Advisory Council Meeting. The well-run, thoughtful meetings left me with the knowledge that we have some very skilled and committed people working for the teachers of Massachusetts and that both organizations are committed to providing countless opportunities for professional learning and development.

The MTA is offering a large number of courses over February break including the following:
    • Supporting Students with Special Needs in Your Classroom (15 PDPs) Tuesday, April 18, and Wednesday, April 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. MTA Quincy Headquarters
    • Supporting ELLs in Your Classroom (15 PDPs) Tuesday, April 18, and Wednesday, April 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. MTA Quincy Headquarters
    • Special Education in Practice: Happy Teachers, Successful Students (15 PDPs) Tuesday, April 18, and Wednesday, April 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. UMass Center at Springfield
    • Coaching Colleagues: A Collaborative Coaching/Mentoring Model (12 PDPs) Tuesday, April 18, and Wednesday, April 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Framingham Teachers Association
    • In addition, the popular Presenter Bootcamp program will be offered Thursday, April 20, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the MTA Auburn Office.

Many of these courses are currently filled, but don't hesitate to click the link and sign up if interested since not all courses are filled.

The MTA Summer Conference will offer a large number of multi-day, one-day, three-hour, and 1.5-hour workshops as well. Some of those workshops directly relate to recertification requirements and needed PDPs. These classes are offered at no cost to MTA members.

Similarly DESE has a host of online courses that serve educators' professional learning requirements at no cost. In particular, some of those online courses will provide educators with the 15 PDPs in special education that they need to re-certify. It was suggested that the course, DESE Foundations for Inclusive Practice, would be an ideal course for a PLC to complete together over a number of weeks. These are other DESE online courses for professional learning and student learning:

At today's meeting we also discussed the newly revised standards and standard documents for mathematics and ELA which can be found on this page: Revised Standards 2017 As we discussed the standards, we talked about how the vertical alignment of one standard to another can help educators differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners. In addition, it was noted that studying the new documents will support successful implementation of the new standards. I hope to read through these over the summer. 

DESE's Instructional Support Newsletter was also shared which included lots of valuable information with regard to teaching/learning ideas. Educators may Sign up for the DESE Instructional Support Newsletter via this link.

DESE is reaching out to principals and educators for their ideas and perspectives in many ways including multiple surveys, working groups and service on the Principals Advisory Council (PAC) and Teachers Advisory Council (TAC).

For teachers in Massachusetts, there is not a shortage of professional learning and development opportunities. What matters is how you, your colleagues, and system meet this advantage to develop and better the work you can do for students and their families.