#pbconnect20

PB Connect features self-care focus
Posted on 01/28/2020
Dr. Anthony Muhammad

Over 75 breakout sessions were hosted for R-I faculty district-wide during the sixth annual PB Connect on collaboration day in what initially began as an internal technology camp for 1:1 buildings in 2015. 

The professional development workshop featured digital resources, along with sessions focused on instructional best practices for all grade spans, trauma-informed care and, new this year, a self-care strand that included yoga, CrossFit and money-saving tips to combat teacher burnout. 

“We want to help take care of our teachers not only with instruction, but their physical well-being,” said Stephanie Kuper, an instructional coach. Kuper’s district colleague Keri Jameson, event co-organizer, added: “If it’s good for them, really then it’s good for our students.” 

Before participants were released to attend five sessions of their choosing on Tuesday, Jan. 21, the teachers had the privilege of learning how to become a “high will, high skill” school system from this year’s keynote speaker: Dr. Anthony Muhammad, a sought-after education consultant and best-selling author. 

R-I Superintendent Dr. Scott Dill introduced the special guest, explaining that he has read everything Muhammad has written “several times over” since first hearing his message about professional learning communities when Dill was a middle school principal over a decade ago. 

Attending grade school in Flint, Mich., Muhammad recalled that back in the 1970s, a teacher’s sole responsibility was to teach while students had to make a choice to learn, but that is where the buck stopped, he said. "We want to create an environment where learning is not an offer, but a guarantee," said Muhammad, noting that an ‘invitation’ is not enough for some children. 

Organizational change must be broken down into two parts: technical or structural change and cultural change, he continued. “Climate is how we feel and culture is how we behave,” Muhammad stated, asking the audience to consider ‘will’ to be the soil and to think of ‘skill’ as the seeds. 

A total of 60 students across the district volunteered to host a Student Showcase highlighting some of their projects in the commons area at PBHS, while Chartwells supplied lunch. Event grand prizes included two $400 IKEA classroom makeovers awarded to Tomi Bader of the Middle School and Lyndsee Moon of Junior High, sponsored by FCC Behavioral Health and Wallstreet Insurance Group. 

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Cutline: Dr. Anthony Muhammad of Solution Tree states “everybody loves to improve until it’s time to change” during his presentation at PB Connect in the gymnasium.

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