#pbconnect18

PB Connect: Teachers share best practices
Posted on 03/27/2018

Time is built into the academic calendar for teachers to align curriculum horizontally and vertically between classrooms, and PB Connect is a day dedicated to sharing best practices among school buildings.

A total of 115 break-out sessions led by personnel throughout the district as well as several education leaders across the state were offered during the annual certified-staff professional development workshop held Friday, March 23, in Poplar Bluff High School. 

“We’re tapping into our best resource: our teachers. That’s ultimately what this is about,” explained Junior High Instructional Coach Keri Jameson. Jameson along with her High School counterpart, Stephanie Kuper, organized the in-house PD in cooperation with Chief Technology Officer Aaron Badgley.

This year’s conference had a professional learning community emphasis, which is a model R-I has subscribed to since the 2010/11 school year and the catalyst for building collaboration days into the schedule to use data to drive instruction.

Keynote speaker Dr. Luis Cruz of Solution Tree, a former school administrator in east Los Angeles, told the audience the “answers are in your building” and that faculty must continue to work together to ensure that students are learning at high levels. “We have to look in the mirror instead of looking out the windows for answers,” Cruz stated.

PB Connect began in 2015 as a technology camp for Junior and Senior High teachers who had recently gone 1:1 with student-issued laptops, and the workshop extended to include the Middle School the following year. During 2016/17, the conference went districtwide and the focus eventually expanded to include topics for elementary instructors too. 

Sessions last week ranged from cutting-edge classroom engagement tools like Bloxels to hot-button topics such as trauma-informed care. The event had over a dozen generous sponsors and offered prizes that included iPads. Students from the Junior High life skills class volunteered to help welcome guests. 

“The entire day was fun and inspiring. I’m full of ideas,” High School science teacher Gretchen Pendley exclaimed afterward. “It’s awesome to be a part of a district that can put together such an amazing mini-conference.”

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Cutline: Dr. Luis F. Cruz interacts with PBHS Assistant Principal Sheldon Tyler during his keynote speech.

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