Sometimes teachers are taught too.
Montville teachers will spend a day of professional development on Oct. 8 and the committee planning the program has been hard at work creating work shops, activities and lectures.
Two Professional Development Committee members shared their plans for the teachers' in-service day during Monday night's board of education meeting. Superintendent Dr. Paul Fried prefaced their remarks by explaining what a professional development day is.
"[There is] no school for students in our school system but it is a day of learning for our staff members," he said.
According to Anne Fisher, a member of the committee and reading specialist at Cedar Hill Elementary School, teachers will spend time learning about the Danielson method, the teachers' evaluation method that was chosen by board of education members this year. About 70 teachers will learn about the method and share the information with their colleagues.
The teachers will also learn about the Words Their Way phonics and vocabulary program and other teaching methods that can be used to improve their classes.
Teachers will spend a good portion of the day learning about state core curriculum standards, Fisher said. School secretaries will receive training on the GENESIS gradebook system and special education teachers will receive specialized training.
"I can't emphasize enough how important it is that teachers get these opportunities," Fisher said. "They'll be involved in shared problem-solving and decision-making to ensure a seamless transition for our students."
Teachers will also watch videos, including the film 2 Million Minutes, a documentary on the way students learn, and The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, by Randy Pausch.
Professional Development Committee Chairman Seth Miller said it is important for the teachers to learn more about the new teaching methods being used elsewhere.
"I think teachers need to keep updated of things, they need to be informed of new ideas out there," he said.
Miller said the committee uses responses from annual surveys completed by the teachers to determine what areas should be covered in the program. Fried said the committee then took those suggestions and went with a number of them, but also mixed in topics the teachers would need to know as employees of the district.
"We're addressing a lot of the needs that the teachers have been asking for," Miller said.
Miller said a great amount of work has gone into organizing the event and the committee members, who worked with district administrators, are excited about the day. Fried also thanked the administrators for their assistance in working with the committee.
"This will probably be the best professional development day that we've had in the district," Miller said.