In the Teachers' Spotlight of our first newsletter, published in June 2020, we posed a most pressing question, “How do we set up our students for success in today’s distance learning environment?” The answer to this question was facilitated by Rebecca Blouwolff, the recipient of the 2020 National Teacher of the Year award from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and a panel of seven outstanding educators who represented the richness of languages and cultures of the religious and independent schools served by the PDRC.
Today, after students and teachers have been immersed in distance learning for a very long year, the context has changed, but the core question is the same, “How do we set up our students for success as we return to a ‘new ‘normal?” And true to our mission, we are proactively reaching out to you to learn about your concerns, needs and interests, as we plan for the fall. We are learning that these are the essential questions schools are asking themselves,
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the PDRC offered responsive, timely and engaging professional development opportunities. Our comprehensive and multi-faceted approach was designed in the context of religious and independent schools and used several modalities, from chat & network events for educational leaders to live and on-demand webinars, a LinkedIn professional learning community, and co-organizer for the Religious and Independent School Educators Conference (RISE).
At their core, all PDRC offerings present promising practices to “educate the whole child, from Pre-K to adolescence, and help them master challenging academic content, develop social responsibility and foster intercultural communication.” For instance, PDRC webinars included topics like self-care for teachers, literacy learning through play, and best practices for Google Tools, to name a few. Some webinars were offered through scaffolded sessions, like STEM Education and 21st Century Skills with the New York Academy of Sciences and Making Connections Through Theater-Based Learning. Chat & Network sessions embraced timely topics including, Nurturing the School Environment to Promote a Successful End-of-the-Year, and The Power of Town Halls during Covid-19.
The over one thousand participants gave our webinar offerings an average satisfaction rating of 4.3 out of 5 in feedback surveys and have shared how these sessions advanced their teaching and learning and fostered connection:
The Fordham PDRC Fall Program starts the last week of August with four live sessions that will directly respond to the above questions and concerns, and on September 22nd, the Chat & Network for Educational Leaders -different voices together, returns with discussion on strategies that help schools become a stronger school community. Please click the Participate in the PDRC Summer Program button at the end of the newsletter for more details.
The NYS/NYC Professional Development Resource Center (PDRC) at Fordham University is dedicated to continuously improving its professional development offerings by meeting with school administrators to gather suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the PDRC Team members or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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