Wait . . . What? . . . A Virtual Academy?!?

Isn’t it exciting when you get a package delivered in the mail?  Well, that’s how I felt last month when my I got my copy of Ambitious Science Teaching. I read an overview of this book and it sounded like it was just the thing to do as a professional development book study during the summer.

You see, as a classroom teacher for the last 26 years, I always picked one book to read over the summer that would be considered professional development.  This was advice I had gotten early in my career from my Grandma Olson. Sometimes the titles were recommended by co-workers like Subjects Matter – Exceeding Standards through Powerful Content-Area Reading, and other times I found them referred to by blogs I followed. Teach like a PIRATE by Dave Burgess is one that changed my entire teaching career.  Occasionally, I chose a topic that was in an area where I wanted to improve my teaching and lower my stress level before the next school year. Has anyone else read Discipline with Dignity?

I’m almost finished with the book and I can’t wait to use it for discussion and reflection during this summer’s STEM-PLC Virtual Academy.  We are always looking for the best way to do things here at Einstein, so why not try an online, webinar-formatted, ongoing professional book study?

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STEM Professional Learning Community (PLC) is an opportunity for STEM education stakeholders such as classroom teachers, informal educators, administrators, district curriculum directors, and higher education representatives to connect with others to learn more about what it takes to be a STEM educator in today’s classroom. The release of Wisconsin’s Standards for Science, and the change in format of the science portion of the Wisconsin Forward Exam, has many districts wondering if they’re prepared.  Educators, especially in rural and small school districts, find themselves as being the one in charge of knowing what these changes are and how to implement them in their schools. Often times there are only one or two people who teach science or other STEM-related classes and they lack the time and opportunities to have meaningful discussions about how these changes may impact instructional delivery and student learning.  

There are other benefits for doing PD this way as well.  You can participate in PLC whether you are vacationing in Canada (you know who you are!) or sitting on the back patio in your PJ’s.  It will be a safe environment to share ideas, ask questions, and it has the potential to expand your circle of collaboration to go beyond people you may teach with in your own school/district.  Sessions will be occur 11:00AM-12:00PM every other week between June 13-August 22.

So, if this sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, go to the Educator Portal on the Einstein web-page and sign-up.  Yes, there is a registration fee and you will need to order your own copy of the book.  But don’t let that stop you from being part of another ‘first’ at the Einstein Project.