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Putnam Teachers Back To School For Professional Training

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Teachers Back To School For Professional Training

Some Putnam County teachers have come back to school a little early this year as the system holds its annual Summer Blitz professional training this week.

Several hundred teachers will participate this week in the developmental sessions and workshops. Putnam County Schools Supervisor For Professional Development Judy Schinbeckler said work on curriculum dominates the week.

“The curriculum materials that they use in the classroom to do their lessons,” Schinbeckler said. “They will collaborate with other teachers from across the district. This gives them an opportunity to do that instead of just the ones in their school building. They will develop what we call a scope and sequence, which is like a pacing guide for the school year. What units are they going to cover during what time period?”

A major focus this week has been the new math curriculum which goes into effect this fall. The sessions have allowed teachers to get more familiar with the next textbooks and work with other teachers on planning. Schinbeckler said sessions have also included emotional wellness work and training on human trafficking.

“We offer all of these sessions each day and teachers, do they get to look at the schedule and they actually choose and sign up for the sessions they’re interested in or the ones they think are relevant for them that would help them improve,” Schinbeckler said. “And so they do get to choose what sessions they attend for the week.”

Schinbeckler said teachers are required, per state law, to have 30 hours of training each year, and many of those choose to do those hours in the summer. This year’s session moved to July, in part, because of teacher feedback. Schinbeckler said it turned out to be a blessing because so many more teachers had to participate in summer school this year because of the third grade reading rules.

In that way, this week serves as a sort of warmup for the school year.

“I think teachers do know that coming back to training this week and then one more week and school starts back,” Schinbeckler said. “So I think it’s kind of them getting in the groove again and preparing their lessons and material for school to start back.”

It also gives teachers the chance to collaborate with their peers. Schinbeckler said that is very important to the systems and its goals of educating students.

Schinbeckler said attendance this year has been great for the sessions that continue through Friday.


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