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Why is LT's Real World Professional Development Valuable?

Why is LT's Real World Professional Development Valuable?

Student learning needs are the focus of all professional development. However, today’s technologically savvy students are challenging educators to continuously improve their content and delivery to make it more relevant and cutting edge in order to retain the attention and engagement of their students. Technicolor raised the bar of qualities the audience expected in a good movie; similarly, the World Wide Web has raised the bar of what students expect in the classroom.

One of the important components of improving student performance today is through real world professional development that allows teachers to build relevant, cutting edge connections between their classroom curriculum and the world outside the classroom.

It is not just helpful if teachers are aware of skill sets needed to be successful in the world of work; it is critically imperative. Increasingly students are graduating with skill sets that are either obsolete or irrelevant to the dynamically and globally changing workplace. Business wants to help, as schools are preparing the future workforce, and through Leadership Teacher they are!

“LT is a wonderful experience to learn about what real world means and its connection to student learning. The networking alone (both of teachers from various grade levels and districts and business leaders) is valuable. You will be working with teachers and professionals who are open minded and like to hear new ideas.” –LT I 2008-09 Participant

One way to bridge this increasing gap of school outcomes versus business needs is to allow educators to step out of the classroom on a regular and sustained basis, build connections with their local business community and explore and reflect on skill sets being taught in the classroom and those actually needed by employers.

A school district that prioritizes building relevancy and cutting edge connections in the curriculum their educators teach serves two purposes—it empowers teachers to answer the age old question: “How is this relevant to anything I will ever do?” and it provides a conduit whereby teachers can tap into resources and support within their community that will add a boost of Technicolor to their curriculum.

What student can question the need to understand graphing when they hear how TeleAtlas is creating extraordinary maps for GPS devices? And, yes by the way, students can partner with TeleAtlas on classroom specific projects.

What student cannot be engaged when they hear how Timberland has brainstormed for two years to create a completely recyclable shoe to supplement their boot line and to address the growing global concern to stay competitive while reducing the footprints of the boots they build?

What student’s imagination cannot be stretched by hearing about the work that the International Trade and Resource Center does in connecting businesses with the global marketplace and helping better prepare them for the challenges inherent in doing business successfully in a culture other than the United States?

What students cannot be heartened when they hear about people running divisions of companies, or the company itself, who themselves were struggling students in the classroom once upon a time?

From the beginning of time, learning has happened through sharing stories and there are many rich stories to be shared among community business leaders and educators who also share the common goal of educating our future leaders. By participating in Leadership Teacher’s yearlong, one day a month professional development program (for which Plymouth State University offers up to 6 graduate credits) New Hampshire educators will have a reinforcing opportunity to network and build valuable and relevant connections, listen to new ideas, and learn about the advantages of real world education by stepping outside the four walls of the classroom and into the real world.

Setting high standards for what students need to know and be able to do when they complete their education takes place not only through the quality of our teachers but, in today’s global economy, through their connectedness to the world outside the classroom as well!

The focus of Leadership Teacher’s year long, high quality, real world professional development is:

• Teachers modeling continuous learning, not one time seminars
• Focus on improving classroom practice and increasing student achievement by developing real world, relevant, and cutting edge connections between curriculum and the world outside the classroom
• Monthly on-site session days that explore ways to embed real world applications and best practices from various industry in the daily work of teaching
• Activities centered on crucial teaching and learning activities that showcase critical skill sets students need in order to be competitive and prepared for the working world
• Activities that cultivate a culture of collegial support that involves sharing knowledge and experience in the same student improvement objectives across grade levels and content areas and throughout industry sectors
• Activities which are supported by modeling and coaching that teaches problem-solving techniques and leadership development
• Focus on improving student learning and reducing the gap between what is taught in the classroom and skill sets needed in the business world
• Reflection on teaching, investigating ideas on best practices, and questioning how particular practices work in best preparing students for career and educational goals
• Organized time for educators to reflect, dialogue and plan with colleagues across the educational pipeline (from kindergarten through 12th grade), across districts and with community business leaders from various industries
• Honing skill sets and exploring ways in which to be an effective teacher leader

Join the growing ranks of LT alum in NH by signing up online today for Leadership Teacher I 2009-2010 Real World Professional Development workshops!

Be part of this year's LT real world learning communities and explore collaboratively how best to Teach Real, Teach Different™.

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NEW TO LT? REGISTER NOW: For LT I 2010-2011, LT's Signature Real World Professional Development Workshop (Optional: Earn 6 Graduate Credits from PSU)
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NEW: Register Now for LT II's Competitive Community-Based Action Research Challenge for K-12 Educators--Prize Money and Optional 6 Grad Credits from PSU
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