- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1660679
- First Name Patrick
- Last Name McGuire
- Institution University of Colorado Colorado Springs
- Role/Position Principal Investigator
- Workshop Category Track 1: Scholarships and Stipends
- Workshop Disciplines Audience Biological
- Target Audience Project PIs / Co-PIs / Other Faculty/Staff, School and District Administrators, Undergraduate and/or Graduate Noyce Scholars
- Topics Mutually Beneficial Partnerships with High-Need Schools and Districts
- Session Length 30 minutes
1. Session attendees will learn how the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Noyce program leverages relationships with three experienced in-service STEM teachers from three different partner LEAs to support Noyce scholars. Information regarding the selection and coaching of the in-service teachers will be provided.
2. Session attendees will be oriented to our Professional Learning Community (PLC) model, specific topics (based on the current realities of teaching), and resources available in a shared Google Drive. The PLC model and associated resources are co-designed and facilitated by three experienced in-service teachers. PLCs are held monthly and are up to 2 hours in length.
3. Session attendees will discuss ways they can leverage relationships with in-service teachers affiliated with their teacher preparation program to support Noyce scholars. They will consider similar PLC topics or frameworks that can be implemented at their university to engage more in-service teachers in their Noyce program.
Despite the fact that most teacher preparation programs work with in-service teachers to provide mentoring for pre-service candidates, this collaboration is often limited in nature, with in-service teachers working in relative isolation as mentors for one or two undergraduate teacher candidates per year. As Grundoff and colleagues suggest, in-service mentor teachers are unfortunately viewed more as “providers of classrooms for students to teach in” (Grundoff, 2011, p. 231) versus true collaborative partners with a voice in the program courses, activities, and assessments (Hagger & McIntyre, 2006; Mason, 2013; Sewell, Cody, Weir, & Hansen, 2017). In effect, the traditional one-on-one mentor role reserved for in-service teachers minimizes their ability to have a broader impact on teacher preparation programs as a whole and prevents “boundary crossing” between K-12 classrooms and university-based activities (Akkerman & Bruining, 2016). In this session, we describe how we are are working together with partner LEAs to strategically expand the role of in-service STEM teachers within the UCCS Noyce Program. Through the creation of a mutually beneficial partnership between in-service teachers and university faculty situated in a PLC model, we are able to provide our Noyce scholars with learning opportunities and expose them to the realities (including both positives and negatives) of teaching in high needs school districts.
What better way to expose your Noyce scholars to the realities (both positive and negative) of teaching in high needs learning environments than to involve experienced in-service teachers in this process? In this interactive workshop we will provide an overview of an innovative Professional Learning Community (PLC) model led by in-service teachers from our partner LEAs. Over the first two years of our Noyce program we have worked closely with three experienced in-service STEM teachers from three high needs partner districts to co-design and deliver PLCs to our Noyce scholars based on real time topics. Sample PLCs topics, selected by Noyce scholars in conjunction with mentor teachers, include: classroom management, parent interactions, stress management, Teaching Students with Poverty in Mind (book study), and long term lesson planning. Monthly PLCs are held at the university and at high-needs partner school districts on a rotating basis. This rotation provides Noyce scholars an opportunity to experience a variety of local contexts and engage with in-service STEM teachers, staff, and administrators. In addition to providing an overview of the PLC model, we will discuss the benefits of working together in tandem with in-service STEM teachers from our partner LEAs. We will share and model a sample PLC activity and provide all attendees with a link to the Google Drive infrastructure that includes all of the PLC content from our Noyce program. To conclude, we will discuss the advantages of this mutually beneficial PLC framework, associated challenges and limitations, and recommendations for other Noyce programs.