Education in a Changing World
BYU-PUBLIC SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP TEACHERS & ADMINISTRATORS
In a recent random survey we asked BYU–Public School Partnership teachers and administrators which Partnership initiatives or programs they had participated in that had affected their teaching. Responses produced the following data and comments.
BYU is always on the cutting edge of skills and techniques for teaching, and no matter what I’m involved with, the Partnership is knowledgeable and helpful with my teaching.
Some of the speakers I have been able to hear at Principals Academy have helped me change my focus from “Did I teach it?” to “Did they learn it?”
GIFTED AND TALENTED
I received my gifted and talented endorsement about 14 years ago. It did change my teaching—I always keep my gifted students in mind. I plan for and differentiate my instruction to meet the needs of those students. I know what to look for to help identify gifted students, and I know how to better address their needs, both academic and emotional. I have also become an advocate for gifted students, helping my peers to understand and meet their needs.
After attending the Associates Program I had new insights regarding the bigger picture of education. It motivated me to be an agent of change rather than a bystander who waited for others to make a change. It refired my passion for what I do each day.
READING AND WRITING
I keep up with the newest children’s books and share them with my class. I’m better at teaching the children how to use the features of nonfiction text to help them comprehend what they read. I’m more dedicated to having the children write every day, and I value the process as much as the product.
The Partnership allows teachers to gather and form new friendships and professional relationships with other teachers from several districts. As teachers with different perspectives and circumstances process and discuss the information, we develop a better understanding of the topics and ways they fit in our teaching.
I feel that having an understanding of simultaneous renewal has changed me the most. The stewardship I feel to partner with BYU in an effort to help our pre-service teachers come to us fully prepared has increased tremendously. Districts and the university need one another if we hope to positively affect the lives of young people in our communities.
ESL AND MATH
These classes have helped me to be a more effective teacher by being more aware of how ESL students learn and how math can be taught with understanding.
91% REPORTED THEIR TEACHING HAD CHANGED BECAUSE OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE FOLLOWING INITIATIVE OR PROGRAMS:
34% ASSOCIATES PROGRAM
12% PRINCIPALS ACADEMY
19% ARTS INITIATIVE
33% Comprehensive Math Instruction
12% INSTRUCTIONAL COACHING INITIATIVE
27% READING ENDORSEMENT
MCKAY SCHOOL FACULTY
In a recent random survey we asked McKay School faculty which Partnership initiatives or programs they had participated in that had affected their teaching. Responses produced the following data and comments.
WORKING WITH THE PARTNERSHIP keeps me connected to the current issues. It informs me of the unique culture and services of each Partnership district. I invite practicing educators to be guest speakers. I use current thinking and information in my courses. My research is easier and more meaningful to the practice. It expands my network.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE in the schools and school districts have become stronger, making it easier to do research that meets both our needs and their needs.
I HAVE A MORE INCLUSIVE understanding of what students need and of how to improve teacher practices. I have a broader understanding of issues schools are dealing with at this time. I know more about the student population and their academic statistics.
THE PARTNERSHIP HAS HAD a fundamental influence on our ability to create necessary materials and make needed connections for the TELL minor and the ESL endorsement. The TELL program would be greatly hampered without the Partnership providing leaders and facilitators for the program.
I REALLY DO NOT KNOW how we would do what we do in teacher education without the supporting structure of the Partnership. I trust that Partnership schools and districts are on the receiving as well as on the giving end.
80% REPORTED THEIR TEACHING HAD CHANGED BECAUSE OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE FOLLOWING INITIATIVE OR PROGRAMS:
64% COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH
45% STUDENT- TEACHER SUPERVISION
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION, AND THAT’S A FACT!
In the movie Apollo 13, the commander is charged with getting three stranded space pilots back to earth. The task seems impossible, but he pronounces, “Failure is not an option.” With this motivation the team works together to get the pilots back safely. Failure should not be an option for stranded pilots or for teachers responsible for guiding students toward academic success.
At the beginning of the year Jane had significant behavior problems that threatened her ability to succeed academically. She began the third grade behind, reading at an early second-grade level. On the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (SSBD) she was identified in Tier III (5% of students) with seven critical events, which included tantrums, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, suicidal thoughts, and effects of physical abuse. Using a nine-week assessment cycle and a tool developed in the McKay School for assessment for collaborative teams, the third-grade team designed several behavioral and academic interventions. By the end of the school year Jane’s behavior had improved significantly, moving her to Tier I (80% of students) with only one identified critical event. She finished the year reading at a seventh-grade level. For the third-grade team, failure was not an option.
—PAM HALLAM AND GARY WALL
THE PHYSICAL SCIENCE ACADEMY
IN 2012 EARTH SYSTEMS FACULTY members were asked to teach a ninth-grade course involving five or more disciplines. It was hard to find a well-prepared teacher. Test scores were low. Earth systems
pass rates had been falling each year from 2009 to 2011.
CREATE the Physical Science Academy through the BYU–Public School Partnership
FOCUS on content
HAVE BYU PROFESSORS who prepare secondary science teachers put together a team of instructors/experts in different disciplines who will teach their specialty
INVITE EXPERTS from Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Utah Valley University, and Energy Solutions to participate
CREATE A YEARLONG COURSE that is held once a month; target one or two concepts of the earth systems core each class period
BENEFIT TO THE TEACHERS
OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR from experts in the field
OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS with scientists and science teachers about current knowledge and research that can be applied in the classroom
RENEWED ENTHUSIASM about science and teaching
MORE CONFIDENT and enthusiastic teaching
IMPROVED STUDENT SCORES
2011—district proficiency pass rate of 72.5%
2012—with implementation of PSA, pass rate of 76.4%
MY HISTORY IN THE PARTNERSHIP
One educator shares the positive influence the BYU–Public School Partnership has had on her career and life.
KATHERINE RIDING JORDAN SCHOOL DISTRICT
TO BEGIN WITH, I was a student teacher in a Partnership school, which gave me the finishing expertise to be a better person and teacher.
As a teacher I enjoyed the opportunity of mentoring practicum students and student teachers. I was invited next to participate in the Associates Program as a teacher; here I realized there was a place where I could be a greater influence for children.
Then I served as the facilitator at a Partnership school and realized how great teachers can be.
I earned my gifted and talented endorsement and reading endorsement through the Partnership.
My opportunity to be a principal took me through the Principals Academy and has guided my career. I am now a principal at a Partnership school, and I love to see the energy and new thinking that gives my school fresh ideas. I have seen interns set a high standard and mentor some of my veteran teachers. Having extra hands in the classroom and giving teachers the opportunity to be mentors keep my faculty on the cutting edge.
Comprehensive Math Instruction (CMI) has been an incredible experience for my faculty. Our math score improved 29 percent over three years. Our faculty had the opportunity to visit a school in another district to see CMI best practices.
Having two interns who started with their Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification has supported our high numbers of English as a Second Language (ESL) students.
I have enjoyed the leadership our liaison provided for my facilitator and me. I am pleased to have the Partnership as a driving force in my career.