Fellows Focus on Equity, Lesson Planning at 2nd PD

On Saturday, November 12, Arkansas Teacher Corps fellows and staff met at Chicot Elementary in Little Rock for the second All Corps professional development of the 2022-23 year. 

We started our day with announcements and an energizing round of rock-paper-scissors, and the winner was awarded a coveted ATC trophy. Fellows then moved into the first in-person Equity session we’ve had in three years. Fellows grounded themselves in their community context and began considering their equity “whys”, or personal motivations for ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all students. Next, fellows transitioned into racial affinity spaces, where they reflected on the history of white supremacy and how it has impacted their lives and classrooms. Fellows were challenged to explore practices that help dismantle white supremacy tenets in their lives. 92% of fellows reported their satisfaction with the morning’s equity session and affinity space on the end-of-day survey.

After a delicious lunch from Star of India, fellows met in one of seven content groups (art, business, elementary, ELA, math, science, or social studies) based on the subject they currently teach. Content groups focused on topics such as English Language Learners, project-based learning, critical problem-solving, and more within the various content areas. 81% of fellows reported learning something they can use in their classroom Monday, and 73% of fellows reported growing as a facilitator of their content.

We ended our day with a rousing lesson planning competition, where each cohort of fellows were challenged to create the best TESS-aligned lesson plan possible in 20 minutes. The third-year cohort narrowly beat the second-year fellows with their aligned lesson in a close finish. 78% of fellows reported growing in their ability to develop strong lesson plans.

Throughout the day, fellows were encouraged to have fun while working and reflecting deeply. Overall, 89% of fellows felt that the day’s PD empowered them facilitate ATC’s mission of excellent, equitable education, and 86% felt they have the ongoing support from ATC they need to be successful.

Fellows will convene again on Saturday, February 11 for the third All Corps professional development.