The Arkansas Teacher Corps came together on Saturday, February 12 for the third All Corps event of the 2021-22 school year, a day of professional development focused on our core value of brave vulnerability.
In honor of Valentines’ Day, fellows started the day with a team-building session in which they had to complete a scavenger hunt for different “love items,” such as a book that they had read more than once because they love it so much or a school supply that they could not live without. Then, they shared the items and significance with their colleagues in various breakout rooms, before we celebrated recent birthdays.
Our fellows then moved into content knowledge/pedagogy sessions led by ATC alumni. Fellows routinely tell us that this is one of the most valuable parts of our development as they love getting to work in content groups and get content-specific instruction. These were the highest rated parts of the day for All Corps 3 with an average score of 4.60 / 5.00 for both questions, “I learned something in this session that I can take back to my class on Monday” and “This session helped me grow as a facilitator of my content.”
After lunch, fellows actively engaged in a session designed to help them process some of the losses and unattained vision from this year. This year has been really difficult for schools and teachers with constant changes due to COVID and we wanted to give them some time to process that the year was not what they expected. We did several activities as a group to process our thoughts on change and loss. Finally, they wrapped up the session by returning to their classroom visions and refining their priorities for the remainder of the year. Fellows rated this session an average of 4.46 / 5.00.
Finally, we wrapped up the day with logistics and expectations for the spring semester. Overall, the day was a success, with fellows giving an average 4.44 / 5.00 to the question, “Today was beneficial to my development as a teacher and a fellow.”
While we have maintained an average score of 4.70 / 5.00 for fellows feeling that ATC creates a welcoming environment and providing the ongoing support, we have seen a drop in fellows’ average rating for feeling connected to 1-2 other fellows. This will continue to be a priority for us moving forward.