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Staff members from UD's Southern Delaware Professional Development Center (SDPDC) recently participated in a workshop designed to help high school teachers in the Lake Forest School District review classroom management and curriculum mapping skills.
About 70 teachers attended the "Strategies That Any Teacher Can Use in Their Content Area" workshop held on April 25 at Lake Forest High School in Felton.
The SDPDC is located in the Carter Partnership Building on the campus of Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown. In partnership with the Delaware Department of Education, the center provides public school districts and charter schools with the services of experts in teaching specific content areas.
Programs also are offered at the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown, in close collaboration with the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center, the Delaware Center for Teacher Education and the Delaware Academy of School Leadership, all in the College of Human Services, Education and Public Policy. Programs also are offered on the Polytech School District campus in Woodside, south of Dover.
"We have developed a partnership with teachers and have been working with them all year in reading, math, sciences and social studies areas," said Tracy O. Hudson, SDPDC coordinator and literacy specialist. "We are a resource to make sure that the curriculum is aligned with state standards. We eventually hope to support student teaching for secondary educators."
The partnership between the SDPDC and school districts and teachers also includes supplying tools, training and support in four key curriculum areas, including literacy, science, social studies and mathematics, Molli M. Carter, secondary mathematics teaching specialist with the center, said.
"The morning session, which all the teachers attended as a group, previewed strategies on how to infuse reading into the content area," Carter said. "The problem is that some students may come to class with reading issues that would affect their ability to understand specific content in math, social studies and English."
Carter said SDPDC staffers help educators match state grade-level expectations standards in the four curriculum areas as required by the state by providing services that include data analysis and departmental and individual teacher support.
"This is a very hard-working group of teachers," Carter said. "They have a lot of work ahead of them and this is just day one. They have to have this plan developed by June."
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Eileen F. Wilkinson, a secondary social studies teaching specialist in the SDPDC, said that the teachers at Lake Forest are committed to improving instruction and serving the students in the district.
"It is a privilege to assist this dedicated group of professionals," Wilkinson said. "This reminds me that the Southern Delaware Professional Development Center has been a great addition to the educational community in Kent and Sussex counties."
Michael H. Buoni, secondary science teaching specialist with the center, said that the hardest part is finding enough time to set up such workshops.
"This workshop is done with support and learning experts from UD. We bring the teachers information that they just don't have the time to get on their own," Buoni said.
With new learning initiatives, the needs of teachers are changing all the time, Buoni said.
"Professional development needs to be ongoing," Buoni said. "We have the resources to help with this as a result of our experiences with teachers. This has been most rewarding to us and to the teachers we work with."