|A Message from Dr. Reilly
Dear Teachers and Instructional Staff,
In early April, Marisol Diaz and I were invited to observe Tenille Wasek’s 3rd grade ESL class at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. Ms. Wasek was participating in the 3rd Grade Writing Residency that I was teaching. During the 90-minute class we observed greatness. Children were using appositives to introduce one another, modifying sentences by including subordinating clauses, and thinking about potential themes in the Jack in the Beanstalk stories they had been reading.
Great teaching. Great learning.
Similarly, I opened an email last week that included slides from Nicole Valmont’s 2nd grade class at Chancellor Ave. Elementary School. On the slides were examples of the teacher’s writing model and then the students’ independent work. These too were excellent as children were solidifying their knowledge of Shays’ Rebellion while also learning to use dependent clauses to expand their thinking and writing. Ms. Valmont participates in Heather Lieberman’s 2nd Grade Writing Residency. There are many teachers from these residencies I could have written about. These two are representative of the quality work all of these teachers are producing with their students.
Research is clear that choice matters, as does the quality of professional learning. In a REL report (2007), the researchers found that teachers who received substantial professional development—an average of 49 hours in the nine studies—boosted their students’ achievement by about 21 percentile points. Further what is learned during PD is critical too. In a meta-analysis (Hill, Lynch, Gonzalez, and Pollard Source, 2020) of research about STEM teachers’ professional learning, the authors found that these three factors were most significant in raising achievement:
- PD focused on new curriculum materials.
- Programs aimed at improving teachers’ knowledge of content, pedagogy, and/or how students learn.
- Programs that included meetings to troubleshoot and discuss classroom implementation of the program, same-school participation and collaboration, and/or summer workshops that allowed for concentrated learning time.
Investing in you represents the most significant method for improving academic outcomes for students. I know that does not surprise you. The paid residencies, which began as an experiment, will be continued because there is a clear benefit to both teachers and their students as evidenced by the quality of student work being produced in the classrooms of teachers who are in the residencies.
I am mentioning this today because I am excited to announce the paid summer residencies that are being offered across all content areas for May through August. I want to encourage you to review the offerings and to sign up. You can access the schedule through this link:
Most of the residencies will be held virtually.
Hill, H.C, Lynch, K., Gonzalez, K.E., and Pollard Source, C. (2020). “Professional development that improves STEM outcome.” The Phi Delta Kappan (101, 5, pp. 50-56). https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/26898130.pdf
Yoon, K. S., Duncan, T., Lee, S. W.-Y., Scarloss, B., & Shapley, K. (2007). Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2007–No. 033). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs