Supporting Norman Public School’s goal of improving educator practice that positively impacts student learning and teacher retention, Learning Forward Oklahoma and Norman Public Schools have partnered to provide professional learning to 21 first-year, emergency certified teachers. Known as BASE Camp, Building and Supporting Educators, teachers of grades 4-12 attend one day each month, October through February, to work collaboratively with LFOK President, Suzie Smith, Norman Public Schools’ Executive Director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, Beth Albert, and District Teacher Support Specialists. BASE Camp utilizes a blended model where participants engage in both face-to-face and online collaborative learning.
Building on the importance of creating relationships, the first session included teachers exploring strategies to learn about their students, families, school, and district. This was followed by establishing methods of communication; identifying instructional resources, data, and demographics relevant to their classroom; and establishing classroom rules and procedures. One participant reflected, “This helped me to better understand my students. Because I have been in the classroom for nine weeks, I felt I knew my students, but this helped me to see them in a greater light. It helped me to see how I needed to be more open to adjusting my lessons when they go awry. It helped me to see how I can be kinder to my students, and more understanding of why they act the way they do, and how they learn.”
Future sessions focus on understanding and creating assessments to measure and inform student learning and lesson planning, designing instruction for student learning, and implementing and analyzing instruction. BASE Camp concludes with teachers demonstrating their learning and celebrating their success!
Norman Public Schools is able to provide this professional learning opportunity to teachers using Title II-A funds.