Letter from the president

Dear Fellow Oklahoma Educators,

Hello! As I write this, I’m hoping you all are healthy, safe, and finding your way through this strange time in our world, nation, state, and in education. While it has caused a variety of emotions, it has been impressive to see the resilience of our students, teachers, and administrators. Every person associated with the classroom, every role in the district, every student and citizen has risen to the occasion to ensure our students have had access to education, food, and support. Each of us working to take care of each other instills hope, and I feel positive we will come out stronger and better when this is over!

In the meantime, our board has been busy preparing for a new academic year, and we have so much to share!

Professional Learning Opportunities: We are excited to provide the following professional learning opportunities for site and district leadership: *

  • Mentor Development: Led by a Learning Forward Oklahoma (LFOK) facilitator, teachers and leaders gain knowledge, skills, and resources to develop effective mentoring relationships with novice teachers that result in teacher growth and an improved student experience. Mentors learn strategies to assess practice and provide meaningful feedback to teachers, with the goal of supporting teachers to create and sustain classrooms that address the needs of every learner and foster continuous academic, social, and emotional growth.  LFOK’s Mentor Development Series is designed to engage current and prospective mentors in interactive, practice-based learning, that supports their development in providing the adaptive teacher support needed to ensure student success.
  • Aligning Professional Learning to Your District’s Vision and Mission: Working with a select team of your teachers and leaders, participants will take a deep dive into Learning Forward’s professional learning standards, create a professional learning mission statement aligned to the district’s vision and mission, and articulate a strategic plan containing action steps, milestones, and responsibilities.

We are equally excited to provide the following for teachers:

  • BASE Camp – Building And Supporting Educators: Working in partnership with district leadership, LFOK provides a 5-day, rigorous learning experience aligned to the PPAT certification.  This includes understanding the teaching context, understanding assessments to measure and inform student learning and lesson planning, designing instruction for student learning, implementing and analyzing instruction, demonstrating learning, and celebrating participant’s accomplishments. Intended Audience: Teachers seeking alternative methods of certification and new teachers.
  • Understanding Your Teaching Context: Led by an experienced LFOK facilitator, participants will gain information on their teaching context by exploring district demographic data, identifying resources, reviewing stages of child development, gaining an awareness of learning styles. Intended Audience: Teachers seeking alternative methods of certification and new teachers.
  • The First Days of School: Led by an experienced LFOK facilitator, participants will prepare for the first days of schools by defining classroom rules and procedures, establishing student and family communication, and creating student interest surveys. Intended Audience: Teachers seeking alternative methods of certification and new teachers.
  • Understanding Standards, Objectives, and How to Assess: Led by an experienced LFOK facilitator, participants will take a deep dive into Oklahoma Academic Standards, learning objectives, and appropriate assessments. Intended Audience: Teachers seeking alternative methods of certification and new teachers.
  • How Do I Know What They Know? Led by an experienced LFOK facilitator, participants will gain an awareness of a variety of formative assessment strategies and identify appropriate strategies in lesson planning. Intended Audience: Teachers seeking alternative methods of certification and new teachers.
  • We All Learn a Little Different: Led by an experienced LFOK facilitator, participants will identify a variety of differentiation strategies and create a lesson plan that meets a variety of learner needs. Intended Audience: All teachers.
  • Deep Dive Into Lesson Planning: Led by an experienced LFOK facilitator, participants will identify the necessary components of an effective lesson plan and create a detailed lesson plan that identifies 1) learning goals and prior knowledge, 2) instructional strategies, and 3) lesson activities that monitor for student learning during the course of the lesson. Intended Audience: All teachers

In addition, our networking meetings for districts and professional learning providers continue to evolve, and we were excited to review the successes and challenges presented in February and begin planning for 2021. There will be more to come, and we will be sharing as plans solidify. Stay tuned!

If your district is interested, please reach out by emailing learningforwardok@gmail.com.

Advocacy:

Our partnership with Learning Forward continues to focus on advocacy for education funding. For more on the latest, please visit https://learningforward.org/advocacy/.

Looking Forward:

Finally, beginning July 1, Susan Pinson will begin serving as Learning Forward Oklahoma’s new president. It’s been wonderful getting to know and work closely with such a kind, professional, and caring educator, and I’m excited for our organization as she takes the lead.

Thanks to all who have been so supportive of me and Learning Forward Oklahoma as we launched this important and necessary organization. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity to serve.

Sincerely,

Suzie Smith, President Learning Forward Oklahoma

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt

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