Letter from the president

Dear Fellow Oklahoma Educators,

Welcome to 2019! We at LFOK hope your year is off to a fun and productive start!

When I last wrote, our team had established our state affiliate with the mission of building the capacity of Oklahoma educators to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning so that every student achieves. Our purpose is to promote effective professional learning practices, provide current information relating to the needs and concerns of professional learning leaders, provide opportunities for professional learning that are collaborative, and expand opportunities for professional learning leaders. Much has happened regarding those goals, and I am excited to share those with you!

In December, to continue our own learning and growth, many members of LFOK’s board attended Learning Forward’s annual conference in Dallas. We met passionate educators from across the globe working to better professional learning for their teachers and leaders. Topics included coaching programs, mentoring new teachers, evaluating professional learning, designing effective professional learning, and much more! We look forward to sharing this information with you!

One of our board members, Dr. Katy Ackley, also shared some of her research insights in her first blog, “Building Trust and Efficacy through Critical Friends Groups: Insights for School and Teacher Leaders.” In it she states, “Two ongoing challenges that schools face, particularly urban schools, are finding ways to develop and retain quality teachers and contribute to student academic success. There are claims that collaborative structures for teacher development (think, Professional Learning Communities) can nurture teacher learning and job satisfaction. . .” To read and learn more, click here.

To assist in building the capacity of our teachers, LFOK is hosting a week-long training session known as BASE Camp to better equip those who have undergone emergency and alternative certification. BASE Camp, which stands for Building And Supporting Educators, will take place July 8-12 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Norman High School, located at 911 West Main Street in Norman, Oklahoma. If you’re an aspiring teacher, join us as we dive into understanding the teaching context; utilizing formative and summative assessments; designing, implementing, and analyzing instruction for student learning; and demonstrating newly acquired skills. Click here for enrollment information.

We are also excited to provide an opportunity for professional learning leaders across the state focusing on Learning Forward’s professional learning standards, collaboration, and leadership development. Watch our events page for more details!

Just after the new year, LFOK joined Learning Forward and several national organizations in signing a letter to House and Senate leaders in support of Fiscal Year 2020 funding for Title II-A, the federal program that provides $2 billion annually to support professional learning for K-12 educators. Advocating for Oklahoma’s educators is an important part of who we are. We will keep you posted as funding and resources are allocated.

So, now LFOK looks to the future and to you! We invite you to join us and gain a network of educators sharing expertise, resources, and support; participate in local, state, and national professional learning events with recognized leaders in professional learning and education change; receive early notification of professional learning opportunities; and strengthen your own knowledge, skills, and strategies for effective professional learning.

I, and all of us and LFOK, look forward to working together for the teachers, leaders, and students in Oklahoma!


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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