Posted : 13 October 2016
By Liz Bell, EdNC Researcher & Reporter
The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program (NC NTSP) hosted an institute for almost 200 first-year teachers throughout the state in Raleigh September 30-October 2. Instructional coaches from different regions of the state put on workshops to share effective teaching strategies and practices with participants.
The institute is one of two that the program coordinates each year as part of an effort to support teachers in their first three years in the classroom.
“The idea is, what can we do in classrooms to enhance instruction?,” said Jerad Crave, an instructional coach in the Western Carolina University region.
Workshop topics varied from specific topics, like how to teach exceptional children in general education classrooms, to broader themes, like how to establish authentic relationships with students.
The coaches used methods as they taught techniques that the teachers could go back and replicate. In “Establish Authentic Relationships with Your Students,” Mark Meacham from the UNC-Greensboro region had teachers pull out an object from their purse, pocket, or bag that was meaningful to them. The “pocket activity,” he said, is an easy way to begin to build a connection with a student.
In “Create Student-Centered Classrooms: Voice & Choice,” Jennifer Beck (WCU region), Tierney Fairchild (UNC-Charlotte), and LaTonya Gaines-Montgomery (UNCC), had teachers participate in a socratic seminar — a type of open discussion that can work to explore topics for all age groups.
Peter Hasselberg, a teacher in his first year at Southern Vance High School in Henderson, has been struggling in his first few weeks of teaching.
“Some of my freshman students are really hard to reach and they’re not motivated,” Hasselberg said. The authentic relationship-building workshop, he said, gave him some useful ideas.