North Texas Daily

UNT helps teachers from surrounding schools

UNT helps teachers from surrounding schools

UNT helps teachers from surrounding schools
July 29
10:21 2013

Audra Stamp / Staff Writer

During the summer, UNT has been helping DFW schoolteachers in math and science to help further the teachers’ knowledge base in order to allow for a better and more interactive learning environment.

In the past few months, has helped about 20 teachers. With the Teacher Quality Grant, the Professional Development program worked with teachers in 8th grade science, algebra and geometry.

“It has a dual purpose,” said Colleen Eddy, program director. “Part of it is to build up their content knowledge related to the content that they’re teaching. The other part is that they get hands on experiences with activities and lessons they can take directly to the class room.”

Institutes are granted Teacher Quality Grants, for the subjects of math and science. The money is gathered from the larger Fort Worth, Dallas Extreme Science and Math Institute Grant funded by the Department of Education.

Eddy runs the mathematics portion of the program while Pamela Harrell runs the science program. Harrell has received the Teacher Quality Grant for the Professional Development program for almost a decade while Eddy has received it for the past 7 years.

The UNT Professional Development program works closely with schools within the DFW area. They choose new teachers, those who were alternately certified or those who took the exit exam, but don’t have a specific subject for their area of responsibility.

La Keisha Leonard, a UNT Education graduate, taught her first semester last spring at Hill Crest High School and will begin a full year this fall in algebra and geometry. Being a new teacher, she was excited to attend the conference and learned valuable information she will use in her class.

“As a first year teacher I just wanted to connect with other math teachers and to solidify my understanding of how to teach certain topics,” Leonard said.

The program includes an intensive schedule in the summer, made up of a math conference and three weeks of in-class learning. This section of the program is complete, but once the academic year starts the teachers will meet once a month.

Teachers will bring in videos or work where they’ve engaged with their class so they can talk more about the learning and understanding of the students, Eddy said.

The grant money is allocated towards staff as well as any materials that the teachers receive during the program to take back to the classroom. The teachers in the program pay no fee and some even receive graduate credit or a stipend if they remain throughout.

Teachers instructing the Professional Development program have noticed the excitement of the teachers.

“I heard a lot of ‘I can’t wait to do this with my students’ and ‘this is going to be so much better than what I have done before,’” said Sarah Pratt, Professional Development math teacher. “They seem eager to try new strategies and share with all of us hos it is going.”

While the summer portion is complete, the UNT staff will continued to help further the teaching skills and knowledge base of those teachers in the surrounding school districts for next year.

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