Program Highlights

Mills Teacher Scholars News – Spring 2013

Program Highlights

Spring 2013 has been an exciting time for Mills Teacher Scholars. The following are some of our recent highlights:

Mills Teacher Scholars at AERA
Dina Moskowitz presented her inquiry “Reading for Pleasure?” at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Program Associate Aija Simmons presented her work on peer writing conferences. Anna Richert, Carrie Wilson, and Claire Bove, the Faculty Director, Executive Director, and Associate Director of Mills Teacher Scholars, presented a paper on teachers’ meaning making process through collaborative analysis of student work data.

Teacher Scholar Claire Shorall wins OUSD Region 3 award
Text from the OUSD Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony…
Shorall uses various instructional strategies to make biology come alive for her students, from interpretive dances to show the process of meiosis to Socratic seminars exploring what part of the cell Beyonce is most like and why.  She cares deeply about science education and has taken leadership in the Castlemont science department, facilitating inquiry cycles exploring how to increase accountable academic talk for students in the science classroom.  Furthermore, Shorall has coordinated summer programming for students for the past two years, working to connect students to fully funded opportunities such as Smith College Science & Engineering Program and the prestigious Summer Science Program in astronomy, physics and calculus in New Mexico.  Shorall is vivacious, dedicated and enthusiastic member of the Castlemont team, in and outside of the classroom.

PacTIN continuation grant awarded to Rosa Parks Teacher Scholars
Rosa Parks teacher scholars were awarded a continuation grant from the Pacific Coast teacher Innovation Network to fund, among other things, a transition year where teacher scholar leaders will take over the facilitation of the site’s Mills Teacher Scholar meetings.

Roosevelt school board presentation
From the San Leandro School Board meeting highlights:
In March the Board of Education enjoyed a presentation from the Mills Teachers Scholars Coordinator Claire Bove, Roosevelt Principal Victoria Forrester and teacher scholar leaders Wendy Papciak, Kenny Moy and Cynthia Epps on this outstanding program now in its fourth year at Roosevelt.  Ms. Bove shared some of the history of the program, which supports teachers’ professional development through facilitating teacher-led investigations of teaching and learning. Through collaboration and inquiry, Mills Teachers Scholars have an opportunity to reflect upon their work, share their best practices, and implement changes to their teaching based on these observations and discussions. Teachers meet monthly to discuss their area of focus with their colleagues and to systematically study the data that they collect to answer their questions, including classroom video data, student work, student interview data, and observational data.

Principal Forrester said, “In the first year, I hoped for four teachers and twelve signed up.  Since its inception, all but two of our teachers have participated in the Mills Teachers Scholars Program. Every subgroup has made double digit gains.”

Teacher Wendy Papciak appreciates the program for helping teachers feel connected, less isolated, in their work and how it supports her TARI and Studio Habits of the Mind work. Teacher Kenny Moy echoed this, by saying the program “give teachers extended time to sit down and talk about issues that are affecting students and classrooms…it’s like grad school, but you can apply what you learn [in the classroom] the very next day.”

Teacher Cynthia Epps noted that her focus last year was to look at various strategies to help students with math, and said that the program is “teacher led, teacher inspired” which leads to its great success.