Resident Spotlight: Caitlin Rich

Caitlin Rich works with a student during a math lesson

Caitlin Rich works with a student during a math lesson

Despite feeling under the weather, Cohort four Resident Caitlin Rich was able to manage her classroom and go with the flow when I visited her last week. Working with multiple strategies to manage her classroom of third-graders, this soon-to-be teacher had her students using their own multiple strategies to solve tough division problems.

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Resident Spotlight: German Moreno

 

German Moreno discusses Charlotte's Web with a student

German Moreno discusses Charlotte’s Web with a student

German Moreno moved across the country and changed gears entirely when he applied to the Seattle Teacher Residency. I sat in while this east coast native gave some one-on-one time to a student to dive deeper into a childhood favorite, Charlotte’s Web. 

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STR Graduate Spotlight: Jen Paris, Cohort Two

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Visiting Jen Paris’s special education classroom brought encounters with robots, smiles, and a lot of great learning at TOPS K-8.

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Induction Matters: Winter 2017

Grads, Happy NGina La Porta Rollerew Year to you all!  I trust that your winter break was restful, peaceful and rejuvenating.  I know that for me, taking a step away from the daily demands of work and life at the end of December helps to build me up for the winter ahead.  I gain clarity about things that really matter about which I strive to learn, attain or grow into.  I wish that for all of you during the stretch from January through March, and hope to cross paths with many of you in the winter months to come.  The fact that you have made it this far in the year positions you exceedingly well!

Fall of 2016 was an experience unlike any other.  We launched a third cohort of STR graduates into the teaching profession, grew our STR program, and collectively and individually experienced an unprecedented national election.   Throughout this time, the Induction program of STR held three Mindfulness sessions, a Working in Schools Problem of Practice session, two math labs (one for primary teachers and one for intermediate teachers), individual induction visits for every Cohort 3 graduate, and two lively Happy Hours!

Our fall Induction offerings were a fantastic success.  Over 51 spots were filled in the various sessions. Returning to the demands of our classrooms in January requires us to be patient and compassionate with our students, ourselves, and each other and to be as prepared as best we can be.  Please join us for some, any or all of the Induction events to kick off 2017!  See below for the winter schedule of offerings.  If we’ve already shared these experiences with you, keep coming.  If we haven’t seen you yet, it’s never too late to start!

 

Mindfulness Mondays, all from 5 – 7 p.m., location TBD

  • Monday, January 23
  • Monday, February 13
  • Monday, March 13

Our mindfulness work with Corinna Skildum and a very loyal group of grads from each cohort, has taught me something very simple:  There is power in mindfulness.  I am grateful that we will continue to work monthly with Corinna during Mindfulness Mondays this winter as a means of helping us live well amidst the many challenges and experiences we face, so that we and our students can benefit.  I encourage you to join us, whether you are feeling fine, just managing, or really struggling.  It’s been an honor to become more mindful alongside grads, and I hope our group grows.

“It is always so hard to get to these evenings (after a long day of school), but once I do I’m so glad and I feel so energized by the time I leave!”  – Participant of all three fall mindfulness sessions

Please read this article about the benefits of mindfulness for teachers.

 

Working in Schools, Problem of Practice from 5 – 7 p.m., location TBD

Monday, February 27

Grads across the cohorts shared problems of practice with one another under the guidance of Chris, Anita and Elizabeth, and then received open-hearted responses, advice, and jaw-dropping wisdom from one another.  This was an absolute highlight of the fall, so we’re doing another one!

“It was nice to get a chance to hear what other teacher’s struggles are, to be able to provide others with resources and remember that each of us are valuable resources to each other (and that I at least have some things figured out…) and to hear ideas from others and be validated in the things I am already trying/doing.  It was nice to have a small group, it felt intimate and relaxed, and of course thank you for the food.”  –Anna Witte, participant of the Problem of Practice Session

 

Classroom Management, from 5 – 7 p.m., location TBD  *new this winter*

Monday, January 30

Join Marie Fisher and other grads where we’ll share problems of our classroom management practice with one another and help each other work through the one (or two) issues you can’t quite resolve on your own (and shouldn’t have to).

 

Learning Rotations

Be on the lookout for a Google spreadsheet this month asking you to briefly describe your classroom context.  The steps are easy: If you choose to participate, you’ll clear it with your principal first, then you’ll HOST a fellow grad one day and you’ll VISIT a grad on another day.   This will be a 2-day experience (one for hosting and one for visiting, and subs will be provided by STR.)

 

Grade Level Planning Groups

Using information from your beginning-of-year surveys, I’ll connect you to one another for optional grade level planning groups.  There is great power and comfort in thinking and planning together!

 

Induction Calendar

Below, you’ll see a link to the Induction Calendar for winter/spring that hold offerings by STAR Mentors, the SPS District, and STR in order to help you stay informed and updated with information.  Please bookmark this to your computer (if you haven’t already) so that you can always have the most up-to-date information.

For Winter/Spring of 2017.

 

STR Alumni Happy Hour

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, January 31, from 4:00-6:00pm, for our next Alumni Happy Hour!  There is no school the following day as it is the day between semesters.  Come and mingle and catch up with your old cohort and make some connections across the growing STR alumni community.  Location TBD.

As you can see, there are again multiple ways to stay connected to STR, your instructors, and to one another.  The aim is to meet various needs and interests.  If you don’t see an opportunity you are interested in, please let me know—that’s how the math labs came about!  As always, you won’t be able to attend each session, so choose what will feed you, give you energy and/or raise the level of your practice.   If you are interested in attending any of the offerings above, or would like more information, please email me at: gina@seattleteacherresidency.org to reserve your spot on the open participant lists.

Resident Spotlight: Bethany Cooper

Cohort Four Resident Bethany Cooper works with a kindergarten student

Cohort Four Resident Bethany Cooper works with a kindergarten student

Teaching mathematical concepts, negotiating the rules of sharing, and assisting with tape disasters — Cohort Four Resident Bethany Cooper does it all. In just 30 minutes in her placement kindergarten classroom, I (your friendly blog moderator) was exhausted, but Bethany managed her students like a seasoned veteran. We caught up with this Seattle native before the winter break.

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Resident Spotlight: Caitlin Sears Curry

Caitlin Curry works with first graders on a literacy lesson.

Caitlin Sears Curry works with first graders on a literacy lesson.

A washington native hailing from the Tri-Cities, Caitlin Sears Curry loves working with kids and getting them excited about learning. We met up with her while she worked with a small group of students on a literacy lesson.

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Mentor PD – Mentoring Moves

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Seattle Teacher Residency places a large emphasis on the professional development of its Mentor teachers in addition to the training of its Residents. Mentor Professional Development days, held once a month, are meant to give our Mentors concrete tools and strategies for supporting their Residents, as well as provide them with curriculum materials across program courses.  Mentor PD is planned and facilitated by Maggie Allen, STR Field Director, Sylvia Bagley, UW Faculty, and Marisa Bier, STR Program Director, along with other members of the STR instructional team who facilitate various segments related to program content.

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Resident Spotlight: Amber Jackson

Amber Jackson works with students on a literacy lesson

Amber Jackson works with students on a literacy lesson

When I caught up with Seattle-native Amber Jackson at Broadview Thomson K8, she was leading her classroom of kindergartners in a fun, interactive literacy lesson.

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Resident Spotlight: Deeqa Abdi

 

Deeqa Abdi works with students on a writing lesson

Deeqa Abdi works with students on a writing lesson

Somali-born Deeqa Abdi is passionate about making a difference in the community and the lives of her students. I caught up with her during a writing lesson at West Seattle Elementary.

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Resident Spotlight: Clay Dewey-Valentine

Clay Dewey Valentine, Cohort Four Resident, teaches a lesson on fractions to second graders at Broadview Thomson

Clay Dewey Valentine, Cohort Four Resident, teaches a lesson on fractions to third graders at Broadview Thomson

 

Meet Clay Dewey Valentine, Cohort Four Resident at Broadview Thomson K-8! Clay is spending his Residency year in a third grade classroom and was rooting for the Cubs during last weeks’ World Series. (more…)