Professional development benefits teachers, students
Carlee FlaxMrs. Cheryl Rein is pictured working on her Linguistics course as part of her prep for the ESOL Praxis test.
RANSOM & BAZINE- Here at Western Plains teachers take much pride in seeing their students excel. This year teachers from the district have been participating in a series of Professional Development days to better their knowledge on what students necessities are.
This year’s series of Professional Development days are being focused on Linguistics. Many teachers of the district are working and taking a class to become ESOL (English as a Second Language) certified. They are doing this to be able to better serve our whole student demographic, and to be better teachers overall. This is also helping the teachers further their education. Throughout the school year the district’s administration has scheduled days where the teachers get together and learn.
Teacher Amy Schmidt stated, “Our administration does a really good job of scheduling PD days that are relevant, so they always help us stay up to date on new issues in education, staying current with new state policies or requirements, deal-
ing with various types of school incidents, etc. Basically, these days help us to be the best teachers and school we can be. Plus, they get all the teachers focused on the same topic, so everyone is in the loop, and having everyone in one place together often leads to really pertinent school- wide discussions.”
When asked how Linguistics would help herself as a teacher and principal Rhonda Heim quoted, “I hope what we are learning is that the Linguistics class is about more than teaching one population or one demographic. Linguistics is about language, learning about language, what language is, the history of language, and the best strategies for teaching language. It is about all the components that make up language and how different languages compare or are different from each other.”
This class has been very eye opening for lots of teachers especially for the second and third grade teacher Elizabeth Lund from the North Elementary. She exclaimed, “I think that learning and studying Linguistics has helped me realize just how my students feel. It has showed me that there is a process that most students/people fol- low when they are learning a language. That could be learning your first language, or learning your second language. Studying linguistics has been very eye opening for me, and has given me a ton of wonderful ideas to use in my classroom to help my students develop language!”
The teachers will be taking their tests to became ESOL certified in the spring. We commend all the hard work that teachers do to better the students of our school.