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Summer Institute Hosted at Wesley College

Huttie and Nicole Pennypacker

Wesley College’s Department of Educational Studies and Teacher Licensure hosted a Summer Institute on August 10-11th on campus. More than 50 educators participated in the two-day federal grant-funded event. Attendees included Wesley College student teachers, education faculty, and alumni, as well as members from Wesley’s K-12 partner school districts.

The goal of the Summer Institute was to bring together student teachers, cooperating teachers, and college supervisors to form a learning community with the Wesley College education faculty. In addition to learning expectations for the student teaching field experience, the Institute also focused on bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Curriculum, instruction, planning, student engagement, and professionalism were the focus of several sessions. Attendees also participated in ice-breakers and various experiential learning activities which they could utilize in their classrooms to promote problem-solving, listening, and collaboration skills.

The two-day event also included an introduction to the Education Department’s low ropes course and outdoor classroom. This course is designed to help groups learn how to communicate, cooperate, and challenge themselves in a safe and fun atmosphere while participating in activities such as the Team Triangle, A-frame, Whale Watch, TP Shuffle, and Mohawk Walk. Participants were invited to return to the low ropes course with their classrooms and colleagues to experience the team building activities.

“We were very glad that we were able to share the Low Ropes Course with our school district partners,” said Grant Director and PE K-12 Teacher Education Program Director Dr. Patricia Sherblom. “The experiences in problem-solving, team building and leadership are great fun for people of all ages and physical ability, and they offer a wonderful variety of applications to teachers, teams and other groups.”

“I got a lot of great ideas to take back to class to implement with students,” said Capital School District Fairview Elementary teacher Rhonda Turner.

The Summer Institute was developed and facilitated by a joint team from Wesley College and Capital School District. Wesley College education faculty and staff were Dr. Marcia Lawton, Dr. Tina Mitchell, Dr. Patricia Sherblom, Mandi Tierney, Colette Wheatley and Dr. Jamie Whitman-Smithe. Capital School District faculty and staff were Sandi Begor, Kristin Brown-Massey, Kim Burrows, Pam Herrera, Alexis Huttie, Tina Metcalfe, Gene Montaño, Lindsay Powell-Conley, and Turner.

“I appreciated the relaxed but professional feel of the Institute,” Capital School District South Elementary School teacher Huttie. “It was a great two days of learning and fun!”

The 2017 Summer Institute was sponsored by the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant: Bridging the Professional Development Gap (USDOE grant #U336S40040).

To view more pictures of this event visit Wesley’s flickr page.