Teachers go back to school for a day

Collicot Elementary School teacher Cassi Driscoll participates in one of several exercises during the Milton public school district's Sept. 27 Professional Development Day.

(Photo by Elaine Cushman Carroll)

In the role reversal that happens several times each year, roughly 450 Milton educators took seats at student desks while their peers and other professionals taught them lessons about more than 80 topics including how to help students who have experienced trauma or are considering suicide.

They also delved into talks as varied as the neuroscience of learning, how to give students “brain breaks,” and new techniques for teaching vivid history lessons, civics, fractions, AP science, English language learners, or ensemble singing.

The district allows for three full-day and four half-days for staff professional development each year.

The Sept. 27 session called “Raising the Bar” drew educators from about 20 other districts as well and featured keynote speaker Dr. Kenneth Wesson of Delta Education.

At a session called “Sparking Creativity with STEM and Engineering,” Wesson said that the challenges of the future will need people who are adept at problem solving, critical thinking, and inventive thinking skills, rather than standardized thinking that has been taught for decades.

Wesson urged educators to create a “risk-free” environment in their classrooms that will allow students to feel safe. Students’ emotions, attention, learning. and memory all need to be connected to how information is integrated into the brain, he explained.

To read the rest of the story on teachers' Professional Development Day, go to miltontimes.com to subscribe or call 617-696-7758, ext. 101.

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