Teachers Participate in Professional Development to Enhance the Educational Experience for Their Students

Today, faculty in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools participated in a variety of professional development opportunities. Ms. Melissa Benner, Montverde Academy’s Professional Development Coordinator, said, “Professional development for educators allows teachers to engage in collaboration and active learning from master teachers on campus. The experiences during professional development enable educators to build their instructional and management strategies to yield higher outcomes for students and their diverse needs. A blend of structured professional development and teacher choice allows teachers to develop based on their individual educator needs.”

Teachers were able to choose from the following professional development options:

Canvas (Learning Management System) Workshop by Ms. Melissa Benner – In this session, teachers dove into the features of Canvas that can be utilized to build efficiency in the classroom, boost student engagement, and increase communication. Canvas is the learning platform used by teachers at Montverde Academy as the digital hub for teaching and learning.

Google Docs (Tips, Tricks, and Hacks) by Ms. Cyndi Cunningham – With the unique features of Google Drive, educators and learners can create engaging digital artifacts requiring higher-order thinking. This workshop was an introduction to Google Slides and Google Docs where teachers explored the differences between Microsoft Office products and how they can support each platform used at MVA.

Making Self-Care a Priority: Avoiding Burnout by Mrs. Pat Kroll-Whiffen – While teachers
often manage their students’ wellbeing and the demands of their family and home life, self-care tends to be pushed aside. In this workshop, teachers took a moment to start thinking of ways to put themselves first. They walked away with practical ways to address and identify their physical and emotional health needs.

Nearpod for Pre-K through 5th Grade by Mrs. Saliesha Meder – In this session, teachers in the Lower School focused on using the Nearpod platform that provides real-time insights into student understanding through interactive lessons, videos, gamification, and activities — all in a single platform.

Social-Emotional Learning Sketchbook Prompts by Mrs. Kristy Tubbs – In this workshop, teachers learned how to use an SEL sketchbook or writing prompts to connect with students and how they may be feeling. Teaching upward of 100 students every day can make it challenging to connect with each student. Integrating SEL prompts is one way to build a routine and check in with students.

Virtual Reality by Dr. Caryn Long – In this session, Middle and Upper School teachers entered the
virtual world with Oculus VR and learned about the potential for its use in the classroom. They learned how to use the Oculus and how it can be cast to their computer or Newlines, applications for use in the classroom through the VR headset, and how to survive playing Beat Saber.