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Bayfield teachers play the role of students to grow expertise

Instructors from all four schools spent one morning gaining knowledge on various topics
Bayfield School District teachers participated in a “Teacher Academy” last month to play the role of students and educate themselves on how to become better instructors in certain areas. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Bayfield School District teachers spent a recent Friday morning educating themselves to help them become better instructors in certain areas.

While students had the day off on Feb. 23, educators took a break from teaching and played the role of their fellow students for the district’s latest “Teacher Academy,” according to a news release on the district’s website.

The Teacher Academy offered three different learning sessions in each of the four schools, where teachers leaned on colleagues’ expertise and district resources to help better themselves when classes resume.

At Bayfield Primary School, teachers learned about topics such as working through math problems in an abstract way, as well as using “backward design strategies and templates” to meet all language arts students’ learning needs.

At Bayfield Intermediate School, teachers learned about troubleshooting for when students encounter issues when using their school-issued laptops, teaching social skills via specific classroom games and how to best utilize Google Drive on laptops.

At Bayfield Middle School, some teachers took part in a mentor training program that addressed challenges they are facing as educators. Others were introduced to ChatGPT and other forms of artificial intelligence, learning how to apply that technology to the classroom.

At Bayfield High School, teachers learned how to operate screens and microphones and other features at the Performing Arts Center Auditorium and where to store them so they can be self-sufficient while using that building. They also learned how writing by hand can teach “patience and resilience” on top of helping students build literacy and cognitive skills.

Teachers then filled out a survey and offered feedback about the sessions they sat in on, as well as topic ideas for future sessions.


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