Bloomfield Teacher Academy

Professional Development for teachers is a unique challenge for Districts today. Just when teachers are expected to be present in the classroom, we are compelled to remove teachers from their classrooms to conduct training. Sometimes this is unavoidable, as with some new academic programs and District initiative that require lots of concentrated time and multiple, consecutive days of pull-out training.

Technology in K-12 education is somewhat unique. Advances in K-12 pedagogy are sometimes marked by the need for massive pull-out training, but most advances in educational technology are incremental, small, quick to learn, or easy to experience. The nature of technology in schools is more like consumer technology, which is relatively easy to master, as compared to years past. To become familiar with these incremental changes and advances, teachers do not need days of pull-out training. They can learn small tricks and tips that can have an enormous impact on their instruction. Moreover, they can learn massive new systems, such as Google Apps For Education, in small bites, learning a little bit at a time, incorporating what they learn in their teaching, as they progress.

It is also an arguable point --perhaps ultimately unable to be proven, but nevertheless consistent with the experience of many educators-- that some teachers learn quickly, and adopt effective new strategies to support their existing curricula, particularly with regard to new Technology, very quickly. Their adoption and enthusiasm is infectious, or can possibly be infectious, if they are allowed to share their experience and excitement with their colleagues.

It is precisely to afford these 'early adopters' a forum for sharing what works best in implementing their assigned curriculum  --and integrate educational technology-- that the Bloomfield Teacher's Academy invites teachers to submit for approval courses that they will teach to their colleagues. The courses can be multi-hour, or single hour, meet over the course of many days, or just one, and cover instructional techniques that are most relevant to their colleagues. 

Below are guidelines governing the Academy. These guidelines are subject to revision, but basically invite and welcome participation in an on-going model for PD, particularly in, but not restricted to, Technology:
  1. The Academy is only for faculty and staff of Bloomfield School District
  2. The Academy is not for CEU credit, unless specifically noted in the Course Title or Description.
  3. Unless otherwise noted in the course title or description, teachers who attend all the scheduled hours of an approved class receive compensation at the contractual rate. Instructors are compensated at the same rate, including one hour of preparation for every three hours of instruction. 
  4. Each term there will be a date by which courses have to be offered or proposed.
  5. Competent teachers may propose courses, but all classes must be approved by the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, or authorized administrator, by the stipulated deadline for submission of courses for the term.
  6. Teachers may propose courses to teach at the page for Courses Offered. (This renders the list of courses with a Preview Pane.) It is the teacher's responsibility to make sure that the rooms or location where the course is to be offered are available on the dates and times indicated for the course.
  7. To register to take approved courses, teachers must log into the SharePoint and register on the for Registration page as themselves for the specific classes. 
  8. While every effort is made to ensure that a course offered by a teacher, approved by administration, and posted for registration will be conducted, there is no guarantee that any particular course will be offered. Registrants will be notified of any change in the status of the course.
  9. If a particular class fails to meet necessary minimum enrollment, or has to be canceled for other reasons, the teacher responsible for the course will be notified and the 'Posting' for that class will be noted with the change (i.e., either "Course Cancelled" or "Maximum Enrollment Met").
  10. Instructors of approved classes will receive class lists via email. It is the instructor's responsibility to contact their teacher-students, confirm the course session, and notify them of any preparations that they need to make in order to  complete the requirements of the course.
  11. It is the instructor's responsibility to ensure that all teachers sign the Attendance sheet, stay for the full course, and complete all assignments. 
  12. All teachers who attend and complete an approved course must submit a course evaluation.
  13. Based on needs of availability, specific content, or logistics, including available funds (as determined by the District), both course offerings and teacher registrations can be restricted, up and until BOE approval of rosters for courses each semester.

It is always the presumption of the School District that all participants in the Bloomfield Teacher Academy will behave professionally, make every effort to learn thoroughly, and abide by all relevant Board doctrines and regulations.

Access the September 2017 Tech News Bulletin.

(Revised June, 2017.)