Walton Middle School English Language Arts (ELA) teachers are honored to partner again this school year with Christina Gonzalez of Instruction Partners in their professional learning. On Monday, October 7th, Ms. Gonzalez led teachers in a day of professional learning about improving productive engagement and academic discourse. Throughout the day, teachers learned powerful strategies for productive classroom discussions, participation protocols, and increased wait time, among other topics. Ms. Gonzalez also led the team to explore ways to disrupt possible barriers. The teachers formed small groups and listed potential challenges that impede productive engagement in the classroom, as well as viable solutions for overcoming them. The team also worked together to define what an ideal productively engaged ELA classroom looks like at WMS so teachers can have a unified vision of success. Ms. Gonzalez also built time into the day for teachers to develop "commitment cards" with their grade level partners regarding their vision, listing areas they'd like to strengthen, action steps they'd like to take, key learning that will help them enact changes, and support needed from the school's instructional coach Kristen Nelson. At the end of the day, planning partners dove right into planning a Springboard lesson that involved aspects of their new learning.
Christina Gonzalez will return for two more days of professional learning throughout the school year. WMS ELA teachers always welcome not only Mrs. Gonzalez's knowledge and expertise but also her compassion and understanding about the day-to-day life of a teacher. WMS extends many thanks to Instruction Partners for their continue commitment to help strengthen teaching and learning this school year.