Teacher Residency for Rural Educators - Cohort I

Teaching residents from UNH’s TRRE program recently gathered at NCES with partners from community agencies throughout the North Country to celebrate a summer of learning and service. As part of their 15 – month UNH M.Ed. program, these pre-service STEM teachers broke through classroom walls to build relationships within the communities where they will be learning to teach. In the process, they learned about the abundance of resources available for educators in the North Country.

“Along with getting to know people, our residents were delighted to learn of so many community education efforts that parallel the work going on in schools,” states Dan Lord, who directs Community Engagement for the TRRE program.

Community engagement is one of the three tenets guiding UNH’s TRRE program, which prepares people with strong math or science backgrounds to become elementary or secondary STEM teachers committed to living and working in high-needs rural schools. Residents begin the program with summer internships in the community where they will learn to teach. When school begins, residents partner with a mentor teacher in the classroom while working closely with clinical faculty from UNH. NCES collaborates with UNH to offer space and support for M.Ed. coursework and symposia.

The TRRE program is funded in part by a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership program. The program is funded in part by a five-year grant from the US Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership program. Residents earn a graduate degree while working toward teaching certification. They benefit from a living stipend and a significant tuition discount; in return, they commit to teaching in a high-need rural school for three years. UNH continues to support residents by helping with job placement and early-teacher induction for the first two years.

As Director of Pedagogy and Clinical Experience, Dr. Tom Schram lives in the North Country during the week to provide intensive support for the Residents, their Teacher Mentors, and their hosting schools. “We want everyone to benefit from this opportunity,” states Dr. Schram. “Our program rests on three pillars: a thorough clinical experience with robust content and pedagogical instruction embedded in the community. We expect our residents to become committed North Country teachers who harness the strength of their communities through links to in-school instruction.”

People with a strong background in science or math seeking teacher certification are encouraged to apply to the program. Information is available at http://cola.unh.edu/education/program/trre


NH Educators' Summit on Opiate Use: The Impact on Student Learning

Offered November 16, 2016 at Mountain Club on Loon in Lincoln, NH for the Lakes Region and North Country and November 17, 2016 at SERESC in Bedford for the remainder of the state, these summits offered an opportunity for educators to engage with efforts to minimize the impact of New Hampshire’s opiate abuse crisis on student learning.
  
November 16th summit at the Mountain Club on Loon agenda, 8:30 to 3:30:

  • The day will begin a keynote address by Kevin Sabet, Ph.D, author, consultant, and adviser to international and national governmental and non-governmental administrations and organizations on on the use and abuse of drugs, and policies to reduce drug abuse and its consequences.

  • Following the keynote, attendees will look closer at the NH experiences in addressing opiate abuse as it affects learning.

    • A Berlin School District Team comprised of Superintendent Corrine Cascadden, Principal Amy Huter, and Project Aware Coordinator Bob Thompson will discuss the social-emotional impact of opiate misuse in home on early elementary schools and the strategies they are implementing in response.

    • The second featured speaker will be Erik Becker, Groveton High School's SAP, to speak on building protective factors in the middle and high school.

  • There will be a panel discussion featuring SAU 7 Project Aware Coordinator Jennifer Noyes and SAP Valerie Rella, SAU 8 Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project Manager Stacey Lazzar, a SAP from the Laconia School District, and a representative from the Life of an Athlete program.

  • The afternoon will include time facilitated by the respective Regional Public Health Network leads to identify regional resources and develop specific strategies to respond to the crisis in schools, districts, and regions.

  • Closing plenary session

  • Director of Program for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and Chair of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs Timothy Rourke

 This was a free summit thanks to financial support from the NH Charitable Foundation. 


North Country Lego League Challenge

Congratulations to teams from Edward Fenn Elementary (Gorham), Milan Village School, and Hillside Elementary School (Berlin) for participating in the first annual North Country Lego League Challenge at White Mountains Community College.

 Following the challenge tasks, Bill Church of White Mountain Science Inc. demonstrated a couple sophisticated LEGO robots. One was a prototype built by a student during a week-long summer camp that utilized a variety of sensors to simulate a sensing-cane to aide a visually impaired person. The other was a robot based on the  Strand Beest . Bill also spoke to the students about their potential for professional careers in the STEM fields.  More pictures .

Following the challenge tasks, Bill Church of White Mountain Science Inc. demonstrated a couple sophisticated LEGO robots. One was a prototype built by a student during a week-long summer camp that utilized a variety of sensors to simulate a sensing-cane to aide a visually impaired person. The other was a robot based on the Strand Beest. Bill also spoke to the students about their potential for professional careers in the STEM fields. More pictures.


 

Regional PD with Rick Wormeli, March 2014

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Rick Wormeli, March 28, 2014, Berlin Middle School auditorium

Rick Wormeli posed the tough question about what happens when it comes to assessing and grading students in the differentiated classroom. Being sensitive to students’ readiness levels, interests, action plans, and special education designations while holding them accountable for the same standards can be a challenge. Rick helped educators take a myth-busting and candid look at some of the burning issues of assessment and grading in a differentiated classroom. 


Technology Integration in Coos Classrooms

The Coos Country Technology Integration Project kicked on in October of 2009 thanks to funding from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Support to schools then continued through the Rural School Educator Effectiveness Collaborative funded by SAHE. NCES’ Technology Integration Specialist, Paula Churchill, works with teachers in several schools throughout the North Country.

The professional development takes place within the participating schools. Grant funds support Churchill visiting classrooms and working with teachers and students throughout the school year. With this model, the support is custom tailored, working from whatever level the participants are at and with the technology that is available in their classroom.

The goal of the project is twofold. We want to build the confidence and skill level of each participating teacher, but ultimately our goal is to support these teachers in putting the technology into the hands of student. While there is a place for research and report type of activities that require students to take what they used to do with poster-board and markers and now make PowerPoint presentations, the goal of this project is to help teachers develop activities that require higher-order thinking skills. Technology provides a means to push students to use “digital tools” to synthesize information, solve authentic problems, create and produce evidence of their learning and think at higher levels.