This summer more than 50 teachers from three schools spent four days at Calvin College, improving their skills in reading pedagogy. The conference was funded through a $200,000 Teacher Quality Grant from the Michigan Department of Education—Calvin’s fourth Teacher Quality Grant in seven years for improving the teaching of reading in local schools.
The grant project is geared to building professional learning communities by enabling Calvin faculty to meet regularly with teachers from the three schools, all in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“Mainly, it’s a way that teachers can support each other, so it’s not just left to individual teachers to determine how to apply something or figure out whether it’s working,” said Calvin’s grant coordinator Megan Cooke.
Faculty from Calvin’s education, communication arts and sciences, English, and information technology departments participate in the learning communities.
Teachers are trained to help students spend quality time in both teacher- and self-directed reading. They also learn to teach students to write more thoughtfully, to design curricula flexible enough to meet individual needs, and to incorporate appropriate technology with reading.
The teachers will assess their results collaboratively and with Calvin educators.