Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

PDS Holds Professional Learning Day for Partnership Teachers

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Dean Van Dempsey and Associate Dean Candace Thompson joined PDS Director Somer Lewis in welcoming 53 partnership teachers, university supervisors and site coordinators to a professional learning day at the Watson College on October 21. The theme of this year’s event was “Renew. Reconnect. Reimagine.”

The event featured presentations on a range of topics including literacy learning, coaching and fighting fake news, a session on edTPA and an emerging technology showcase. Erika Rakas, a motivational speaker, writer and adjunct professor of communications at the College of DuPage in Illinois was keynote speaker. The title of her address was "The New School: Creating Connected Classrooms." 

Faculty and staff presenters were:

  • Brian Brinkley, “Coaching to your Strengths”
  • Laura Szech, “What “Counts” for Literacy Learning? Valuing the Ways Children Learned During the Pandemic And What it Could Mean Moving Forward”
  • Kathryn Batten and Tonia McKoy “Planning, Dreaming, and Goaling with Vision Boards”
  • Michelle Hafey, “Harness the Power Around You”
  • Jeffery Ertzberger and Amber Colon, “Creating with Canva”
  • Brittany O’Neil and Melissa Raymer, “Fighting Fake News: Practical Approaches to Teaching Information and Media Literacy in Your Classroom”
  • Somer Lewis, “Renew and Reconnect: Coaching Conversations for Partnership Teachers”
  • Jenn Hatch Knight and Erin Green, “edTPA: Utilizing Rubric Progressions for Student Success”

Angie Reid-Griffin, Michelle Hafey, Jeff Ertzberger, Ray Pastore, Daisy Barreto, Lindsey Evans and Amber Colon led presentations during the technology showcase. Spheros, Cubelets, Ozobots, Pro-bots, virtual reality and the BBC micro:bit were among the emerging technologies featured.

Jaimie Lang '02, a fourth-grade teacher at Eaton Elementary School, said she left the event feeling inspired.

“Today made me proud to be a Seahawk and honored to be a partnership teacher,” she wrote in an email to Somer Lewis. “As I hoisted my backpack, laden with swag from the day’s breakout sessions, I glanced up at the towering ceiling three stories above, and as the afternoon sunlight poured through the expansive windows, I was filled from head to toe with inspiration. I could not wait to get back to school Monday morning to begin implementing all that I had learned from the keynote speaker’s speech to the introduction of emerging technology.”

Professional learning days are offered each semester to PDS partnership teachers hosting interns from the Watson College. WCE’s Professional Development System Office coordinates the events.