Mentoring Teachings through Professional Learning Communities Dave Henry,

Mentoring Teachings through Professional Learning Communities Dave Henry,

Mentoring Teachings through Professional Learning Communities Dave Henry, SUNY Buffalo State [email protected] Michael Belling, Williamsville East High School The takeaway: The U.S. teacher shortage can be solved if we can lower the teacher attrition rate from 8% to 4%

There are teachers who seek a professional community and professional growth that they do not get that from their schools or school community. We need to provide real professional opportunities for these teachers. Western New York Physics Teacher Alliance (WNYPTA) New York Master Teacher Program (NYMTP) Lessons Learned from Two Different Teacher

Communities Western New York Physics Teacher Alliance 1997-present Saturday Mornings, September June We meet in physics lab at SUNY Buffalo State Average of 49 teachers attend at least one meeting each year, 130 different teachers have attended since 2010 Equal mix of veteran, mid-career and newer physics teachers

WNYPTA Average Attendance by Month (2010-17) 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0

Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan

Feb March April May June

Western New York Physics Teacher Alliance Typical Schedule: 8:30-9:15: Social 9:15: Announcements (jobs, upcoming events), sharing of teaching ideas, demonstrations 9:30 10:30: main presentation or activity 10:30: second activity / make & take A majority of the meetings include some kind of Make & Take

Many meetings have an invited presenter. Western New York Physics Teachers Alliance Dan MacIsaac (SUNY Buffalo State) and Dave Henry are co-directors

organize the yearly schedule and most meeting agendas Dan runs the List Serve Send meeting notices, certify PD hours Make coffee Most meeting activities come directly from the teachers themselves. Make & Take ideas come from teachers and we help

with materials and organizing. The WNYPTA Mafia WNYPTA 2016-17 selected topics/speakers Shadowgrams and Schlerien Imaging Buffalo Public School: Refugees and STEM teaching Physics of Radio Controlled Flight

Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance Physics Olympics Electric & Magnetic Fields Planetarium Meeting Praxair Global Analytics and R&D Productivity WNYPTA Survey (n=33) 70% of respondents have attended this year 88% said WNYPTA changes the way they teach 90% said they come to WNYPTA meetings to

network with other teachers 93% said that they share what they learned at WNYPTA with colleagues 100% agreed that they continue working on ideas and strategies from WNYPTA WNYPTA Sample Comments Its really a great program. I love the opportunity to develop concepts and share ideas with other physics teachers outside my district.

Getting large whiteboards into the classroom is the one of the most important things WNYPTA has done for local physics teachers. They have changed they way I teach. Physics teaching is often a solitary position in a school. WNYPTA allows me to see other teaching ideas and methods and to share my own practices. It provides a community of other teachers who I can contact with any questions I may have. WNYPTA Survey Comments WNYPTA provides far more useful PD than anything my school

district provides for me. WNYPTA is subject-specific and designed by teachers who are actually in the trenches using materials with their students. The PD is not just a one-day dog and pony show, it is a career-long search for growth and improvement. The yearly Physics Olympics is an absolutely outstanding contribution that WNYPTA makes to students. Even if it only did the Physics Olympics, it would still be a very worthy organization.

Each year, the WNYPTA teachers organize and run a Physics Olympics Competition for ~150 middle and High School Students 3 events Free t-shirt Pizza Lunch & Physics Fte Physics Olympics Video: https://youtu.be/cRgzVURwZaQ

Video was imagined, directed, and produced by Michael Belling WNYPTA: Lessons Learned Remember that the teachers come primarily for the networking. A great planned agenda is nice, but not required. It is OK to have some Open Space meetings where the agenda is emergent. Funding is minimal, but nice. Open attendance rules are important

We rarely require RSVP Come when you can come, leave if it isnt interesting to you Contribute when you can WNYPTA Lesson Learned Be reliable: Having a regular schedule, set in advance, yearto-year, sustains our membership. Two facilitators is critical. Conclusion: a College-based program run by college faculty provides the most stability.

New York Master Teacher Program www.suny.edu/masterteacher/ In 2013 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the NYS Master Teacher Program with these goals: Reward the state's highest performing STEM teachers Ensure the best and brightest to stay in education Encourage the state's best teachers to share their expertise with peers.

New York Master Teacher Program www.suny.edu/masterteacher/ $15,000 50 hours Rigorous selection process ~40% acceptance ~700 Master Teachers in nine cohorts across NY. 103 teachers in WNY cohort

New York Master Teacher Program www.suny.edu/masterteacher/ The Master Teacher Program professional development primarily comes from the Master Teachers themselves. Professional Learning Teams: WNY has 17 active PLTs Cohort meetings: Monthly, whole-group meetings to build community and work

across disciplines. New York Master Teacher Program www.suny.edu/masterteacher/ We come into the PLT meeting exhausted from a long day of teaching, but at the end of the meeting, all of us are totally reenergized and excited to try out new things the next day. The number one benefit the master teachers say they get from the program is to spend time with teachers who are like themselves.

Teachers who are interested in, and willing to work at, improving their teaching. Lessons Learned from both programs: There are teachers who seek a professional community and professional growth that they do not get that from their schools or school community. We need to provide real professional opportunities for these teachers.

Questions & Discussion Dave Henry [email protected] an AP Physics Professional Learning Team Michael Belling

Whos in our PLT Master Teacher Membership 12 members 4 are not Master Teachers (33%) Non-Master Teacher 33% Master Teachers

67% AP Experience Valuable resource to new AP teachers Classroom

visit More than 3 years Fewer than 3 years Classroom visit video: https://youtu.be/O1Uo0QYDfwQ

What we teach 6 teach AP mechanics C 1 teaches AP mechanics C and E&M C 2 teach AP course 1 and/or 2 1 teaches college physics All members teach NY Regents physics (regular high school physics) 2 teach only NY Regents physics

AP C NY Regents Entire Physics Only College Physics AP 1 & 2 AP Mechanics C only

What we do Meet monthly at 5:00 PM at Buffalo State, or a members classroom Eat Share ideas especially labs Pose questions Share resources Set next meetings agenda

a Meeting: AP PLT meeting video: https://youtu.be/hJOighb4U1I Questions and discussion Michael Belling [email protected]

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