Troup County School System hosts festival of professional learning for teachers

Published 6:34 pm Sunday, June 17, 2018

Seeing airplanes fly over an airstrip is not unusual, but when you see elementary, middle and high school instructors using the aisles of a school auditorium as a landing site for paper airplanes, you begin to ask questions just like the school system employees who were creating and flying those paper airplanes.

Recently, Troup County School System hosted 112 learning sessions across ten school campus locations including the LaGrange High Auditorium where the course “Creating Mathematical Thinkers: Growth Mindset” was being held. In this interactive class, participants learned about conceptual thinking and understanding as it relates to mathematics. They shared ideas about fostering a growth mindset in learners and incorporating science, technology, engineering and math concepts into classroom lessons for the upcoming school year.

During the two-day Festival of Professional Learning event, 742 school system participants were able to choose courses like Blast Off with Books, Guided Reading K-2, Social Media for Teachers, You’re Going to Hollywood, De-escalation and Communication, Conscious Classroom Management and Help! My Students Are Driving Me Crazy!

According to Jim McMickin, Program Specialist for Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, the purpose of the Festival of Learning event was to address the district’s professional learning needs for the upcoming school year.

“We wanted to provide an environment where employees were able to make their own choice about classes they participated in while providing intentional and purposeful learning,” McMickin said.

Many of the courses, like the technology-driven course, Hyperdocs!, were facilitated by TCSS employees. Yashica Brooks from West Point Elementary was the Hyperdocs! session leader. “During the session, teachers learned different ways to use technology in the classroom,” Brooks said. “Technology is more about engaging students through the use of the best apps, websites and other tools to get students to problem-solve and create in the learning process.” 

In addition, local businesses like Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia and Jindal Films hosted tours so teachers could share the advanced manufacturing environment experience with students through classroom learning. Also, the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, Circles of Troup County and West Georgia Regional Educational Services Agency hosted presentations and poverty simulations.

“The survey data was very positive with an average overall satisfaction rating of 3.996 out of 5,” McMickin said. “It was great to see the positive comments from participants posting on social media. From the feedback we received, we are able to make adjustments where necessary the next time we offer professional learning in this manner.”