New York non-public school educators came together last week at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York for three days of AIMS hands-on Science Professional Learning. I was lucky enough to be there in person to spend time with all of the participants and our team of AIMS Facilitators. There were three different grade span groups, PreK-2, 3-5, and 6-8.
My favorite part of the three days was being there to see the forming of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) amongst the participants. They came from many different non-public schools all over the state of New York, but before the end of day one they had exchanged emails and phone numbers. They found they had several commonalities in their professional lives, and they wanted to continue to share, collaborate, and learn from one another well after they left the three-day workshop. They had originally come together because of a professional learning opportunity offered to them as individuals and found that they could continue to do what they were doing at the workshop by informally forming their own PLC. This newly formed PLC is a group of educators that will continue to meet regularly, share expertise, and work collaboratively to improve their teaching skills and the academic performance of their students.
One of my biggest professional wishes is for educators to work together so that they themselves may learn and grow. Being in New York last week and seeing that happen organically was the fuel that drives me to continue making our Professional Learning (PL) division at the AIMS Center for Math and Science the best it can be. Our workshops last week were a part of what will help them teach great elementary and middle school science classes. The teachers found colleagues to collaborate with in a PLC, ensuring their own science journey will also continue.
I wish to offer thanks to our participants in New York for valuing each other, for sharing with each other, for challenging each other, and for embracing AIMS PL in science. Using AIMS tasks and investigations to supplement their science curriculum is providing options for them to teach in a three dimensional way as required for transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards, which the state of New York is doing. The AIMS Professional Learning Division looks forward to the next time we will have the opportunity to be with these New York non-public school educators again.