By Erin Saunders, PIIC Communications Coordinator
PIIC hosted its final Professional Learning Opportunity (PLO) of the school year from May 2-4, 2012 at The Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. 115 administrators, coaches, mentors, and Regional Mentor Coordinators (RMC) returned to State College to continue conversations with colleagues from 20 Intermediate Units (IU). All participants have attended at least two other PIIC PLOs during the 2011-2012 school year.
After a brief welcome and introduction from PIIC Executive Director Ellen Eisenberg, the conference moved into preselected breakout sessions. Participants registered for the breakout sessions prior to the conference via an online registration form. Day 1 sessions included: Strategies for Part Time Coaches, facilitated by IU 3 PIIC Mentor Chris Caton, IU 27 PIIC Mentor Lori Ceremuga, and IU 5 PIIC Mentor Laura Yaeger; Lesson Design and Classroom Management, facilitated by IU 4 PIIC Mentor Amy Walker and IU 14 PIIC Mentor Pam Wolff; Deepening the BDA Cycle of Coaching, Part 2, facilitated by RMC Tom Sebastian and IU 22 PIIC Mentor Carol Adams; Differentiated Instruction, facilitated by Chestnut Ridge instructional coaches Tammy Miller, Amanda Weighly, and Lisa Kohler; and Notemaking vs Notetaking, facilitated by IU 18 District Literacy Consultant Jessica Jacobs, IU 18 PIIC Mentor Loriann Ruddy, and RMC Gen Battisto.
IU 13 PIIC Mentor Kelly Galbraith and IU 8 PIIC Mentor Diane Hubona closed the day with Skills, Semantics, and Strategies: The Pathway to Common Core Writing, a general session designed to give participants an understanding of the Common Core writing standards. At the end of the general session, coaches and other participants were asked to reflect upon their newly-acquired strategies and to plan how the strategies will be used with teachers to improve classroom instruction.
Day 2 started with an informative panel discussion sharing the thoughts of Penn Delco School District (SD) instructional coach Tara Young; Bellwood-Antis SD instructional coach/IU 8 PIIC Mentor Diane Hubona; Bradford Area SD instructional coach Karen Macartney; and IU 4 PIIC Mentor Amy Walker. Panelists discussed ways coaches can engage teachers, shared their coaching experiences, and answered questions from the audience.
Participants later rotated to preselected breakout sessions. Some sessions were repeated from day 1. Participants could attend Strategies for Part Time Coaches, facilitated by Chris Caton, Lori Ceremuga, and Laura Yaeger; Elementary Coaching: The BDA Cycle and Literacy, facilitated by Diane Hubona; Differentiated Instruction, facilitated by Chestnut Ridge instructional coaches Tammy Miller, Amanda Weighly, and Lisa Kohler; Deepening the BDA Cycle of Coaching, Part 2, facilitated by Tom Sebastian and Carol Adams; or From Vision to Implementation: How Coaches can Support Teachers at all Levels of Implementation, facilitated by IU 17 PIIC Mentor Christina Reed and Williamsport instructional coach Kristin Takach.
RMCs Kathy Gori and Charley Territo and IU 28 PIIC Mentor Jeremy Gabborin ended the day with a general session entitled The Reflective Practitioner: PIIC Style. Participants reflected after the session about what they learned and how they will use this newly acquired information in their practice.
The final day of the PLO continued with breakout sessions. Participants preselected one of the following breakout sessions: Coaching on the Use of Primary Resources, facilitated by IU 1 PIIC Mentor Jordan Lozosky and Charley Territo; Lesson Design and Classroom Management, facilitated by IU Mentors Amy Walker and Pam Wolff; Deepening the BDA Cycle of Coaching, Part 2, facilitated by Tom Sebastian and Carol Adams; Using the Resource Guide to Support Instructional Coaching, facilitated by RMC Virginia Glatzer; and From Vision to Implementation: How Coaches can Support Teachers at all Levels of Implementation, facilitated by Christina Reed and Kristin Takach. Birds of a Feather discussions immediately followed. Participants had the opportunity to generate their own topics of interest and to continue conversations that developed during this conference as well as from past PIIC PLOs.
Feedback from the PLO was positive:
"The topics of the breakout sessions truly were focused around coaching. Many of the coaches who attended this PLO felt quite satisfied in the quality of information shared during the breakout sessions."-IU PIIC Mentor
"I always appreciate the opportunity to be able to network and gain insights from other coaches. In addition, I enjoy the opportunity to hear from state leaders and to show appreciation of their endorsement of instructional coaching."- School/District/Regional Instructional Coach
" Thanks to the B-D-A part 2 workshop, I began the important work of paradigm shifting away from an 'I'm-here-to-fix' things model to a partnering model. That breakout also reinforced the importance of writing as a thinking tool."-School/District/Regional Instructional Coach
The agenda from this event is available on our Past Professional Development Conferences page. You can also find photos from this event in our PIIC Photo Gallery. Our next PIIC Professional Development will be October 29-31, 2012 at The Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. Details are listed on our Events page.