Continuing to enhance the teaching that takes place at Bluebonnet Elementary School, teachers gather in the Innovative Think Tank on a select afternoon to discuss how they can better engage students.
The meeting is part of the campus’ newest initiative called Bluebonnet University. The program focuses on maximizing the return that teachers receive from professional development while also valuing their time spent in the classroom, Bluebonnet Instructional Coach Kate Mamot said. The goal is to allow teachers to learn and engage in professional development on-site before and after school hours so they can utilize those lessons to increase overall student achievement.
“The number one goal is student achievement and because of Bluebonnet University teachers are going to be looking at data and making specific instructional adjustments to increase that achievement,” Mamot said. “When we take the time to analyze how the students are doing and study effective practices we know our students’ achievement is going to be positively affected.”
The initiative was launched on September 6, and each professional development day is broken up into a morning and afternoon session. Each session has a different goal for teachers to focus on and once completed, allows for teachers to have engaged in a meaningful lesson that helps set goals and tactics.
“The mornings are spent analyzing data, identifying what the data says and how they need to respond,” Bluebonnet Assistant Principal Tanya Kerr said. “There is also an assignment that goes along with it to help reinforce what the data is telling us. When teachers come back in the afternoon, they look at their assignment and see trends on how we can increase achievement in this area.”
Bluebonnet was recently awarded a $49,385 Tier One Innovative School Grant to assist the campus in providing these additional professional development resources. As part of the program, all instructional staff will engage in the data-based professional development every other week.