Finding support and collaboration, especially in rural settings, can be challenging for educators. The Interstate Science Collaborative (ISC) was formed by state science leaders from a handful of rural states to provide free professional learning for the teachers they serve. Fall and spring book study sessions and a summer learning series were offered with considerations toward equitable participation including making the sessions virtual, being mindful of schedules and capacity, and providing continuing education credits. Feedback from the sessions centered around appreciation from participants for the opportunity to connect with teachers from other states to discuss and share in conversations around common problems of practice.
In addition to providing support for educators, the ISC became a safe space for the founding members to share challenges and successes in their own work. Join this presentation to learn about how to set up a professional community in your context that will not only support student learning but can also become a way to create the comradery and community we all need as educators.
Participants will engage in whole and small group discussion to learn about and share strategies to build a professional community that not only focuses on how to improve student learning but also creates a support network for educators.
Sharon Cates (Phenomenon Science Education: Amherst, MA), Christy Krenek (New Mexico Public Education Department: Santa Fe, NM), Shannon Wachowski (EdReports.org: Fort Collins, CO)