This fall the Teacher Learning Center offered two new workshops for the first time – Place-Based Teaching for Lower Elementary Teachers and the Wyoming Small Schools Conference. Both workshops were highly successful with small attendance of 8 and 9 teachers, respectfully.
The Place-Based Teaching for Lower Elementary Teachers workshop was over a long-weekend in early October. The teachers who attended taught kindergarten, first, or second grade students, and they were eager to learn methods of place-based teaching specific to their lower elementary students. Former Journeys School teacher Kalen Kleyman led much of the workshop based on her experience teaching lower elementary students. Teachers participated in tours of Journeys School, a hike in Grand Teton National Park, and a session exploring how to teach math and literacy in a place-based way. Now teachers are working on implementing their learnings and will send in documentation on their efforts by November 15.
The first Wyoming Small Schools Conference sought to bring together teachers and school leaders working in small, rural schools. Of the nine attendees, three taught in one-room school houses, and four work in K-12 schools with around 140 students total. These teachers spent time in open space conversations geared towards their interests, and also exploring how place-based education is a useful tool for their small, rural schools. All participants agreed on the importance of this networking opportunity and many plan to serve on a steering committee for the next Small Schools Conference.