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Total Quality Share Day involves teachers teaching teachers

Terri Fleck, a teacher at Weddington Middle, speaks to Union County educators about interdisciplinary teaching through problem-based learning models. (Below) This year’s TQ Share Day featured keynote speaker was Rob Jackson, the 2011 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year.

If you want to know the “best practices” in the classroom, talk to the people who teach in those classrooms.

That’s what Total Quality Share Day is all about. In its tenth year, this year’s event, held at Piedmont High School Friday (Feb. 24, 2012), featured about 50 breakout sessions that addressed innovative ways to teach students.

The sessions included information on technology, professional learning communities, educational data and continuous improvement. All presenters were Union County Public School educators.

Director of Staff Development Jimmie Quesinberry, who coordinated the event, said this year’s theme was “Innovation in Education.” Sessions were taught by teachers, principals, assistant principals, curriculum and media coordinators and department directors.

Some of those sessions were “Digital Notetaking in a 1-1 Classroom,” “Going Paperless With Moodle,” “Beefing Up Your Teacher Website,” “Going Global in the Elementary Classroom,” and “Tweeting for Instructional and Professional Benefits.”

The TQ Share Day wasn’t just for teachers, however. Some of the sessions were geared toward principals and assistant principals, as well.

Kelley Zorn, an assistant principal at Sardis Elementary, said as an administrator the TQ Share Day gives her the opportunity to learn best practices that are being used in other schools. “I know that now I have a connection in the school system for when I have questions,” she said. “Now I can go to them and say, ‘Help me. I’m struggling. I need your insight.’ ”

Zorn said the event was especially effective because it allows teachers to learn from their peers. “They hear about what others are doing in their classrooms, what’s working for their students. It’s important because our teachers don’t get the opportunity to go and learn from each other very often. That’s really important.”

Deputy Superintendent Dr. David Clarke said this year’s event was designed a little differently. “It’s a different set-up this year,” he said. “We have a staggered schedule, with elementary going first and then middle and high school.”

The elementary sessions beginning at 1:05 p.m. and the middle and high sessions beginning at 1:55 p.m. made it easier for educators to attend the event as it better fit with their schools’ dismissal times.

This year’s TQ Share Day featured keynote speaker Rob Jackson, the 2011 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. Jackson, the principal at Cuthbertson High School, spoke on the importance of innovation in the classroom.

“Innovation drives the train and makes things happen,” he said. “Without innovation, our aim at globalization and graduation won’t happen. It’s really all about students – the kids who walk into our classrooms and trust us to make sure they get what they need to be successful.”

This event has grown tremendously since it began 10 years ago. The first year, the share day had about 20 presenters and 100 participants. This year’s event had about 75 presenters and 700 educators attend. Quesinberry said the event was held on a “bank day” when students only had to attend half the school day.

“We transitioned nearly 2,000 people in and out of here in about 30 to 45 minutes,” he said. “We brought elementary school participants in one way, and that filled one of the school’s parking lots. We sent students out another way, while the middle and high school participants came in another entrance.”

UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis commended all UCPS educators in attendance. “Our school system is in great shape because of our quality teachers,” he said. “Quality teachers result in quality education.”

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Feb 29, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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