Editor's note: This is the third report in a multipart series examining the evolving teaching strategies utilized by teachers and school administrators in Graham.
In school districts throughout the country, the addition of new iPads, Kindles, laptops and ActivBoards is essentially meaningless without the proper educational know-how running the show.
Through its current initiative, Future Focus, the GISD is implementing programs designed to boost student education through expansive teacher training.
One aspect of the program focusing on professional development states specifically: “The world is different because of innovations. As educators, we have to teach the next generation using innovations.”
One primary mission of Future Focus is to create a kind of flexibility within teachers' strategies, focusing not on all of the bells and whistles on whatever new toys the GISD bestows upon Graham's schools in a given school year. Rather, it's more important that teachers be adaptable to an ever shifting, ever more technologically advanced educational landscape.
Because of this, GISD has launched a 60-hour teacher training program this year, and it focuses on how teachers can better create student-centered environments through “engaging students at the highest levels of rigor and technology integration.” This information comes directly from the Future Focus informational brochure.
For Dr. Lane Ledbetter, this March will mark his second year as the GISD superintendent. Starting in 2010, two years prior to Ledbetter's arrival in Graham, GISD has been implementing a curricula that is more student-centered, meaning that local classrooms began shifting to structures championing activity-based rather than lecture-based educational strategies. Each year since 2010, this shift has continued.
Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.