The PD4ETS participants will bring the eMINTS program to districts in Alabama and Arkansas. The comprehensive eMINTS program is two years long, during which teachers learn strategies for embedding research-based, best practices into the classroom. The results of the eMINTS program go beyond test scores and meeting the Common Core, student engagement in eMINTS classrooms goes up as students learn to think critically, build community, question, and problem solve.
A key element of the eMINTS program is job-embedded coaching and mentoring. Teachers attend eMINTS professional learning throughout the year, but they also received visits from their instructional specialist. This personalized time to coach, collaborate, consult, and mentor is what sets the eMINTS professional learning program apart from other professional development.
During eMINTS training, pedagogy is modeled and teachers spend time reflecting on practice and thinking about how strategies will transfer back to the classroom. During a recent training, Dr. Kim Hendon, PD4ETS from Roanoke City Schools, made the statement, "No teacher wakes up and says today I want to be mediocre." eMINTS strategies help educator be their best everyday!
One of the primary goals of the PD4ETS kickoff is to give participants a strong foundation for what eMINTS is all about and what it can do for their students and teachers. We want to develop a deep understanding of our instructional model; high-quality lesson design, inquiry-based learning, community of learners, all powered by technology. After the three days of face-to-face time, the trainers then return to their districts and are supported through a blended learning model.
The Inquiry Experience...
With the questioning complete, the group began to guess what the next step would be:
"We are going to do a presentation about pioneers."
"We are going to have a wax museum."
eMINTS encourages authentic tasks which support higher-level thinking. I wanted the task to be applicable to their current district role. I wanted their product to be something useful which would transfer back to the training they would be doing with teachers.
The task-"Create a symbol, motto, quote/tagline to motivate and celebrate your eMINTS implementation. Explain you "why" for doing eMINTS."
Silence, excitement, and these comments:
"How much time do we have?"
"Let's get going!"
We arrived at the Gateway Arch Museum and the trainers set to work finding answers to the questions they developed during the QFT process. There were no specific directions on how they needed to convey their message. This added to the creativity, differentiation, and thinking involved in completing the task, which can sometimes frustrating for both student and adult learners. These school leaders awed me with their final products and explanations:
To truly understand the power of eMINTS, you have to experience it! Once you experience eMINTS it is hard to imagine teaching any other way! The excitement and innovation that comes with constructing your own knowledge is empowering and life changing! eMINTS is about inspiring and changing the lives of teachers, who then change the lives of students!
The eMINTS National Center offers many professional learning opportunities. Visit the eMINTS National Center website for more information!