Faculty and Staff Professional Learning

Wyomissing Area Faculty and Staff Professional Learning
Posted on 11/21/2021
Faculty and Staff Professional LearningWhile students enjoyed a day off on Monday, October 11th, the Wyomissing Area faculty and staff were hard at work for a teacher in-service day full of professional learning opportunities. Students enjoy this day to sleep in, catch up on work, and connect with friends; however, for teachers and administrators this is time to complete some behind the scenes work and continue to improve their practice. 

Teachers at the Wyomissing Hills Elementary Center worked closely with Instructional Coach Mrs. Laura Noey and took a deep dive into their new Balanced Literacy initiative. 

History teacher Mr. Timothy Hetrich at the Jr./Sr. High School planned a tour of Gettysburg for a few members of the History Department. Mr. Hetrich is known for his love of hands-on and in-person learning, and enjoys taking students on trips in order to enhance their learning experience. In the past, Mr. Hetrich took students to Gettysburg, but felt the trip needed to be more engaging and exciting: “We hoped to put a more engaging overview of the battle together as it unfolded by having students walk or bike some aspects of the Gettysburg Battlefield.” The history teachers used their trip to the battlefield to create a more in-depth and exciting tour for future students. 

Our physical education teachers took advantage of this opportunity to connect with other educators around the county and collaborated with the K-12 health and PE teachers in the Exeter Township School District. While visiting Exeter, the Wyomissing Area teachers joined a county-wide Health and Physical Education zoom meeting to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on their programs and adjustments they made to create a safe but enjoyable PE experience. 

Members of the Special Education Department completed the necessary work for compliance monitoring, but also invested time to discuss and plan the Spartan Challenge for the Spring of 2022. With the help of the Best Buddies Club, the Special Education Department plans the Spartan Challenge every Spring. This event is an opportunity for our students with special needs to compete in field-day like activities and spend an afternoon outside to soak in the Spring weather. Students always look forward to and love the Spartan Challenge, so it is valuable for teachers to have time to plan this day and make it special and memorable for our students. 

With the help of Wyomissing Area Instructional Technology Coach Elizabeth Toigo, many of the Jr./Sr. High School and West Reading Elementary Center teachers took part in activities aimed at examining instructional strategies and tools teachers can use in their classrooms to meet the needs of all learners and to foster conversations among teachers focused on instructional strategies. Some of the tools teachers learned to use through team collaborative activities included: Blending Learning for In-Person Instruction, Collaborating in Class with Google Tools, Vocabulary.com, implementing PearDeck in the classroom, and Newsela. Instructional Coach Ms. Liz Toigo, Coach Ms. Kami Fecho and Jr./Sr. High School teachers Mr. BJ Dramby, Ms. Meghan Tierney, Mr. Erik Uliasz, and Mrs. Jen Yetter facilitated these sessions for their peers. Teachers were able to choose sessions of interest to them, had time to explore new ideas, and ask questions in order to facilitate learning for their own students. Members of the Art Department also took part in team building activities during the teacher in-service day collaborating to create an intricate final design product. 

In-service days throughout the year are a valuable opportunity for teachers and staff members to connect, explore new ideas, and continue to develop their craft as teachers. A lot of learning and growth goes on behind the scenes on those days and the high level of excellence found in the Wyomissing Area School District wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of our teachers on days like this.