During the weeks surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the opportunity to celebrate some DENtastic teachers in Santa Rosa County and Escambia County, both located in the panhandle of Florida. During the course of the fall semester DEN Star Shelley Mann in Santa Rosa, along with her Director of Professional Development and Instructional Technology, Mike Thorpe, hosted and supported a cohort of excited teachers as they came together to learn, connect, and share at the district’s Professional Development Center. In neighboring Escambia County, DEN Star Denisha Read did the same with her cohort of enthusiastic teachers at the Spencer Bibbs Training Annex.
I was able to attend the final sessions in both Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties to connect with these teachers. The time they had together to learn, connect, and share was very evident. The looks on their faces and their excitement in telling how the program has impacted their classrooms shone brightly in both counties. The teachers had wonderful things to say about the Ambassador program, from how it has changed their usage of digital content to creating more opportunities for student collaboration and communication to adding more tools to a teacher’s engagement toolbox.
I believe that Ericka Hockman’s comment about the Ambassador program says it best. Ericka says, “The Ambassador Program has provided me with ideas, resources, and instructional strategies that have allowed me to provide more educational opportunities and assignments that give students the chance to work collaboratively and share their collaborative work with students throughout the school.”
Most importantly, these visits were celebrations of teachers who believe in learning, connecting, and sharing with each other for the purpose of changing how their students learn and how they teach. These were also celebrations of great teacher leaders, Shelley and Denisha, and a celebration of one of Santa Rosa’s district leadership team, Mike Thorpe. From my perspective as the observer during these visits, it was difficult for me to determine who was more excited, enthusiastic, and energized, the leaders or the participants. Either way, it’s a win-win for the students.
Are you interested in learning more about how you can bring the DEN Ambassador program to your school or district? You will find everything you need to know at our DEN Ambassador page! This free program offers opportunities for growth, leadership, and community building while learning about new ways to effectively engage students with your Discovery Education resources. There are three different versions of the program available that support Discovery Education’s award winning services of Streaming, Science Techbook, and Social Studies Techbook. Sign ups are open now for our Spring 2017 cohort! Don’t miss out!