Teacher Institute Adds Saghalie In Preparation For 2017

TAF’s annual STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute kicked off early yesterday morning, with over 60 public school educators, administrators and staff in attendance. The four-day intensive program is designed to share TAF’s best practices with educators who can in turn use their newly adapted approaches to teaching with their students in the upcoming school year. This year, following the announcement of TAF Academy and fellow Federal Way Public School Saghalie Middle School to combine into TAF Academy at Saghalie by 2017, there is already preparation happening to make the transition run smoother.

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Boze Elementary principal, Arron Wilkins (right), joins fellow educational staff at Teachers Institute 2016.

The first step is getting Saghalie educators familiar with TAF, and our STEM focused project-based learning model. Joining returning teachers from TAF Academy and our successful Transformation School Boze Elementary, Saghalie will now have access to TAF’s professional development strategies and an ongoing network of support from TAF instructional coaches.

Yesterday, participants broke out into focus groups to discuss subjects like “What is a driving question” in the context of project planning and how to integrate 21st century technology into classroom instruction. By the end of the week, they will have a deep understanding of the true meaning of STEM, key components to project-based learning, and how to introduce their own real projects into existing curriculum in the next school year.

Today, the teachers are delving deeper into their role as an educator who will now facilitate student learning and exploration, provide real-world, out-of-classroom learning opportunities that directly relate to classwork, and more. They are discussing equity in education and how to heighten student engagement through games, storytelling and other methods. Jeff Forde of MetaBrite is just one of the many expert professionals that will speak today as a part of the Institute’s power lunch speakers.

For the next two days, everyone will gather on Boeing’s campus to finish out the week long development course. It will be an experience that enforces and exemplifies experiential learning as well as encourages networking with STEM professionals to create more robust teaching portfolios.

Providing teacher development to public school teachers is one way that TAF continues to support student education by way of the method in which students receive information and learn about their world. We realized early on that the way students are taught and the amount of exposure they have can greatly impact their success. We also recognized what type of opportunities are critical in developing leadership skills within our students. STEM and project-based learning has been a catalyst to inspire STEM curiosity and greatness in students of color.

It is our mission to ensure we approach educating students from all angles. Providing professional development and training to teachers will ultimately affect and reach more students than we could ever touch on our own. We look forward to continuing this as we expand our Transformation School portfolio and increase the number of educators we serve through our Teacher Institute in the coming years.

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