Riverside to introduce new center of professional development for elementary educators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT  05851

(802) 626-8552
Contact: Mel Reis, (802) 592-3079

Lyndonville, VT -  Since the summer of 2014, Nelia Rath, middle school teacher and Director of Co-Curricular Programs at The Riverside School, has led area teachers in a workshop for Critical Skills in the Classroom. The workshop was in partnership with Antioch University New England.

In an effort to provide professional development opportunities for educators in the Northeast Kingdom and North Country, Riverside has created the Teacher Center at Riverside.  The goal of the Center will be to support area educational professionals with relevant, valuable, and locally-sourced professional development opportunities for elementary educators.  The classes will be taught during the summer and are available for graduate level credit through a partnership with Antioch University New England. 

“Riverside’s relationship with Antioch University, which has long been known for its leadership in progressive education, creates an exciting opportunity for teachers in these northern corners of Vermont and New Hampshire,” said Rath. “Teachers in remote, rural areas like ours can feel starved for engaging professional development, and being able to offer rich, engaging courses, in-person, is definitely meeting a need in the community.”

This summer, the Teacher Center at Riverside will offer three courses.  Successful Integration of Technology in the Classroom will focus on the different technologies available in the classroom, why they are effective or not, and which types of technology students prefer or have more success using.  In addition, participants will explore infrastructure challenges and the cost of implementation including the critical need for graduate-level coursework for educators.  The instructor is Mike Dente, Chief Technology Officer at Northern Vermont University.

Critical Skills Immersion: Level 1 will be taught by Nelia Rath, Riverside teacher and an adjunct faculty member at Antioch.  The Level I experience is designed to introduce the Critical Skills classroom model and prepare its implementation into the educator’s learning environment. The classroom model is a highly interactive, experiential approach to learning that develops student knowledge and skills through collaborative problem solving. Participants are first immersed in a Critical Skills Classroom, then explore the integration of problem-based learning, experiential learning, collaborative learning, and standards-based learning. 

“We need adults who know how to work together to solve problems, so let’s establish classroom-cultures where students practice doing that. We’ll integrate collaborative, experiential, problem-based, and standards-based learning methods along with ideas of their own and methods that are a priority in their school,” said Rath.

The third course, Education For Sustainability (EfS) Summer Institute, will be taught by Riverside teacher Deandra Early, who also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Antioch, and Reeve Basom, the Place-Based Education Coordinator, at the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, VT. This course focuses on the interdependence of environment, economy, and equity (the three E’s of Educating for Sustainability) and how to incorporate sustainability at any grade level and in every subject area. 

“As educators, we have the opportunity to model sustainable practices, to open our students’ minds to the possibilities of a sustainable future and to help guide them to be responsible citizens for change in their communities,” said Early. 

“We are so pleased and excited to begin this endeavor by partnering with Antioch University New England. Since 1964, they have been supporting adult learnersby offering undergraduate degree completion programs as well as graduate degrees that are responsive to adult learners.  In turn, we have also affiliated ourselves with Shelburne Farms, a nonprofit organization with the mission ‘to inspire and cultivate learning for a future that will be sustainable for our children,’ and the Center for Agricultural Economy, a living laboratory for rural food systems,” said MichelleRalston, Head of School.

For full course descriptions, faculty bios, and registration, visit: 

https://www.theriversideschool.org/teacher-center-at-riverside.

Three local teachers are shown participating in the Critical Skills Institute at The Riverside School held last summer. They were discussing and describing the traits of good communication and how to give equal attention to skills like communication as to the content they teach, thus helping young people grow as problem solvers and collaborators. The school is introducing the Teacher Center at Riverside to offer additional opportunities for graduate-level coursework for area elementary educators.

Three local teachers are shown participating in the Critical Skills Institute at The Riverside School held last summer. They were discussing and describing the traits of good communication and how to give equal attention to skills like communication as to the content they teach, thus helping young people grow as problem solvers and collaborators. The school is introducing the Teacher Center at Riverside to offer additional opportunities for graduate-level coursework for area elementary educators.