South Orangetown Central School District

To support new teachers, counselors and psychologists in their first year in South Orangetown, Director of Staff Relations Joseph Lloyd and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Brian Culot developed a four-session professional development series on elevating, engaging and inspiring students. The new hires met for their third session on Friday to focus on student engagement through lesson design, relationship-building and modeling.

Lloyd led a session in which participants explored and developed learning objectives (or targets) for reaching goals. “When our teachers consciously design learning targets that students can unpack, aim for and use to assess their own understanding, we cultivate conditions for effective instruction and meaningful learning,” he said.

“We designed the sessions to help new teachers assimilate into our “elevate, engage, inspire” culture by introducing protocols and activities that can be used to engage all students in the learning process. We discussed how comfort and choice in the learning environment are essential elements for students to have opportunities to collaborate, create and problem solve. It was important for new staff to come away with something they could use with students right away,” noted Culot. “The afternoon session was differentiated to meet the various staff members needs. School counselors, psychologists, and social workers described challenges they’d encountered in their practice and teachers worked to incorporate essential elements of an effective lesson and into an upcoming lesson to boost engagement.”

Teachers talking at conference table