Lee County educators end week of seminars with humorous skits at South Seas
Laughter came pouring out of a conference room at South Seas Island Resort as 30 teachers and administrators acted out their skits portraying what they learned during the 2015 Collegium for the Advancement of Education training last month. The training was a Foundation for Lee County Public Schools sponsored program.
The educators were split into five groups of six under the categories of Choice Theory, the Questioning Process, Quality Tools, Responsibility Education and Class Meetings. Each group consisted of at least one person who had previously attended the Collegium.
One-by-one the groups migrated to the front of the room as they became ready for their skit, which involved some putting on costumes to further portray a specific character.
Diplomat Middle School Principal Maura Bennington was part of the second group, which focused on the Questioning Process for their skit. She said she enjoyed learning more about the topic because it can be used with any situations, involving both teachers and students.
The skit for Bennington’s group incorporated movie clips to touch upon the conferencing environment, as well as the questions – applications for academics and applications for behavior during their presentation. Brief movie clips of “A Few Good Men,” and “Game of Thrones,” among others were shown, which acted as the bases of a particular situation, before the educators acted out a better outcome, often times generating bursts of laughter from their peers.
“It came together quickly. I’m very excited and can’t wait,” Bennington said before the skits began at 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 26.
The seminar, she said, shared some insight on when to talk to a student causing disciplinary behaviors. Some of the tools Bennington took away included helping a student identify that the disciplinary actions are not an outside behavior.
“They have control in the way they behave in their lives,” she said.
Caloosa Middle School Assistant Principal Jereme Wilson said he enjoyed learning more about the Choice Theory.
“Somebody finally said it’s still your choice,” he said. “You choose to behave the way you’re behaving and have control over how you behave.”
In addition to behavior, the tools also help a student achieve better grades. For example, Bennington said if a student received a D in school, the Questioning Process will help him or her make a plan to achieve a better grade.
Bennington said the seminar was all about “choosing excellence,” which will be brought back to her school.
“How can we make everything in the moment in time excellent,” she said of what will be implemented with her teachers and students.
The weeklong professional development seminar brought together Golden Apple teachers to South Seas from June 22, through June 26.
The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools President and CEO Marshall Bower said the seminar is held to treat educators to wining and dining at night and educating during the day. The purpose of the seminar, he said is to give educators tools they can bring back to their schools to engage the students.
Those who attended the seminar collected information regarding the philosophy of Dr. William Glasser and the Sterling Quality model, which the The School District of Lee County already uses.
Glasser, a renowned psychologist developed a model that helps engage students through the Choice Theory. Bower said the Choice Theory provides tools on determining how and why people behave certain ways through a questioning process that includes self-evaluation of actions, behaviors and academic progress.
Cindy McClung, coordinator for quality for the school district, said the model teaches children how to set plans and change the plans if they are not working.
The Sterling Quality model, which was also discussed during the week, provides data for the school and classrooms from a system perspective.
Wilson said all of Caloosa Middle School’s teachers have been trained with the Sterling Quality model, so they can make decisions after looking at the data.
This year marked the eighth year the foundation has held the seminar at South Seas Island Resort. The week ended with a Collegium Academy Reception and Dinner Friday, June 26.