It is commonplace to acknowledge that the world is changing rapidly. For teachers to perform at the peak of their professional ability in the classroom, they need to be lifelong learners. Professional Development events, such as those hosted by Shorecrest’s Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning, enable teachers to learn alongside a community of educators who empower them to be experts in the craft of teaching.
The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning
was launched as a strategic initiative in 2018 with a mission to become a professional development destination for educators offering impactful learning experiences on crucial topics that teachers face in their classrooms. I (Jane Boarman) became the Director in 2019 after teaching for 19 years - 6 of those years in fourth grade at Shorecrest.
Throughout my teaching career, I was the beneficiary of so many inspirational, restorative, and challenging professional development opportunities. Each year, I added to my teaching tool kit and strengthened my pedagogy and curriculum through the professional learning experiences I participated in. I was especially engaged by learning about brain science and its connection to learning, memory, and emotion. For me, professional development experiences enabled me to continually improve my teaching, maintain my motivation, and find creative ways to reach my students.
Through the efforts of the CITL, members of the Shorecrest faculty have shared their expertise at the Winter and Summer Institutes in both in-person and virtual formats, and at the FCIS Annual Convention. We made three commitments to our attendees: the content would be relevant, we would honor the expertise they bring to the learning experience, and as a result of their participation, they would be able to raise the level of their teaching practice.
They have touched the professional lives of their colleagues as well as attendees from other schools. Shorecrest faculty have facilitated learning on a wide range of topics such as literacy, differentiation in the classroom, diversity, equity and inclusion, technology integration, and social emotional learning and mental health. And, for every teacher who has been impacted, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of students whose lives have been enriched by better teaching practices.
This opportunity for Shorecrest teachers to pay it forward by sharing their expertise with others is unique and powerful. The CITL was the first organization in Florida to offer ISTE Certification Training and, as a result, we have the most ISTE certified teachers of any school in the Tampa Bay Area.
Our campus has become an asset to the CITL, from the varied learning spaces on the second floor of Charger Commons to our proximity to wonderful downtown St Petersburg.
Our budget is small but it enables us to bring in nationally known presenters like Rosetta Lee, a nationally regarded leader on the subject of social justice in education, and Nancy Blair Black, a thought leader on the role of technology in learning. Gifts to the Shorecrest Fund ensure that we will be able to continue providing cutting edge learning opportunities for our faculty and that they in turn will continue to provide outstanding learning experiences for our students. Future funding of the CITL will enable us to support even more Shorecrest faculty who want to share their expertise with others, to offer a greater variety of learning options such as a library of online classes, and to reach a national and global audience with our workshop offerings. Registration is open now for the CITL virtual 2022 Winter Institute for teachers around the country. To recommend the interactive workshops, knowledge sharing and networking to a teacher you know, learn more here.