One of Nations Largest School Districts Expands PLTW
More than 20 teachers from Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) recently gathered at the Orange Technical College-Mid Florida Campus for PLTW District Transformation Training (DTT).
PLTW DTT is a teacher professional development option for schools and districts aiming to train multiple teachers from multiple grade levels in order to implement PLTW across a school or district. OCPS has implemented PLTW in almost all of the nearly 200 schools in the district and has used this training option as a way to accelerate growth.
PLTW Master Teacher Renee Brooks welcomed the group of teachers – preparing to teach PLTW Gateway unit Flight and Space this fall – on the first day of training by sharing her own experience with PLTW.
“You’re going to be in the role of the teacher but also the role of the students,” Brooks said. “After my first PLTW Core Training, I never looked back. You’re going to get so much in the next couple days from collaborating with each other.”
PLTW Professional Development offerings are dynamic, immersive experiences that prepare teachers to facilitate the learning in an activity-, project-, and problem-based (APB) classroom. Since the DTT option became available in 2017, PLTW has hosted nearly 100 of these trainings for districts across the country including Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Mobile County Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Dallas Independent School District.
“Everybody in my school wants my job,” Brooks continued as she shared what to expect when the teachers return to their schools. “It’s different than a normal classroom, and I know you’re going to be inspired.”
PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram visited the training and shared how the training prepares teacher to lead the kind of learning experience that empowers students with the knowledge and skills that are in high demand in the workforce.
“We’re proud of our training because it’s amazing what happens with students when they realize what they are capable of doing,” he said. “Sometimes we are taught to just get through the curriculum, but [in PLTW], we ask them to ask questions and use inquiry. It’s uncomfortable when students ask questions we don’t know the answers to, but that’s where new knowledge is created. Companies spend billions of dollars every year researching questions they don’t know the answer to. That’s why we must nurture that natural curiosity our students come to school with.”
Stay current on Vince’s travels – and the latest in education and workforce development news – by following him on Twitter at @VinceBertram.