Area Teachers To Be Honored For Innovation

Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: May 05, 2010

Forty-two area-wide K-12 science and mathematics teachers will be honored this week for their dedication to leadership in education by the Texas A&M-College Station Regional Collaborative for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching with a brunch Saturday (May 8) at the Royalty Pecan Café in Caldwell.

The honorees include individuals who have either fulfilled a commitment to complete 105 hours of rigorous professional development training during the past year to increase the quality of learning in their classroom or those who have become instructional leaders for the Texas A&M Regional Collaborative by helping with training workshops and mentoring fellow teachers on how to apply leadership qualities to their own classrooms.

At the brunch, teachers will be presented certificates of achievement recognizing their contributions to lifelong learning. The morning's events also will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Pedro Mancias, a pediatric neurologist from The University of Texas Medical School in Houston.

Since 2005, the Texas A&M Regional Collaborative has offered teachers across the Brazos Valley a variety of professional development and networking resources - everything from seminars to workshops to fieldtrips - for free, says project director Dr. Carolyn M. Schroeder, a research scientist with the Texas A&M University Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE). She says these opportunities are intended to allow teachers to view mathematics and science from a new perspective, as well as to serve as a mechanism to encourage idea swapping among teachers.

Schroeder notes that the framework of the program's professional development training is intended to create "teacher leaders" whose classroom practices will impact not only students, but also their colleagues.

"Ideally, they will take back what they've learned and share it with other teachers as well as their students," Schroeder said. "They are all committed to being lifelong learners."

Texas A&M University made its own commitment to the TRC effort in fall 2005, when the CMSE received a grant inviting the center to join the organization. That partnership now includes the College of Science, the College of Education & Human Development, the College of Geosciences, the Research Foundation, both the Bryan and College Station Independent School Districts and the Region VI Education Service Center.

"We are extremely proud to collaborate with The University of Texas, the Texas Education Agency and the Department of Education to bring comprehensive science professional development to this region of the state," says Dr. Timothy P. Scott, one of four co-directors of the CMSE. "I know of no other professional development system that serves more teachers and requires ongoing commitment of teachers to grow professionally. I believe the TRC is quickly becoming a model for high quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) professional development for the country."

The Texas A&M-College Station Regional Collaborative is a part of the statewide Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (TRC). Dedicated to providing science and mathematics teachers with adequate training to provide their students with meaningful learning experiences through intense professional development programs and hands-on mentoring, the TRC has been commended for its service to teachers by the United States Department of Education, the Senate and House of Representatives and the governor of Texas.

It's a program that Schroeder says will continue to grow and evolve from teacher to teacher.

"It's very far-reaching," she explains. "It's a statewide program with more than 30 collaborators. It really has a multiplying effect."