Teachers Teaching Teachers
Collegial Circles: An Alternative In-service Program
Response from recent needs assessments indicate that teachers rank the sharing of ideas, teaching strategies and techniques as their highest priority for in-service staff development.
Collegial Circles provide teachers with structured time for collegial support and study as well as an opportunity for reflection on classroom practices. The program enables teachers to identify needs for professional growth and to satisfy these needs through sharing and group problem solving. Therefore, a formal support process, Collegial Circles, is established for sharing expertise and for problem solving through group processes. In-service credit can be earned by active participation and attendance.
Teachers may form groups of eight members by agreed upon interests and needs. Topics may include but are not limited to:
- New York State Learning Standards and Assessments
- Issues related to District Goals
- Ideas for student empowerment
- Rigor and equity in education
Each group must submit the accompanying application to the Teacher Center Policy Board for approval. The Teacher Center Director in conjunction with the Teacher Center Board Chair and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Instruction and Assessment will approve all applications as they are received. Each participant will receive a written confirmation that the group has been approved.
Groups must plan to meet for eight hours to receive ½ inservice credit or sixteen hours to receive one inservice credit. Sessions should be a minimum of one hour and a maximum of 2 1/2 hours. Groups must meet outside of the contractual school day.
A facilitator must be selected who will be responsible for maintaining focus, record keeping and notifying group members of meeting dates, etc. The role of the facilitator may be rotated. A log of all sessions will be kept by the facilitator, including dates and times of meetings, attendance, and brief summaries of topics discussed, ideas shared, actions taken and decisions made.
Resources such as books, videos, clerical support and speakers may be funded by the Teacher Center. All resource material purchased by the Teacher Center will become part of the Center library. Each participant will submit an evaluation reflecting on the process and its impact on student learning. These evaluations will be collected by the facilitator and forwarded to the Teacher Center along with attendance records and notes taken at each session. In-service credit will be granted upon completion of this requirement and each participant will receive a certificate of completion from the Teacher Center.