Summer work for teachers


Photo Credit: Patricia Whyte

Some of the workshops for last year’s curriculum took place in the media arts classroom.

by Patricia Whyte, Staff Writer

Over the summer, teachers will be partaking in workshops at the school to discuss and plan curriculum for next year.

These workshops are part occur every five years to make sure the content is up to date and up to state standards.

“We have to update our curriculum every five years. It’s actually a state law that we have to go back and look on our curriculum and make sure that it’s timely and that it follows all state laws and that it’s up to date,” said Mrs. Kathleen Walter, AP US History teacher.

Walter represents the junior class and the History department when attending these meetings. Part of her job is to ensure that enough content is being split up evenly in both the US History I and US History II courses.

“In history it’s kind of funny because you think history stays the same, but actually, we have to add more every single year. When there’s more content it’s got to be split up better between US I and US II. Every five years we realign our content,” Walter said.

The purpose of these workshops is to make sure that enough content is being covered from kindergarten to 12th grade, and to make sure all of the new requirements are being met. As well as evaluating curriculum, the departments will also be discussing possible changes in the courses. For example, the History department is currently debating how early they should be teaching students how to answer data based questions (DBQs). The state of New York incorporates DBQs in its statewide testing, and the new PARCC tests may begin to incorporate DBQs in their exams as well.

“It’s a debate about what’s best for the kids in their learning and the content of what we’re delivering,” Walter said.

There are several workshops taking place in the school throughout the summer and they will be broken up by department. Physics teacher Brian Luckenbill is scheduled to attend meetings regarding development of the Pre-Engineering courses July 27-29.

“We’re going to be talking about coding and computer design in the Pre- Engineering course.My background is basically 100 precent physics, so that kind of stuff, to add it in we also need training as well,” Lukenbill said. This will be the first summer workshop the Lukenbill will attend.

“It’s a good thing. It’s good that the school does it,” Walter said.

Walter believes the workshops are beneficial because they help keep the courses taught at Glen Rock up to date and each department evaluates different techniques of teaching so that students can better understand the material given to them.