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Summer HEAT 2006 Offers Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers in Miami Dade County School District
By Stacy Andell for http://www.schoolsk-12.com
An Overview of Summer Heat 2006
Miami Schools are offering a range of summer professional development courses for its public school teachers and administrators in order to help teachers meet federal requirements and learn new methods and approaches to teaching. Teachers are eligible to take one Summer Heat course. These courses will be offered during June and July. Most courses last about a week and meet from 8:15 AM to 3:15 PM daily.
The teacher must attend every day of the session in order to receive Master Plan Points. The Miami Dade County School Districts Master Plan Points Program help teachers earn the graduate level credits that they need to meet the Highly Qualified Teacher Status outlined by the No Child Left Behind Act. Six Master Plan Points per day are awarded for all the courses with the exception of those that grant actual college credit.
Professional Development for Teachers
Miami Dade County School District teachers benefit from a range of courses that help focus their teaching on special at risk groups as well as providing instruction in key subject areas. Many courses focus on the needs of children with Limited English Proficiency. These courses help teachers improve literacy of Limited English Proficiency students as well as learn culturally sensitive techniques for including such children in the general classroom. Other special groups include children with autism and children with behavioral problems.
In addition to these special groups, Miami Dade County School District teachers have the opportunity to enrich their teaching of various core subjects. Courses abound in all aspects of literacy and mathematics as well as science, the arts, and social studies. Both elementary and secondary education is covered, including preparation for teaching the Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations at the secondary school level. On the other end of the spectrum, special attention is also given to the design and implementation of Pre Kindergarten curriculum. Miami Dade County School District teachers are also given the opportunity to explore general instructional methods to promote leadership in the classroom, including the Continuous Improvement Model (CIM), Object Based Learning, and many others.
Professional Development for Administrators
Miami Dade County School District administrators also benefit from the Summer Heat course offerings. Principals, Principal Trainees, and other support staff have opportunities to learn how to improve their own performance and to help motivate the teachers on their staffs. The Principal Preparation Program runs courses for Principal Trainee both in their first and second year of training. Several meetings of the Assistant Principal Academy are scheduled to help teachers make the transition to administrative roles. In addition, the role of the school psychologist and the teacher counselor are also explored in various course offerings. The School Support Team also has a variety of courses to choose form in learning how to implement school reform.
University and Community Partnerships
Miami Dade County School District teachers and administrators rely on the support of many university and community partners. Courses take place at many Miami Dade County area schools in addition to universities and private businesses. Barry University, the University of Miami, the University of South Florida, and Florida International University all offer their campuses for professional development courses. The Miami Lakes Educational Center also plays a vital role in providing a location for Miami Dade County School District teachers and administrators to meet and share ideas.
About the Author: Stacy Andell is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Stacy has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues. For more on Miami schools visit http://www.schoolsk-12.com/Florida/Miami/index.html