Lee’s Department of Language and Literature, along with the Helen DeVos College of Education (HDCOE), conducted an educators workshop. The event, which took place on Lee’s campus, was funded by the Improving Teacher Quality Grant, which was awarded to Lee by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
The workshop, “Let's CHAT: Collaboration and Higher Order Applications of Technology for English Language Arts Instruction,” focused on academic strategies and technological applications to enhance teacher to teacher, teacher with students, and student to student collaboration for middle and high school English classroom instruction.
The event welcomed 36 participants, including middle and high school teachers, librarians, and curriculum specialists from seven area school systems and one private school.
“It was our desire that participants have practical strategies that could be incorporated into their practice quickly and easily,” said Dr. Delia Price, assistant professor of education at Lee. “In addition, we wanted it to be an opportunity for them to recharge their batteries by engaging with other passionate educators in a fun and informative environment.”
The workshop provided hands-on strategies for librarians, curriculum specialists, and teachers. A new addition to this year’s event was the collaboration of media and curriculum specialists with English and Language Arts classroom teachers. This provided a contribution to the workshop by allowing individuals with diverse specialties and experience to share ideas with one another, according to Dr. Donna Summerlin, professor of English at Lee.
“This amazing opportunity and learning experience overflowed with so much useful information,” said Darlene Jackson, an English teacher at Soddy Daisy High School. “The ‘Let’s Chat’ workshop and its instructors left an indelible mark on my heart and mind that will influence student achievement in my classroom this year and, undoubtedly, in the years to come.”
Drs. Price and Summerlin co-directed the workshop and facilitated several sessions, along with presentations by Dr. Rachel Reneslacis, Dr. Katherine Carlson, Dr. William Woolfitt, Dr. Bill Kamm, and Diette Ward from Lee as well as Galen Bell, assistant principal of East Ridge High in Hamilton County and adjunct faculty in Lee’s HDCOE.
“Engaging with teachers in the ‘real world’ environments of secondary schools both challenged and invigorated us,” said Dr. Summerlin. “We hope to build on these relationships through our online and follow-up sessions and to connect these teachers and their students with Lee University in positive ways.”