Summary of the Summer 1995 Mentor Teacher Workshop as appeared in the Fall 1995 MCTP Quarterly newsletter...


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From Garrett County to Caroline County they came, 21 teachers of mathematics or science in grades 4-8. The prospective mentors for MCTP students spent eight days in July at the College Park campus, enhancing their knowledge and skills in areas such as coaching and mentoring preservice teachers, using technology in the classroom, and integrating science and mathematics in lessons. They also learned a great deal about MCTP.

The workshop included sessions on e-mail, the World-Wide Web, graphing calculators, performance-based assessment, classroom inclusion, and cooperative learning, as well as a trip to Goddard Space Flight Center. Presenters included classroom teachers (Stephanie Bamberger, Nadine Barker, Ellie Ennis, Sandy Gundlach, Sharon Hoffman, Mary O'Haver, Frances Pittelli) as well as University faculty from Coppin, Salisbury, Towson, and College Park.

Most participants cited three of the special events as especially valuable: One was a trip to Mary O'Haver's very "tech-y" fifth grade classroom. There, the students' work inspired many of the mentor teachers to think of new ways to use technology in their classrooms. The second was an afternoon and evening spent learning about mathematics and science reform efforts from two leaders in the field: Glenda Lappan, chair of the writing team for the 5th-8th grade level of the NCTM Curriculum and Evaluation Standards, and Sophia Kesidou, a research associate with the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Project 2061. At the third noteworthy event, the teachers--most of them partners in a two-teacher team--were joined by their principals. The principals became better acquainted with MCTP goals, took part in activities illustrating mathematics/science instruction in a reformed mode, and planned with their teachers ways to use their enhanced skills.

As a culminating activity, the teacher teams developed and delivered a middle school integrated mathematics/science lesson. The teachers acted as peer coaches for one another and shared many great teaching resources.

The mentor teachers' journals and end-of-workshop evaluations indicated that although the schedule was a bit over-zealous, they were delighted to have met new colleagues and learned much from the experience. A one-day reunion workshop is planned for November 9, 1995. While it may be a year before many MCTP students begin internships or student teaching, a group of dedicated, knowledgeable teachers is now ready to share and grow with MCTP students.

- Anna O. Graeber