Two Link teachers are helping students and fellow teachers do better in the classroom while furthering their own professional growth and development thanks to the new Link Education Partners’ Continuing Education Award. Both recipients are taking post-Masters classes related to supervision. Callie Campbell, Link’s Math Supervisor and Instructional Leader, used her award to pay part of the tuition for supervision and curriculum development courses at Rutgers University. Christine Lynskey, Special Education teacher, used her award to help pay for her studies in a supervisor certification program at Kean University. Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Lynskey are the first recipients of the award, which teachers can apply for to help pay for tuition, books and other fees associated with a program or courses that are relevant to and will benefit Link students and the school’s mission. Each teacher received $2,000.
Building a Better Teaching and Coaching Toolkit
Mrs. Campbell is in the middle of her post-Masters classes and is bringing what she learns to her work at Link leading teacher professional development training at the school. “It’s helping me build my toolkit for working with teachers,” she said. “It helps me develop more authentic and engaging professional development for teachers; new coaching techniques and more evaluation platforms.”
Her curriculum-focused classes are also paying off for students and teachers as Link moves through the second year of a three-year math initiative. Link’s Math Initiative is designed to help students improve their knowledge and skills in math. Link launched the initiative in the fall of 2017 and, during the first year, determined that this year it would be important to increase the time each child spends in math each day and the number of teachers to deliver instruction.
Mrs. Campbell is using her skills to look at student data, such as PARCC scores, and delivering a detailed analysis of the math curriculum to answer important questions and refine it. “Are there deficits? Are there problems with our curriculum? What do our students need?,” she explained. The classes also help Mrs. Campbell expand the professional network of educators and supervisors at other independent and charter schools she can tap into for best practices.
Improving Special Education Teaching
Mrs. Lynskey said her post-Masters program has helped her learn to be more aware of teaching practices in the classroom, making her a better teacher for her students. She will also be certified to evaluate other teachers once she completes the program.
“It makes you better at evaluating your teaching practice. It helps you look at what you’re doing and see what is effective,” said Mrs. Lynskey. “I am also learning great ways to observe others, make suggestions, and help them solve problems.”
Once she receives the certification, Mrs. Lynskey may represent Link at the Essex County Special Education Roundtable, which exposes special education supervisors to changes in laws and trends and current events in special education in New Jersey and Essex County.