Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 1: Freedom of Religion  
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Workshop 1

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Teacher Perspectives: Her background

Kristen Borges: As an undergraduate, I was a political science major. I got my MAT in social sciences and I was certified at the same time. After my student teaching, I started substitute teaching. I was teaching in a suburban school and in an urban district and I felt that the urban district was more of where I wanted to be. Shortly after that, I became a member of a residency program, which is part of a professional practice school in an urban school. You are assigned a mentor [and] you teach a part-time load but you’re constantly in conversation with your mentor [about] ways to develop your professionalism. You have mentors come in and observe you and you are also in a cohort group where you discuss your practices constantly. So that year is where I really think I grew as a professional because I had the opportunity to constantly reflect on my practice and to do a lot of peer coaching and also have observations completed by experienced teachers. The year after my residency program, I got a full-time job as a civics teacher and a world history teacher. I’ve been at the same school for the past six years.

Using criminal trial cases in my class came out of [my] student teaching experience, watching a cooperating teacher use mock trials very effectively in his classroom. And I went to a workshop on the Bill of Rights last year that explored not only criminal and civil cases but also Supreme Court cases and using the Supreme Court hearing as a strategy to engage the students into these controversial issues. I also have participated in a grant that works on authentic assessment and instruction and ways to really bring value beyond the classroom for the students.

Early on in my teaching career, I got used to talking about my practice and reflecting on my practice with colleagues and veteran teachers. That has helped me find ways to become more creative in the classroom. I’ve taken so many ideas from [my] colleagues of things that have worked for them and been able to use those strategies and make them fit my personality and the environment that I like to set up in my classroom.


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