Recently, Dawson County’s Cassandra Tallant and Jennifer Wooten completed graduation requirements for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Teacher Academy.
The two were members of a cadre of teachers who participated in the two-year academy designed to enhance the skills of teachers with fewer than four years experience, who show great promise.
Tallant is a seventh grade language arts teacher at Riverview Middle School, and Wooten is a fifth grade teacher at Robinson Elementary School.
Elementary, middle and high school teachers from across the state were endorsed by their district leaders for positions in the academy. Funded by the Association of Georgia Educators, the academy provided the educators with a series of learning opportunities over the two-year period. Teachers attended eight, two-day working sessions and four conferences throughout the two years.
Ann Stucke, director for the Teacher Academy and Professional Learning Institutes, coordinated the academy.
“This program gave exceptional new teachers further opportunities to excel. We highlighted the areas of professional learning that research suggests novice teachers will most benefit from and anticipate that these teachers will build lasting professional networks across the state,” Stucke said.
“The graduates have worked very hard to implement changes in their teacher practices and have been successful. They have helped their students to achieve and have shared what they learned with fellow educators in their schools, and many presented at the 2009 Summer Conference. The Association of Georgia Educators looks to a continued relationship with the graduates through its Graduate Teacher Academy,” she added.
During the academy, the teachers received instruction in a variety of areas such as use of technology, teacher leadership, data analysis, the Georgia Performance Standards and realities in the classroom.
Nationally recognized speakers, who are also published authors, served as the faculty. The faculty presented authentic, problem centered instruction, which fosters collaboration and continuous professional growth.