Teachers in PD

It may be summer break for students, but teachers in the Williamson County Schools district are hard at work preparing for the next school year.

Since May 21, according to a report in the district’s InFocus, WCS educators have completed more than a thousand in-person professional development sessions and more than 4,000 virtual sessions. On top of that, hundreds of WCS teachers are registered for site-level sessions that will take place throughout the summer.

"Our content specialists planned these sessions based on the needs of our teachers," said WCS curriculum specialist Sandra Qualls. "Teachers are always wanting to improve their craft. They give their time, energy and effort to make sure students are successful."

In addition to the district-planned professional development, approximately 400 teachers from kindergarten through second grade attended a two-week learning opportunity that focused on the Tennessee Department of Education's Reading 360 initiative. The initiative aims to provide teachers the resources they need to ensure students are reading on grade level by third grade.

"This course has helped them feel more prepared to teach foundational literacy skills,” Qualls said. “What was most remarkable was the positive feedback from the teachers. We heard that this was the best professional development some teachers had ever received, and it was so beneficial for them.”

As the professional development opportunities continue through the summer, WCS educators will learn how to integrate online resources with in-person teaching strategies.

"Now we're back in person for professional development, we are utilizing what we learned over the past year in our virtual approach and are marrying the two," said Qualls. "It has been amazing to watch our teachers pivot and apply what they learned last year to what we're doing this year.”

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