Every year, the children of Clarke County benefit from hundreds of UGA students and their professors, who work alongside the professional teachers in their classrooms. This is thanks to a special partnership between the UGA College of Education and the Clarke County School District called the Professional Development School District (PDSD). Thanks to the PDSD, future teachers become much better prepared to be successful in their own classrooms, teachers benefit from collaborations and ongoing professional development, and the students in Clarke County learn more thanks to the presence of more adults in the classroom.
But it takes more than a love of children, and watching them learn and grow, to make this partnership work. Behind the scenes of the PDSD, there are many special programs that help teachers and students—primarily, professional development and faculty/teacher interactions. But while essential—and key reasons why our Professional Development School District is one of the best in the country—these aspects of the program are typically underfunded because the PDSD relies on sharing existing resources rather than grant funding.
The success of the Professional Development School District comes from more than just the chance for future teachers to teach in the real world. Rather, what makes the PDSD so unique is the many opportunities it provides preservice teachers, faculty and teachers outside of the classroom. All of these experiences add up to a greater learning environment for local children—if we can provide them.
A gift to support professional learning within the Professional Development School District has benefits on many levels. When we reach our goal of $5,000, we will be able to support all of the following:
• Support innovative school-based programs. The dual-language immersion program now underway at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School involves a professor-in-residence who works directly with teachers to implement this program, which is a first for Clarke County. Gifts from donors provide for additional opportunities for faculty and teachers to work together.
• Provide district-wide support for special programs and efforts. For example, Dr. Katherine Raczynski, director of our Safe and Welcoming Schools project, works with schools to teach best practices in anti-bullying programs, analyzes school climate data from across the district and provides reports for individual schools.
• Provide essential support from graduate assistants. At Clarke Central High School, a College of Education graduate student works with teachers to integrate technology into their instruction, keeping students on the cutting edge through innovative lessons. Another graduate assistant leads monthly seminars to help math teachers create more hands-on lessons. Increased funding would create more of these opportunities.
• Provide crucial professional learning for teacher candidates. Whenever possible, our teacher candidates attend school-based and district-wide professional learning programs. But sometimes even costs for these sessions, such as lunch or snacks, can be cost-prohibitive. Your donation will help hundreds of UGA students learn alongside their professional colleagues.
Please consider supporting this great opportunity!
Meredith Metcalf | College of Education
firstname.lastname@example.org | 706.542.2267
For more information on the Professional Development School District, please visit: pdsdpartnership.com
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