In 2012, the BVSD Ed Tech team facilitated the first 21st Century Cohort for secondary teachers. After a successful launch year, the second cohort began with elementary teachers from across the district. In November of 2013, over 25 teachers and teacher-librarians committed to three years of professional development, community building, and collaborative learning. Last month, they celebrated this three-year journey at the Cohort 2.0 Graduation ceremony.
Every school that participated in Cohort 2.0 was asked to create a digital story to share their experience as well as show evidence of personal and student growth. These stories became powerful reflections from this professional learning community and their time in the cohort.
When teachers and teacher-librarians were asked what is one word that would describe their experience over three years in the 21st Century Cohort, the responses included:
- Overwhelming...turning into exciting
When they were asked to reflect on how being in the cohort affected their students, common themes were a culture of risk taking, students feeling empowered to teach other students and teachers in the building, and watching students that struggle having positive experiences in school now with the new ideas and tools.
Katherine Kross, teacher at Lafayette elementary, was able to articulate what this has meant to her and her classroom.
“When I came into this cohort I had very little tech experience and so not only have I gained confidence in my technology skills, I really valued learning that technology is an important tool for my kids. And like someone else said, you just kind of have an idea for what you want to do and give it to the kids and off they go with it.”
It was a great honor to collaborate with this talented group of leaders and risk-takers over three years. We wish them the best in their classrooms and school buildings as they continue to learn, reflect, and share.