One of the goals of the STEM-TRACKS project is to foster leadership skills in all of the participants. Eleven Teacher Leaders were selected to help guide the participants through this growth process. Seven Teacher Leaders are also STEM-TRACKS participants, and four Teacher Leaders were recruited from the recently completed TCATS grant. The TCATS Teacher Leaders bring with them the experience and enthusiasm from their project in order to help mentor the new STEM-TRACKS Teacher Leaders.
A key component of leadership is team-building. Participants were grouped by regional grade levels and assigned a Teacher Leader. Throughout the project the Teacher Leaders will help coordinate grade level meetings for STEM-based unit development, and during the Summer Intensive Institutes and Follow-up Training days will assist in ensuring that the participants are provided with an enriching and supportive educational experience.
Prior to the start of each days' content sessions, the Teacher Leaders held warm-up activities that helped bring the participants together as a cohesive unit. This team-building has been observed to be an important component within cohorts in past teacher training institutes.
A key ingredient in team-building revolves around incorporating the FISH! philosophy. The four primary elements of FISH! are 1) Choose your attitude, 2) Be there, 3) Make their day, and 4) Play. Not only is FISH! used throughout our institute and followup days, participants are encouraged to incorporate the FISH! philosophy into their classroom instruction.
Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools 175 South Fairview Lane Sonora, CA 95370