The PolarTREC orientation has been a whirlwind. The orientation can be summed up in one word: energizing. I have met a group of dynamic, motivated teachers. I can’t help but draw a comparison to the Einstein Fellowship cohort:
*exclamations of solidarity (“It is so great to be around like-minded teachers!”)
*student centered teaching and inquiry driven lessons
It is an important reminder for me that these programs aren’t just about the actual research project/experience that the teacher will be involved with or the lessons that they create that will impact students. The collaboration and fellowship of participants gives a program such as PolarTREC that intangible quality that makes it a better, more meaningful experience for all involved. It is this variable that sets a professional development program apart, yet it is such a variable that is difficult to accurately assess.