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.
PolarTREC teachers Laura Lukes, Jim Miller, Mike Lebaron and Tim Martin absorb the knowledge of tech guru Ronnie Owens and run with it to create their own projects.