Teachers Told to Get Students Engaged

Published: Sep. 2, 2016 at 11:39 PM CDT
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Are you wondering just why your kids were home from school for another teacher "in-service" day? Well, it's not just for teachers to do :"catch up" work. In one central Nebraska school district, they were going to school.

The teachers seated in the auditorium were the students. That's how Grand Island Public School teachers spent their in-service day.

The lesson: getting students engaged. The teacher: Adam Dovico of Wake Forest University. The challenge: get out of your comfort zone

"I think challenging teachers is probably one of the best ways to describe it," said Dovico. "And i hope that the competitiveness perhaps in some of the teachers or maybe the internal drive, will allow them to try something new."

Davico says students can't "sit and get" their education anymore. Teachers have to get them moving and engaged. It's changes like that which make days like this important for school district officials.

"That's what these events are supposed to do'" said Shanna Gannon, the district Director of Professional Development. "Spark an idea, ignite a passion, so that when it comes time to go back to our rooms and do the real work, teachers have the energy and the motivation to do that."

So, when school is back in session Tuesday, students may see something different from teachers like Sam Gillham of West Lawn Elementary.

"Probably do some, sing some songs," said Gillham. "Singing's not my favorite thing to do, but if it gets those kids engaged and going along, I'll sing whatever I need to."

Gillham says the students will probably laugh, but he thinks they'll learn too.

Grand Island school officials say days like today are all about getting better. They say they can't ask their students to get better if the teachers aren't doing so too.