Nassau BOCES took an innovative step toward instructional collaboration recently by bringing together educators from two different programs. Teachers from Barry Tech, the agency’s career and technical education high school, met with their peers in Adult Career and Technical Education (ACTE) to share best practices and to help each other improve the courses they teach.
Both programs take place at the state-of-the-art Joseph M. Barry Career and Technical Education center, so even though Barry Tech operates during the day and ACTE is an evening program, instructors are sharing equipment, supplies and classrooms. It was a natural outcome that they should have a dialogue about how best to utilize their mutual resources.
Educators shared challenges and successes, instructional strategies, best practices, and classroom management. They also discussed industry trends, as a major factor in both programs is job placement. There was a fiscal benefit as well, as the teachers collaborated on how to maximize the use of shared space and equipment.
“Many of our teachers have asked for help in improving their programs,” said Laura Holder-Gibbs, Principal of the Adult Career and Technical Education program. “We’re always working to make our courses even more viable and engaging for students, while aligning curriculum with industry standards. We encourage our educators to collaborate on improving instructional delivery by sharing best practices.”
“All of our educators agree that the most important aspect of their collaborative effort is how it improves the education we’re giving our students,” said Barry Tech Principal Laurie Harris. “They have a mutual passion about the work they do. The crucial thing now is to keep the dialogue going on a daily basis.”
“This was an opportunity for our experts in the field to come together and discuss how best to improve instruction,” said Michele Cohen, Assistant Principal of the Adult Evening Program, who was a key player in making this collaborative event happen. “I believe that we work better as a group than as individuals. Feedback from the meeting was very positive and we expect to involve even more educators in the future.”