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Teachers become students for a day
February 19, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Educator Andrea Schlinder shows how “whole brain” learning works with teaching English during a day-long professional development course at the Gering Civic Center on Monday.

Approximately 1,375 teachers from 20 school districts across the Panhandle gathered in Gering on Feb. 15, for a day of professional development.

“We have teachers, administrators, para-educators and even some students from Chadron State College talking part,” said Laura Barrett, Special Education Director for Educational Service Unit 13, which sponsors the annual event. “We have 51 different topics for teachers to choose from.”

Behavior strategies and working with kids with behavior challenges, classroom management, and content areas in math, reading, writing, career and technical education are just a few of the topics covered.

An attorney specializing in school law spoke about legal issues regarding privacy and the use of technology in the schools.

For 30 years, we’ve sponsored these professional development sessions,” Barrett said. “They’re scheduled every year on President’s Day. The schools plan their school year accordingly for their staffs to attend.”

She added that for the first time this year, ESU 13 has added eight additional sessions in Chadron to accommodate teachers who couldn’t make it to Gering.

Tanya Heimbouch, in her fourth year of teaching kindergarten at Mitchell Elementary, was one of the attendees. “These sessions give us positive reinforcement for our teaching,” she said. “I like the practical examples that were given. Each year I learn something I can apply in the classroom. It’s worked out well for me.”
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