Tribal Education Department hosts annual Teacher In-Service at the Sheraton Grand
August 19, 2016
Gila River Indian News
The Gila River Indian Community Tribal Education Department’s 12th Annual Reservation wide In-Service, an all-day event that brings together educators from across the Community, was held at the Sheraton Grand Resort & Spa on Aug 12.
The theme for this year’s in-service was “Take Another Look” and encourages educators to reflect on what they are doing in the classroom to educate the Community’s youth.
Lt. Gov. Monica Antone said, “Everyone that is in [here] that serves our children is in some way helping build our future.”
Her message was a display of support and appreciation for the teachers that commit long hours educating the Community’s youth.
The topics at the in-service focused on culture and language, which has become an essential part of educating the students about their cultural heritage.
In other breakout sessions, pressing issues like mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect were also on the table for discussion.
The goal of each topic covered at the in-service also emphasizes how teachers can create innovative curriculum that incorporates culture and storytelling.
In addition to this concept, it is also about looking out for their students and how they are behaving or feeling as they come to class.
Antone urged them to be aware of the mental issues some students may be experiencing and that schools are looked at as safe havens for the unfortunate few that come from an unhealthy environment at home.
“The issue of suicide prevention is real. Although it is not a new issue, each year we are more alarmed at this reality in our Community,” she said.
One of the highlights of this year’s conference was last year’s awarding of the inaugural 2015 Eddie Basha Excellence Award from the First Things First organization.
TED Director Salcido, said the award is an example of the excellent relationship GRIC has with FTF to improve early childhood education for the Community.
The in-service introduced the teachers to special guest Enrique Hank Feldman, a motivational speaker from the Global Learning Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on early education and provides services in professional development of educators in collaboration with schools. GLF was present to offer advice on how to get inspired about their role as educators.
The heart of the presentation included brain game activities that can help students learn new information in a creative way that is different from more traditional forms of teaching.
“Today’s overall problem is inspiration, not the typical kind of inspiration. I want to take you on a journey where you are going to experience how to specifically inspire others,” said Feldman.
“[If] you don’t know how to connect with another human being, it does not matter how good the curriculum is,” said Feldman.
The conference also had different informational booths from tribal departments that provide resources to the Community’s schools.