A total of 110 teachers from private schools in the CNMI attended the first day of the Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools’ two-day professional development program yesterday at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan.
Saipan International School headmaster Ron Snyder, who gave a one-hour slide show, “Introduction to Curriculum Unit Design,” said it is important to put the overall learning goals first before identifying how outcomes are reached
“The learning plan comes afterwards,” said Snyder, adding that the method deepens broader understanding and “big” idea knowledge for students rather than content standards.
Saipan Community School’s Anne McCaslin and Dani Nowicki shared new teaching methods.
McCaslin, a music and spiritual Bible teacher, and Nowicki, a physical education instructor, spent one hour and 30 minutes talking about “connecting learning standards to real-life standards.”
According to Nowicki, it is proper to guide student learning by listening to what they have to say in place of telling them to memorize it.
Last school year, Snyder, McCaslin, and Dani Nowicki implemented the new methods in their respective classes and believe students preferred it compared to reading textbooks or listening to lectures.
After lunch, attendees took part in job sharing among their peers by comparing classroom struggles and collaborating to resolve them.
Mount Carmel president Galvin Deleon Guerrero ended the first day by borrowing the Marshmallow Challenge from the popular TED Talks series.
Snyder said he looks forward to further learning about new teaching methodologies on the second day.