Teacher Perspectives

K-12 Educator Summer Acclimation

June 29, 2020

By Kandi Grimes

Yay! It is summer break! Teachers can finally go on that vacation (or staycation), right?  Well, for many educators it is also time for work. Unfortunately, those lesson plans aren’t going to write themselves. In addition to preparing for the fall, teachers may be required to attend virtual professional development sessions. 

Stories from the Virtual Classroom: K-12 Educators Navigate Teaching Through Zoom

April 20, 2020

By Chase Fordtran

Since schools started closing all across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, K-12 educators have had to quickly adapt to teaching through virtual platforms. Most school districts have their teachers using the Zoom video conferencing app and Google Classrooms. Teachers already face challenges teaching their students in a traditional classroom setting, so teaching through a virtual platform has added a whole new layer of obstacles.

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) Published in the Journal of STEM Outreach!

September 4, 2019

Exciting news! The TEI staff and our wonderful support teachers have been published in the Journal of STEM Outreach. The paper is titled: “Engaging the Community through Science Nights: An Elementary School Case Study.” Abstract: Parental involvement increases K-12 student interest in STEM careers; however, when parents lack confidence in STEM content, or language and […]

TEI Kicks Off its 2019 Summer of Science

June 24, 2019

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) kicked off its 9th annual Summer Intensive (aka Summer of Science) on June 17th. The Summer of Science is host to the Teacher Enrichment Leadership Academy (TELA) leadership members. The TELA teacher leaders are selected through a rigorous application and interview process which allows the TEI staff to select the most qualified local educators to take part in the program. The TELA leadership also helps to facilitate yearly teacher professional development workshops, Science Nights, and the Annual Spring Conference. The Summer Intensive program allows the TELA leaders, with guidance from the TELA program director, Rosemary Riggs and TEI staff, to enhance TEI programs’ resources including but not limited to curriculum development and a wide variety of teacher professional development materials. Long story short, TEI has some of the most passionate educators in their TELA leadership!

Teaching Mojo

A Unique Way to get your Teaching Mojo Back!

January 28, 2019

Ever feeling like it is the same old routine in your class or campus? Well, attending our TELA/VBTA supported Science Nights might be a way to get your teaching chops a shot in the arm.

Over the last year, I have attending and been a part of science nights at campuses all over the San Antonio area. It is a fresh aspect of what we do as teachers. We get stuck in a rut with our day in and day out routine at our own campus. But, going to these different campuses and seeing the excitement and wonder of the students that come by our booth is invigorating. I get to meet fellow teachers from that campus and a different set of students with such unique perspectives on science. There is a level of engagement that brings what we do to the greater community and you see firsthand parents and kids engaging together and it is in a positive light.

Using Data to Track Student Progress in the Inclusive Classroom

January 10, 2019

It is no secret that teachers are pressured to consistently raise student test scores from year to year. Teachers may have previously identified students in their classroom that require special services, or specific accommodations in accordance with an individual education plan. In addition to these students, teachers may also have an at-risk student population that has been identified by past performance on standardized assessments. All of our special education students, at-risk students, and the remainder of the general education population in the classroom is held to the same accountability standards. Although teachers regularly formatively assess their students learning on a daily basis, there are special tools out there that allow for better documentation of student progress.

EYE-ing ideas from our TEI web page when cooped in class during testing

December 4, 2018

It is an issue that comes up for some special education classes when your campus is locked down for testing and you need to keep your students engaged and quiet. Trying to find an activity that is engaging and relevant to my student was a little difficult. I had the opportunity to carry material from one of our science night activities that involved eye health. Using that as a stepping stone, I was able to create a short lesson that blossoms into a three-week activity for my special needs students.

Seesaw: Not just a childhood memory!

November 15, 2018

If you’re like me, you are constantly trying to find new ways to use less paper in the classroom, and still be able to document student learning! I have accepted that technology advances every day and my students will forever be within arm’s length of a mobile device. I recently attended a session at our district’s Tech Camp and discovered Seesaw, and it can be used at any K-12 level.

Make Money for Your Classroom

October 4, 2018

Have you ever thought, “You know it would be really nice to be able to get that app for my classroom,” or “I wish our department could afford that equipment.”? Grants allow teachers to be able to secure funds for their wish list of apps, equipment, supplies or other materials needed for that department or school funds are not able to be allocated for.

Juliana Berry at NASA

Prepare For “LiftOff” 2018

July 18, 2018

Besides it being some of the best professional development (PD) I have ever done here is some information along with my experience.

Beginning in the summer of 1990, NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium initiated a week-long professional development training for teachers. This aerospace workshop, called LiftOff, emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experiences by incorporating a space science theme supported by NASA missions. Teacher participants are provided with information and experiences through speakers, hands-on activities and field investigations that promote space science and enrichment activities for themselves and others.