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March 2017 Teacher Newsletter

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Teacher Voice & Opportunities to Support Students

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Teacher Voice & Opportunities to Support Students

The Rodel Teacher Council Wants To Hear From You

The Rodel Teacher Council is studying social and emotional learning (SEL) in Delaware and the nation and needs your input! Please take 15 minutes to share your knowledge of, attitudes, and beliefs toward SEL through this online survey. Individual responses will be kept confidential and will not be attributed to individuals.


Your responses will be compiled to create a clearer picture for educators and policymakers of what practices and programs are happening now and what else might be needed to make sure every child is supported socially, emotionally, and academically. The survey closes on March 17.

Complete The Survey Here

Conference Opportunities &
Requests for Input

Early Career Teacher Survey (Survey Closes Mar. 10)
Delaware’s Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow, Robyn Howton, is conducting a brief survey of second and third year teachers to better understand their experiences. The purpose of the survey is to better understand how teacher preparation programs can prepare teacher candidates for the realities of the classroom. After completing the six question survey, fill out the subsequent form for the opportunity to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards.
Delaware’s 23rd Annual Inclusion Conference (Mar. 15, Dover)
The ​Inclusion ​Conference ​is ​designed ​to ​address ​the ​needs ​of ​educators, ​parents, ​policymakers, ​service ​providers, ​and ​child ​care ​providers ​involved ​with ​or ​interested ​in ​promoting ​inclusion ​for ​all ​from ​birth ​to ​21.

2017 LRNG Innovators Challenge (Applications due Mar. 16)
LRNG Innovators has a new grant challenge, inviting educators to imagine engaging ways to help young people explore their interests, igniting a passion that can lead to college, to a career, or having a positive impact on their community. Proposals may include programs, curricula, or projects that actively assist youth to discover interests connecting the spheres of their lives, both in and out of school, and provide potential future opportunities.

3rd Annual Delaware Pathways Conference (Mar. 29, Wilmington)
Partners throughout Delaware are collaborating to help students prepare for life after graduation. Join leaders from business, education, and state and community organizations at the Annual Delaware Pathways Conference, and explore how Delaware’s workforce system is to guiding young people toward meaningful career and postsecondary experiences. Attendees will hear from legislators on the future of Delaware Pathways; business leaders who offer work-based learning opportunities; community organizations who are focusing on programs for youth; and students who will share their Pathways stories.

Blended and Personalized Learning Conference (Mar. 31, Providence, RI)
This event is a chance for educators and leaders to discuss blended learning as it exists today on the ground – both in terms of the day-to-day implementation in blended classrooms, and the strategies and systems that have effectively supported replication and scale across schools and districts. Hosted by the Highlander Institute with program support from the Christensen Institute and the Learning Accelerator, the Blended and Personalized Learning Conference enjoys strong endorsements from the education community.

Making A Difference Conference (Mar. 31, Dover)
The Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children partners each spring with Delaware Head Start Association (DHSA), with support from Delaware Department of Education for the annual Making A Difference in Early Childhood: A Conference for Early Childhood Professionals.

ECET2 Delaware Recap
Educators from all across Delaware descended on the DelTech Terry Campus for a day of teacher-led training and celebration.

The first-ever ECET2 Delaware: Connecting Innovative Educators brought together teachers from across the state for an inspirational and empowering day of teacher-led and teacher-focused programming.

Over the course of six hours, attendees celebrated teacher leadership, learned about innovative classroom practices, explored technology in the classroom at the demo lab, and built connections with other educators. All sessions were led by teachers.

ECET2 stands for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Teacher 2 Teacher, the national movement has spurred more than 111 regional convenings in 27 host states, and over 19,000 teachers have attended an ECET2 event.

10 Must Read Stories






Personalized Learning Tip of the Month

This playbook shares the findings of three researchers who set off to discover what K–12 schools can learn from the best-run organizations in America.

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Teacher Newsletter – November 2016

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Rodel Teacher Newsletter is a resource for Delaware’s teachers to learn about teacher leadership opportunities across the state, nation, and world.

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Rodel Teacher Council Policy Briefs Released


With the 2016 election season officially over, members of the Rodel Teacher Council this week released a series of education policy briefs and recommendations they hope will inform our state’s new and returning elected officials in 2017 and beyond.

The four policy briefs were researched and written by RTC members. They delve into a variety of topics relating to personalized learning—an approach that utilizes technology and other strategies to address students’ individual needs and maximize their strengths. The briefs identify current challenges and barriers in place, and offer recommendations to shift policies and scale personalized learning stateside.

They include:

During the 2016-2017 term, the council will continue its work of scaling personalized learning statewide while removing barriers to personalized learning currently in place. As with previous years, council members will meet with and hear from key education leaders and policymakers, and in the winter, they will host a personalize learning workshop for fellow educators.


2017 Making A Difference Conference (Presentation proposals due: Nov. 15)
The Delaware Head Start Association and the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children will hold the Sixth Annual Making A Difference Conference on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. They are seeking qualified presenters to share their knowledge, and proposals for an engaging workshop at the 2017 conference. For more information, please contact conference coordinator, Diane Frentzel.

Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowship (Applications due: Nov. 27)
If you are a high school math or science teacher who is new to the profession, a KSTF Teaching Fellowship is an opportunity unlike any other. This fellowship provides the financial and professional resources you need to establish the foundation for a successful STEM teaching career.

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program (Applications due: Dec. 1)
The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program provides funding for highly accomplished U.S. primary and secondary level educators to take part in an intensive professional development program for three to six months abroad.

EIEIO Childcare Nomination Information (Nominations due: Dec.15)
The Expanding Inclusive Early Intervention Opportunities (EIEIO) committee would like to recognize high quality early childhood educators who represent the components of inclusion: access, participation, and supports. Please send completed nominations to

UD Education Technology Conference (Presentation proposals being accepted)
The University of Delaware Educational Technology Conference will be held Saturday, March 4. The conference is a joint effort by the College School, the Education Resource Center, the Office of Educational Technology, and the Education Graduate Association in the College of Education and Human Development. All educators are invited to participate, and proposals for conference topics are currently being accepted.

Must Read Stories





Save The Date

EdTech Happy Hour Hosted by the Rodel Teacher Council (Nov. 14, Newark)
Join the Rodel Teacher Council for a happy hour at Stone Balloon Ale House. Come to network, engage, and share your favorite ed tech tools with other Delaware educators. This event takes place in conjunction with Delaware Innovation Week, an annual celebration of technology and innovation. Admission is free. The Rodel Teacher Council will provide appetizers and one drink ticket for all attendees.

A day of networking, learning, and catalyzing STEM in the state and celebrating accomplishments of the 2016 STEM Award applicants.The Delaware STEM Educator Award recognizes a teacher or team of teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels that demonstrate STEM innovation and excellence through teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement.
ESSA Community Conversations (Nov. 16, Nov. 21, Nov. 29, Dec.1, Dec. 8, various locations)
The Delaware Department of Education will host a second round of community conversations to collect public input on the first draft of the state’s plan under the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The first round of community conversations and online surveys in September provided public input that is informing the first draft of the state’s plan, which was released on Oct. 31. The second round of community conversations will allow department leaders to receive feedback on the draft.
Learning Forward 2016 Annual Conference (Dec. 3 – 7, Vancouver)
Learning Forward’s 2016 Annual Conference will provide educators with outstanding content and valuable tools to bring the most powerful forms of professional learning back home to the educators with whom they work. Gain practical solutions to the challenges you face in your classroom, school, or district every day. This conference offers powerful strategies to build school leader capacity.
The Summit on Professional Learning Communities at Work (Feb. 22 – 24, Phoenix)
Build and sustain a strong, collaborative professional learning community. This unique event brings the PLC at Work champions—Richard DuFour, Robert Eaker, Rebecca DuFour, Mike Mattos, Anthony Muhammad, and Tim Brown—together with some of the brightest, most respected minds in education. You’ll hear dynamic keynotes and attend powerful breakouts designed to help infuse the PLC at Work process into every aspect of your school or district.

University of Delaware SOE Colloquium series (Ongoing)
The 2016-17 colloquium series will foster an extended conversation about topics related to education across disciplines and grade levels, especially diversity and inclusion. Invited speakers Ed Brockenbrough, Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Robert Lee, Janine De Novais, and Jessica Shiller will participate in a special theme titled “Framing the Conversation Towards Engagement and Transformation: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Education and Human Development.”

Personalized Learning Tip Of The Month


Personalized Learning SD

Rodel Teacher Council member Mary Grace Flowers takes us on a tour of her library media center, complete with green screen and flexible learning spaces for students. For more ideas on how to create flexible learning spaces for your students, check out these resources on EdSurge and Edutopia!

We communicate regularly about news and developments in Delaware public education with policymakers, community leaders, teachers, and the public at large.

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Thinking Ahead: Useful Resources for Post-High School Plans

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Graduation Ceremony

It’s that time of year again–high school students all across Delaware are kicking off the fall season with exciting explorations of future and postsecondary plans. Finding the right job or college can be stressful, but there are numerous state and federal resources available for both students and parents that can ease the process.

Getting Started

With post-high school planning, one of the best things to do is to start early and organize what needs to be done. This checklist for 10th-12th graders can help. It details steps along the way, such as asking for help and designing your high school class schedule.

The Delaware Higher Education Office recently put together some video resources about postsecondary opportunities that students might find helpful. One useful video resource explains the value in creating a College Board student account as a first step to choosing where to apply. To help refine the search to particular college preferences, students can use resources like CareerCruising, BigFuture, and The U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. College Scorecard is a federal resource that offers reliable data to compare school costs, retention and graduation rates, average salary after attending, and much more. Be sure to check out other great information from this video, in addition to other video resources on topics such as joining the army and becoming a student athlete.

Starting in ninth grade, high school students and their parents can also sign up for the Texting Campaign. In our ever-advancing digital age, there’s no better way to stay up-to-date in the career planning and college application process. After signing up, students receive texts from the Delaware Department of Education’s Higher Education Office and the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, so that students can best be served according to their grade level and career and college preferences. Students are then free to ask any questions, such as those regarding FAFSA, application deadlines, or steps to becoming college-ready.

Continuing the Process

As students begin to find their academic passions and path for professional growth, they’re highly encouraged by their high schools to apply to college. That’s why from October 17-November 18, high schools hold College Application Month (CAM). During this time, every college and university in the state—and even some schools from out-of-state—offer free applications. You can also get involved with CAM by becoming a volunteer: Registering to assist and encourage students as they complete their applications is an integral part of the process. Anyone is welcome to help out; no need to be an expert on the college application process.

While ninth graders can participate in the texting campaign as they begin to consider their post-high school plans, upperclassmen are encouraged to stay engaged with the campaign; whenever you have a question regarding your college applications, text it! It’s important to ask the right questions when considering your future.

Affording Your Future

To supplement the texting anytime and anywhere, students can attend the beneficial events offered in schools throughout the state. Be on the lookout for college fairs, scholarship opportunities, financial aid workshops, and events for FAFSA completion assistance. One great federal resource is The Parent’s Guide to Completing the FAFSA. Get your when, why and how questions answered to successfully receive financial aid.

Besides applying for FAFSA, is there another way college can become more affordable? The answer is yes! Check out the 2016-17 Delaware Scholarship Compendium. This guide features all sorts of scholarships and programs that can be searched by name, area of study, or deadline. All students are encouraged to seek out as many scholarships as possible–it’s definitely worth a shot.

So, there you have it. Delaware is pleased to offer numerous resources to help your college application process and beyond go as smoothly as possible. This is a very exciting time for high school students, filled with great potential and tons of new opportunities. Your future is right around the corner–go get it!

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