15th Annual Teacher In-Service Kicks Off New School Year
Gila River Indian News
On Aug 9 over 500 educators, teachers, and administrators gathered at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass for the day-long 15th Annual Community-Wide Teacher In-Service hosted by the Tribal Education Department.
This year’s theme was “Our Children-Our Future” and consisted of 24 breakout sessions, featured guests speakers and Community Leaders throughout the day to help everyone as they prepare for a new school year.
Lt. Gov. Robert Stone was present to provide a blessing and open the day. Pearl Yellowman provided the morning’s keynote presentation called, “The Evolution of Trauma: Collected Impact Regarding the Influence of Poverty, Culture and Brain Development on the Behavior and Health Disparities of American Indian Youth.”
Yellowman shared a new approach when working with the Community, by understanding how to distinguish the influences of individual behavior and their interaction within a learning environment.
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, who was in attendance said, “With having all the schools present from pre-K to Eighth grade just shows that education is a priority for the Community.”
Lewis said, “Everyone is here for one reason, and that is the for the education of our students on the Gila River Indian Community.”
The breakout sessions provided workshops and presentations on O’otham and Pee-Posh culture, how to work collaboratively, assessment for learning, classroom management, and engagement strategies were among the topics covered.
Isaac Salcido, TED Director, was happy with the number of participants this year. Salcido stated, “We look forward to this event in order to get people energized and invigorated for the new year.”
Lucy Middaugh, Family Advocate for the District 6 Head Start, said, “This year focused a lot more on self-care for the teachers, and it was a good day.”
Her favorite session was with Mitch Factor, who hosted “How to Prevent Teacher Burn Out” that emphasized how to identify stress and how to mitigate it for a healthier and fun school year.
At lunch, Richie Taylor delivered remarks on behalf of the Arizona Department of Education’s Superintendent Kathy Hoffman.
To close-out the in-service, entertainment was provided by comedian Mitch Factor. Factor is a member of the Seminole and Menominee Indian Tribes.
With new schools opening in the future, next year’s in-service looks to grow in numbers.