Four Peabody-Burns teachers were recognized by Kansas State Department of Education at an awards banquet Feb. 24 for being among 98 teachers to complete the Teacher Leader Endorsement pilot program.
Peabody-Burns High School family and consumer sciences teacher Cathy Silvers, district curriculum director and testing coordinator Kathy Preheim, Peabody-Burns Elementary School second-grade teacher Louise Whiteman, and PBES third-grade teacher Emily Bowlin had to document their leadership in six areas to receive the endorsement.
One of the six areas was action research, in which teachers research teaching methods that have been successful elsewhere then implement them in their classroom and compare the results to methods previously used in their classrooms. As an example, Preheim’s action research involved finding different ways to teach geometry to fifth-graders.
Four years ago, while she still taught fifth grade, Preheim implemented a “multiple intelligences” strategy to find methods that allowed students the best opportunity to understand geometry. Among the techniques Preheim used were having students construct shapes with string or marshmallows and toothpicks, identifying shapes in nature or at the grocery store, and forming shapes with their bodies.
Preheim said the students’ scores on the geometry portion of state assessments improved significantly, so she continued to use the “multiple intelligences” strategy for the remainder of her time teaching fourth grade.
The other issues emphasized in the process are adult learning, observation and use of assessment data, professional development, collaborative teams and advocacy, and collaboration with families and the community.
The endorsement is intended to recognize teachers who provide leadership at either the school or district level, Preheim said.