This summer, educators from our Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School (BAS) were able to attend two Rice School Literacy and Culture (SLC) Institutes.
The first, the Rice SLC Summer Institute for Teachers, is an opportunity for early childhood educators to review new research in the field of early childhood language development and literacy and to bridge the gap between research and practice by learning hundreds of strategies to promote literacy skills and development in the classroom. Three Pre-Kindergarten teachers and our BAS Director of Curriculum and Instruction attended the week-long institute.
All four are eager to return to the classrooms in the fall where they plan to expand student storytelling, dictation and dramatization practices as one way to advance the pre-academic and social-emotional learning of their students. As one research article they read indicated, “Oral language is the engine of academic learning,” and the teachers are brimming with ideas to help their students blossom.
Additionally, two educators were granted a full scholarship to attend a three-day conference called “Caring for Our Children, Caring for Ourselves.” The conference, convened in partnership between Rice SLC and The Save the Children Foundation, is focused on supporting early childhood educators whose classrooms and students have been impacted by the stress of Hurricane Harvey.
Both teachers attending this conference had multiple students who flooded and will bring back to campus training and techniques for supporting children’s expression and stories in the wake of traumatic events like Hurricane Harvey.
While these two learning experiences are emblematic of the culture of ongoing professional learning embraced at Bertha Alyce, they are only one piece of the partnership with Rice SLC.
Our educators and school are so fortunate to be one of a handful of campus collaborations with Rice. Throughout the year, Rice SLC staff will be onsite at BAS modeling best practices in literacy learning and providing coaching and mentoring to our staff.
Rice is investing their time and energy into BAS, and we are doubling down on our commitment to expanding our educational practices at the school. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Bertha Alyce School community!