Associate professor quoted on summer teacher training and development
While students are out for the summer, teachers are taking advantage of local businesses to learn about industry trends and work life balance to gain insight into an ever-evolving job market.
In a recent article published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Theodore J. Kopcha, an associate professor in the department of career and information studies in UGA's College of Education, highlighted the importance of evolving the teacher training experience.
"One thing that is often overlooked is how this training can immediately be used in the classroom," he said. "The focus is on the technology or the skills or the content, and the teacher may not know how to apply it to learning."
According to the article, Gwinnett County Public Schools has nearly doubled the number of career and technical education teachers over the past five years to increase school rigor and relevance. Administrators say they want students preparing for college and a career challenged by classwork, but also exposed to relevant learning experiences in the business industry.
If done right, these partnerships can win all around, said Kopcha. And taking the training beyond one event is a way to evolve the experience.
"Longevity is the key," he added. "A workshop with a follow-up support in the form of a Facebook or Twitter hashtag will allow participants to share ideas and best practices and let the business stay involved. This kind of interaction is beneficial on all sides."