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New forums give teachers time to exchange classroom ideas

2014 December 11
by HISD Communications

HISD hosted its inaugural Teacher Exchange forum on Dec. 2, the first in a series designed to give teachers from across the district an opportunity to network and share best practices they can use at their own campuses.

The forum – which was developed and organized by the Onboarding and Organizational Development team and hosted at the Energy Institute High School – brought together educators to discuss how to implement PowerUp technology in their classrooms.

Jeffrey Karahamuheto, an Advanced Placement social studies teacher at the Eastwood Academy, said events such as the Teacher Exchange are integral to his professional development, and he’s excited the district is offering teachers a chance to interact with their peers.

“In the teaching profession, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to speak with other educators, especially in a constructive manner,” Karahamuheto said. “The dialogue is essential. We can problem-solve together. You sometimes think these issues are isolated to our classroom, but I’ve found out a lot of these issues I’m facing, others are, too.”

During the event, teachers broke into separate groups, and moderators led discussions surrounding four questions that ranged from what kind of support teachers needed to implement PowerUp in their classroom to what kind of obstacles they face.

Chief Technology Officer Lenny Schad said the Teacher Exchange forums wouldn’t end when the group left that day’s meeting, and the event’s effectiveness would only be enhanced if attendees continued their discussions with colleagues.

“The power of this doesn’t remain in this room,” Schad said. “The power of this is when you go back to your campus and share this with your peers.”

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