Inspiring Collaborative Teaching and Student Engagement
December 8, 2016
by Learning Environment Coordinator Juanita Thompson
Finding innovative ways to support teachers is essential in designing the best possible learning environment for student engagement. To ensure that we make this happen each and every day in our preschool through 12th grade classrooms, King’s Schools has added a new position, Learning Environment Coordinator, which has become my new role.
The work of the Learning Environment Coordinator is three-fold: First, provide on-going support to teachers in curriculum design and mapping process; second, provide feedback on student engagement in learning through classroom visits; and third, facilitate the collaborative nature of teaching and learning between teachers, students and administrators. The focus is on:
- positive student engagement in learning in and outside the classroom;
- Biblical worldview integration into each content area;
- curriculum design through Understanding by Design unit planning;
- Professional Learning Communities where teachers collaborate on best practices;
- understanding and applying standards so our students learn beyond expectations;
- use of assessments to inform student learning;
- differentiated instruction to create a variety of opportunities to help students learn;
- utilizing the most current technology tools that prepare our students for college readiness and beyond.
King’s Schools’ focus on intentionally creating a positive and engaging learning environment for students is also my calling as an educator. Every day, I see students and teachers engaged in amazing learning environments. One day, I am collaborating with teachers on integrating Biblical worldview themes in their math courses. Another day, I’m seeing how students are engaged in social justice and marketing simulation, digitally designing senior yearbook pages, splicing jellyfish DNA or pitching their ideas for digital school newspaper. Still another, I might observe students risk-taking in drama improv or programming to develop web pages and online games. Each student is thinking and collaborating to problem-solve in current, real-world discussions.
Students at King’s are daily immersed in learning environments with loving, caring teachers where they engage in what it means to live out his or her calling to impact our world. It is a win-win for everyone with an excellent impact on our students!
Juanita Thompson has taught for 19 years; 15 years at King’s Schools. During this time, she served as Elementary Teacher, Grade Level Mentor Teacher, K-6 Curriculum Coordinator, School Improvement Leadership Team, K-6 Robotics Director, and Director of King’s Kids Club and Special Programs. Juanita earned from Seattle Pacific University a BA in English/Language Arts, K-8 certification, 4-12 endorsement and an MA in Educational Leadership with P-12 Administrator certification.