Professional Development

Learn about current professional development opportunities available to educators in Wisconsin. Please note that WITESOL is only sharing these opportunities and is not responsible for the content and quality of these opportunities.

If you have an idea for hosting a regional conference in Wisconsin and would like WITESOL’s help, please email witesolboard@gmail.com.

Co-plan, Co-serve, Co-learn Webinar

Recording from the webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdriXjNe7w4

On September 23rd, Heather A. Linville the TESOL program at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, was happy to receive funding from WITESOL to offer a regional professional development event. There is a need for co-teaching to improve instruction and outcomes for ELs in our schools, and the increasing focus on the Co-plan, Co-serve, Co-learn (C3) model (Capper & Frattura, 2017) has been a push in the right direction for effective and equitable instruction for ELs. We offered the webinar, C3: Co-Planning to Co-Serve and Co-Learn, to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude to use this model for co-teaching. Originally planned as a face-to-face workshop for the spring of 2020, global events (the COVID-19 pandemic) changed our plans and we changed the event to a virtual webinar, adding the topic of co-teaching virtually. While we knew the event would offer less networking for participants, we were excited that more would be able to participate removing the limitations of space and transportation.

Our two speakers brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the webinar. Katie Kusilek is a local EL teacher and EL Coordinator with expertise in co-teaching from her Master’s thesis. With over 13 years of experience teaching ELs and co-teaching at multiple grade levels at the elementary level, she brings an emphasis on C3 implementation to all her roles. Grace Jarzemsky, a local ESL teacher with five years of experience co-teaching with multiple grade levels in her elementary school, co-presented with Katie. We all agreed that professional development focused on co-teaching should include some co-teaching, to model and “practice what we preach.”

There were 74 ESL teachers, teacher candidates, and administrators who registered for the event from across the state, including 16 WITESOL members. The webinar was recorded for those who could not attend the synchronous virtual event, or for those who had to enter late or leave early. The Zoom webinar went off (almost) without a hitch!

Katie and Grace’s goal was to “explore effective collaborative practices and identify strategies that positively impact both teaching and learning.” To meet that goal, they divided the presentation into five parts: 1) why co-plan to co-serve and co-learn, 2) what is co-plan to co-serve and co-learn, 3) elements of co-plan to co-serve and co-learn, 4) how to co-plan, and 5) doing so in a virtual world. Participants were able to fully understand the C3 model and understand its benefits through small-group break-out discussions on what the specialist (EL) teacher and the general education teacher do in co-planning, and why. They also saw visual models of co-teaching and, importantly, videos of real teachers co-planning and co-teaching. These were especially helpful as participants could visualize themselves using the C3 model. At the end, Katie and Grace shared a plethora of online resources that participants were able to download in a handout to take with them.

The feedback from the event was very positive with participants noting that the event was well-organized and the presenters well-prepared. Most found the presentation engaging and helpful to their professional lives, with one hoping to go deeper into the challenges of co-serving students and building collaborative relationships, and another wanting to have more opportunity to network. Based on this feedback, we hope to be able to offer another event in the future!

Report submitted be Heather A. Linville