Camden educators take time to refresh at retreat

The NJEA ACCESS Program hosted a retreat for Camden teachers as a midyear refresh session.

ACCESS Consultants have been using the book Onward by Elena Aguilar this school year to improve and standardize their coaching approach. The author, Elena Aguilar was the keynote speaker at the April 20 NJEA Transform Conference.

(L to r) Christina Watley, guidance counselor,  Jacqueline Wynn, third grade teacher, Carolyn Dambalas, middle school math teacher, Linda Thomas, ACCESS consultant, Jeff Grossman, Lead Educator, Marjorie Cutler, special education teacher, Maria Fox, paraprofessional and Cherie McCann, technology teacher.

The Inspiration for this Camden retreat came from Onward. In her book, Elena recognizes that around midyear, educators may have the bandwidth to reflect on how they learn because learning is a path to growth and resilience.

Approximately 20 participants met with the four Camden NJEA ACCESS consultants. Carolyn Corbi, Linda Thomas, Dorie Tchourumoff and Diane Stalacio prepared a presentation and activity for the educators. NJEA ACCESS Director Amanda Adams kicked off the session by welcoming educators and thanking them for giving up a part of a Saturday. She set the stage for the day.

They explored:

  • How do we learn?
  • How do we change?
  • How do we improve?
  • How do we create the conditions in which we can learn? 

Most of the sessions involved a chance for educators to share their thoughts, reflect on where they are and where they’re going, and to interact with their colleagues. There was a buzz of contentment and collegiality in the room.

(L tio r) Carolyn Corbi, ACCESS Consultant, Tina Campanaro first grade teacher, Ardith Thornton, first grade teacher, Dr. Michael Coleman, principal, Cathleen Ackroyd, kindergarten teacher, Martha Mendoza, ELL teacher, Maureen O’Driscoll, first grade teacher, and Sue Bowen, fourth grade teacher

The teachers who attended enjoyed the chance to work collaboratively with their colleagues. When they left at the end of the day, they were re-energized to survive the remainder of the school year. The event was a tremendous success!