Sep 19, 2023

Insights from the CEC Windsor Professional Learning Workshop

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
― Maya Angelou

This is a quote I heard being shared by a member of CEC Windsor during our professional learning workshop

Greetings from Denver International Airport! Today, September 5, 2023, I had the pleasure of spending the morning with the dedicated staff of CEC Windsor, located just outside Fort Collins and a quick 45-minute hop from Denver, Colorado. This visit marked the second in seven professional learning workshops for the school year. As I prepare to return in the first week of November, I can’t help but wonder how the bright blue skies, warm sunshine, and high temperatures I experienced today will soon give way to flurries of snow and the inevitable need for cozy coats.

The journey began in November 2022 during a conversation with the Colorado Charter Schools Institute (CSI), a statewide charter school authorizer. They were seeking opportunities for charter schools in Colorado to partner with Eye to Eye. CSI introduced us to the exceptional leadership team at CEC Windsor, led by Principal Kelly Smith and Instructional Lead Rebecca Feilmann.

Thanks to the magic of Zoom, I’ve been collaborating with them regularly since February this year to identify areas of need, establish alignment, and determine the most effective way for Eye to Eye’s professional learning to support both staff and students at CEC Windsor. On August 2nd, the Eye to Eye team facilitated the first professional learning workshop of the school year for all staff, not just classroom educators.

During our workshop, we delved into specific strategies designed to support neurodivergent students – a topic I’ll cover in more detail in an upcoming blog post, highlighting how these strategies benefit all students. As our workshop ended, Kelly Smith, the school’s principal, made a noteworthy observation. She remarked that the strategies we were exploring were, in essence, “just best practices.” Indeed, at Eye to Eye, we firmly believe that strategies tailored for neurodivergent students benefit all learners.
This carefully curated workshop focused on building a strong community, encouraging self-reflection among educators, and deepening their understanding of neurodiversity and learning differences. These discussions laid the groundwork for a more profound exploration of designing accessible learning experiences through the lens of Universal Design for Learning. So, stay tuned as we continue our journey, fostering inclusivity and collaboration with CEC Windsor and, ultimately, positively impacting all students’ educational experiences.

This blog was written by Eye to Eye’s Senior Director of Learning Design Symon Hayes. To learn more about professional learning for educators please click here.

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