501 3c Organization

Professional Learning

Professional Learning at Riverwood

Every Riverwood teacher reaches over 100 students, so we at the Foundation agree that one of the best investments we can make as a school, parents, and broader community is to support our teachers.  As such, a primary focus of the Foundation is Professional Learning. One such program that supports this mission is Teaching for Excellence (TFE). Riverwood teachers must learn to engage our students using new and innovative techniques. “Teaching for Excellence”  a week long hands-on summer training for our teachers geared to move the classroom to a student-centered model that is teacher-led. Teachers become coaches, mentors and guides to the learning process, and students become more active participants responsible for their learning by working closely with peers. This creates opportunities to encourage problem solving and critical thinking and better prepares students for the independent learning model required in higher education.  We plan engage in other professional development opportunities to support this area of focus as needed.

Why is Professional Learning important at Riverwood?

High school teachers are usually experts in their content area, but rarely learn techniques to engage students in a 21st Century classroom.  How do you teach Chemistry standards and encourage collaboration/teamwork, creativity and imagination, critical thinking and problem solving?  Our Riverwood students have information at their fingertips and have no need to memorize facts. Our teachers must learn techniques to engage each and every student at Riverwood focusing on a relationship with students that nurtures a students individual abilities and makes them curious to learn.  Our hope is that every student will develop a passion for learning while they hone the necessary skills to compete in a Global community.

What does your support mean to this Program?

In education, research has shown that teaching quality and school leadership are the most important factors in raising student achievement. For teachers and school and district leaders to be as effective as possible, they continually expand their knowledge and skills to implement the best educational practices. Educators learn to help students learn at the highest levels. The Teaching for Excellence program has changed the look and feel of Riverwood classrooms.  Ask your student who their favorite teacher is after the first day of school and you are likely to hear the name of a Riverwood teacher TFE graduate. We need your financial support to continue to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and staff.

Program Achievements

how we make a difference

  • TFE teachers are consistently chosen as the Teacher of the Year at Riverwood.
  • Our students recognize teachers that are invested in their success and actually enjoy participating in TFE classroom activities.
  • Teachers have great things to say about summer training.
What the Teachers are saying
“Before T4E I taught in a more traditional manner.  Now I use the learning station strategies almost all the time so the students are able to be more involved in their responsibility for their learning.” – Cynthia Litchfield, SEC Teacher
“Teaching for Excellence is the best training experience I have had since I have been teaching.  The program really focuses on the needs of the student and how to maximize achievement in the classroom.  Before TFE, I would teach a concept and move on, without spending too much time on the past material.  TFE taught me that the students need to be exposed those old concepts every day to fully retain the information.  Because of this idea, I have completely redesign my warm ups, quizzes and test to always include “flashback” concepts.  This is proven to be so helpful, especially for a Milestone class where students learn material in August and need to fully understand the concept in May.  This is just one of the many strategies I learned and implement in my classroom today from Teaching for Excellence.” – Laura Taylor, Math Teacher
“What an incredible experience! Thank you RICS foundation for this fantastic opportunity to work with my colleagues and the Teach For Excellence program.  The program modeled wonderful techniques and strategies for engaging students in learning and working with all learning modalities.  As of Day 2 .. I am already seeing how these techniques are easily placed into my daily teaching routine to improve learning and instruction!”-  Patti Lawrimore, Science Department Chair
“Teaching for Excellence is more than just a conference. It is a philosophy that can (and should) be applied to all aspects of life. “Relationships are at the heart” is the essence of T4E. When we take time to build relationships with our students, to really get to know them and show them that we really care about them as whole beings and not just teenagers we see for an hour and a half every other day, that is when real engagement, learning,  motivation and achievement begin.  As if those two things alone weren’t amazing enough, T4E also gives us an arsenal of tried and true strategies, tools, activities, and games that can be applied to any content area and that are based on scientific & academic studies and have actual data to support their effectiveness. They REALLY work!!!!!” – Lorraine Lynch/Foreign Language Teacher