Nearly 100 teachers from across the Lynbrook School District attended “Unconference Day,” — a day of workshops in professional development for teachers and by teachers — on March 25. Some of them even donned green and gold to show their school spirit.
“After the day, they thought it was one of the most successful events they’ve ever been to as far as professional development is concerned,” said event organizer Mary Kirby, who is the director of the Lynbrook School District Teacher Center.
The day began with breakfast and music in the Lynbrook High School gymnasium. The school’s Owl mascot was in attendance and photo booths were also set up. At the start of the day, teachers were given the opportunity to network and share their thoughts and ideas with one another.
Throughout the day, Lynbrook teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade attended three 30-minute workshops that were presented by other teachers. There were 16 workshops in all. The workshops included seminars on collaboration for education, technology, social and emotional learning, as well as others.
“We’re really just trying to boost the morale,” Kirby said. “Lynbrook’s a great place, but the Teacher Center really wanted to show the teachers and staff how much they’re appreciated.”
Kirby said the idea for Unconference Day came when two of her policy board members attended a similar seminar in Plainview last March. Kirby then attended one herself in Oceanside in November.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 budget allocated $20 million for Teacher Centers for professional development across the state, so Kirby said she believes the workshops could become an annual event. She added that a similar event is in the works for a superintendents conference next fall.
After the workshops were over, Kirby said the high school’s concert choir put on a performance in the auditorium to close out the day. Kirby expressed that she was thankful to the Lynbrook Public Schools and teachers for helping her.
“It was a lot of planning,” she said. “If I didn’t have the professional staff and the motivated staff and the passionate staff that I have in Lynbrook, this wouldn’t have been accomplished. Without them, it wouldn’t have been as successful as it was.”