LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College Teacher Education Division helped more than 400 Idaho Region II K-12 teachers with remote and online delivery of classes through a workshop created to help teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mark Haynal, chair of the LC State Teacher Education Division, said the college created 17 sections of the ED-491 workshop entitled “Remote and Online Instruction.” In all, 420 teachers took the class, including some from Clarkston, Kellogg, Coeur d’Alene, and Council, along with the 13 Region II school districts and private schools. Also, there were eight other teachers who took part in the workshop, even though their school district opted not to participate.
The workshop came about in response to the Idaho State Board of Education’s soft school closure, which restricted in-person classes in Idaho in late March. At the time, Haynal reached out to superintendents in Region II, which extends north to Potlatch and south to Grangeville, to let them know the college would be willing to work with them to design a way for their teachers to get professional development credit while learning how to deliver remote and online instruction to students.
The workshop’s popularity grew when schools had to close their classrooms and teachers and students moved to online and remote instruction to finish the school year.
“We knew a lot of K-12 teachers have never taught online or remotely, so we wanted to offer our expertise in the area because of the strong Teacher Education program we have here at the college,” Haynal said. “And we thought we would make it easy for the teachers to earn professional development credits while they learned.”
To help the teachers with the professional development credits, which can be used to renew their teaching certificates, LC State lowered the cost in half to $25 per credit as a way to show the college’s support of its education partners during the difficult time.
“Mark did an outstanding job of creating this opportunity, thinking beyond just our campus needs, and focusing on our partners in the school districts and the impact it would ultimately have on our K-12 youth,” LC State Dean for the School of Professional Studies Fred Chilson said. “This workshop provided a great value not only to all involved, but to the state of Idaho as well.”
The college developed a simple syllabus to go with the workshop and then allowed each district to make slight alterations to best fit their situation. Each six-week workshop consisted of five components that included direct instruction, research, practicum, reflection and a final report. Teachers could work at their own speed and the participating schools could choose the dates of the workshop.
“The classroom has been totally flipped on its side during the pandemic,” said Mary Hamilton, a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher at Lakes Middle School in Coeur d’Alene. “Having this course allowed me to practice and then reflect on new strategies used for remote learning.”
Here is a breakdown of the schools and school districts that had teachers take part in the workshop: Troy School District 14, Culdesac School District 4, All Saints Catholic School (Lewiston) and Holy Family Catholic School (Clarkston) 10, Moscow School District 24, Highland Joint School District 5, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School (Grangeville) 7, Kellogg School District 9, Kendrick School District 6, Mountain View School District (Kooskia, Grangeville and Elk City) 47, Lapwai School District 18, Lewiston School District 196, Genesee Joint School District 18, Nez Perce School District 11, Potlatch School District 8, Cottonwood School District 34, and teachers from non-participating districts 8.