Orientation 2008

The first GK-12 Transforming Experiences orientation was held over 4 days at the University of Colorado Denver campus. All participants, including Residents, middle school Lead Teachers, Faculty Mentors, and the GK-12 project team, partook in several educational and interesting discussions, presentations, and brainstorming sessions. Some of these activities included an exploration of the connections between the Residents' research & school curriculum, discussion of selected journal articles, and collaboration of planning the fall curriculum. Throughout the orientation, Residents, Mentors, and Lead Teachers alike had learning experiences and "ah-ha" moments. As Residents learned from Lead Teachers that "school is not a priority for students", teacher's explained that a real connection must be formed with a student before learning can begin. Residents also began to delve into the curriculum while also realizing the limitations caused by district/state standards, rules, and budgets. Teachers had the opportunity to see the information they are teaching their students now, displayed in the Residents' knowledge, research, and everyday applications.

Overall, all participants were very excited and eager to begin the school year and a major request was more time to work on the curriculum and planning in order for the Residents to be involved in the classroom as much as possible.