—by Jeff Tuttle, Golden Apple Fellow and Golden Apple Board Member—


We had another amazing professional development, this time at the El Dorado Community School, part of the Santa Fe Public Schools.  Roni Rohr hosted us in her art classroom.

Laura Carthy shared a paper on her professional development in Los Angeles California to support Latino students in college preparatory classes and programs.  Her paper is posted here as a separate blog post.

During announcements, Alfredo Lujan, a 2015 Fellow who is currently Vice President elect, and next year will be the President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) , would like to encourage all teachers of English in New Mexico to join the council, the membership to which is linked here.  In addition, he encourages them to participate in the affiliate conference, which takes place in Albuquerque on October 27, 2018.   The link for the for the NMCTE conference registration is  here.  Alfredo also wanted to spread to word that the “National Day of Writing” is October 20, 2018, but will be observed at their school on the 18th, since the 20th is a Saturday.

Miskee Blatner’s Teacher Led, Teacher Driven, “Personalized” Professional Development, was our first presentation, the handout for which is featured as an article here, and is a well researched proposition for two different models of peer observation.  Great ideas for education in New Mexico, thank you, Miskee.

Gerald Tafoya presented community building exercises which he uses with his middle school students as ice breakers.  The exercises were also very boosting to the energy level for our group, because they were whole group, whole body topological puzzles.  His summary is linked as a separate blog post here.   It is always great to move around, thank you Gerald for putting us to work!

Chris Speck presented “Bringing the Ocean to the Desert, a journey into involving students with acting on a major problem in the world, the bleaching of coral reefs and climate change.  The linked article above is a good introduction into an awe-inspiring project with students, thank you Chris.

Roni Rohr then had us paint a mural, which was a great way to teach us about a project she has done with students, gave us a community piece of art, and a chance to speak to each other for long periods of time while we were working.  It was a perfect follow on to the exciting presentations that were made, more time to share and be active.  Roni’s work is featured in current publications, Studio Thinking from the Start, and the October/November 2018 (that’s now!) edition of  Scholastic’s Art Magazine.  Thanks Roni, for hosting and for the great project.

The day was amazing, and again is representative of the world-class quality of educators here in New Mexico.  Thanks to all.