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NMSI Blog

What to Expect at Summer Institutes


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If you’re a teacher heading to a NMSI Summer Institute, you may wonder what to expect. And if you’re a parent, administrator or simply an advocate for great teaching, you might want to help teachers find outstanding professional development opportunities.

We’ve compiled helpful tips for a successful training week with NMSI.

NMSI has two long-running teacher development programs. Our College Readiness Program Summer Institutes are for Advanced Placement® high school teachers. They offer differentiated tracks for new and returning teachers, allowing seasoned attendees to have more advanced pedagogy and take a bigger role in owning their learning. All CRP teachers can choose from breakout sessions. Teachers who want more content knowledge, to practice more teaching techniques or explore lab options, can choose from these and other topics.

Our Laying the Foundation Summer Institutes are for grades 3-12 teachers. This year, we’ll have more opportunities for teachers to practice what they’re learning. We’ll offer a chance to experience learning from a student’s perspective. Teachers will learn how to vertically align lessons with their grade levels and with lower and upper grades for seamless student learning. In some of our locations, we have sessions for teachers attending a second year of LTF to give more time to modify and prepare to teach materials.

Another new addition this year is incorporating culturally responsive teaching practices at CRP and LTF SIs. Presenters will model inclusive and collaborative strategies. Some materials will represent more diverse voices. We emailed participants a culturally responsive teaching playbook, which is also available on Blackboard and the LTF website.

Along with our teacher trainings, we’re offering Leadership Institutes in Baton Rouge, Seattle and Dallas. School leaders learn best practices for adopting CRP and share knowledge on effective leadership skills. We’re piloting a K-12 computer science professional development for educators, school administrators and counselors July 22 to 26 in Dallas.

From a logistics standpoint at Summer Institutes, we're excited to use Boomset check-in kiosks, which allow teachers to check-in, verify personal and session information and have their badges printed within seconds. The system creates an easier and more efficient check-in process. We also will have early-bird check-in, allowing teachers to check-in the day before sessions begin and avoid the line on the first day of training.

Also new this year, we’re using Attendify to help attendees keep track of daily events and make connections with other teachers. As one example, in North Dakota, teachers are sharing good vegan restaurants near the training site. Others are posting photos of their road trips and excitement before the trainings begin.

Starting with the San Diego College Readiness Program SI this week, teachers will receive a postcard with instructions to sign-up for our new NMSI Portal. The one-stop shop provides access to year-round supports, including key logistical and programmatic information, tools, updates, reminders and program materials.

While at training, bring a computer to access resources digitally. Teachers new to our trainings should ask a returning teacher or presenter for demonstrations of the LTF website or our CRP Blackboard lounges. Going one step further, teachers new to NMSI can ask others about their favorite resources on these sites, which provide a wealth of useful content for the classroom.

Don’t forget to take the daily surveys, which can inform the next day’s activities. A presenter often sees comments and modifies based on the feedback. The end-of-event surveys inform how we redesign, create pilots and make other changes.

If you have questions while on site, look for the NMSI representatives in red shirts. All non-travel emergency requests and inquiries can be directed to customerservice@nms.org.

Ultimately, remember to connect with the wonderful teachers surrounding you. While you provide one source of expertise, every other teacher is another source of expertise. Go in with the excitement to establish relationships that can help you throughout the year.

A few of our SIs still have openings. Interested? Sign-up here.