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Renowned expert offers advice for keeping students engaged in learning

Feb. 19, 2013 @ 01:15 AM

WAYNE -- On Monday, the teachers became the students.

During an Instructional Support and Enhancement Day at Wayne High School, teachers sat under the tutelage of John Strebe, a nationally renowned expert on collaborative and cooperative learning. He shared his techniques for keeping students engaged in the classroom.

"We wanted to bring something in to rejuvenate and motivate our teachers in this period between Christmas and spring break," said Wayne High School Principal Sara Stapleton. "Mr. Strebe talks about classroom management and keeping kids engaged."

The interactive, daylong workshop provided strategies, ideas and resources for teachers in areas ranging from team building to collaborative discipline to team rewards. Teachers who attended the workshop were provided a complete set of handouts describing Strebe's strategies.

Past experience, Strebe said, has shown that implementing the strategies can result in reinvigorated teachers and an increase in student test performance.

"I mean for this workshop to actually make a difference in a teacher's life," Strebe said Monday. "These are things that worked for me and it took me years to learn it."

Math teacher Joni Ross said she has attended several Strebe workshops during her career. She said she has learned how to set up her classroom in cooperative teams that helps give students more ownership over their education.

"His methods put the kids more in charge of their own learning rather than me standing and lecturing all day," Ross said.

Ross said the opportunity to attend the workshop shows that the school system cares what teachers are doing in the classroom.

"This just gives us more resources to better do our jobs," she said.

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.

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