FLORENCE – Thanks to a grant, Pee Dee area middle school teachers (grades 6 – 8) have the opportunity to work on implementing language arts standards in their classrooms and to receive three free hours of graduate credit.
The grant is from the South Carolina Department of Education to the Swamp Fox Writing Project and Francis Marion University. The course, “Implementing Middle School Language Arts Standards,” is one of seven language arts standards academies offered throughout the state this spring and summer.
Chosen after review of proposals, the Swamp Fox academy offers practical support for teachers as they begin to connect and correlate standards to their lesson plans. The Swamp Fox course will run Tuesday evenings from 4:30-7:30 p.m., and on a few Saturday mornings, from March through May.
The dates should allow teachers several opportunities to work on implementing standards in this year's lesson plans and should give teachers a chance to have their summers to pursue other interests, program coordinator Suzanne Cherry says. One-half of the 30 seats in the Swamp Fox course are reserved for teachers in at-risk schools.
Linda Dowling and Cindy Wood, both teaching specialists with the South Carolina Department of Education, will lead the class. Both academy leaders have extensive classroom experience, in-depth knowledge of the language arts standards, and extensive practice facilitating professional development for local teachers. In addition to Dowling and Wood, consultants from local schools and FMU will work with the class, including Susan Rae (Southside Middle School), Sallie Folk (Johnakin Middle School), Gail Hayes (Darlington High), Michael Daniel, FMU assistant professor of education, Tom Sawyer, FMU associate professor of education, and Cherry.
For more information on the course or to register, teachers are asked to contact the FMU Department of Education office at 661-1460.
Cherry, an assistant professor with a dual appointment in English and education, is director of FMU’s Swamp Fox writing project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project. The National Writing Project was founded in San Francisco in 1973 as an effort to improve the writing of public school teachers and to discover ways to teach writing more effectively.