The Rider Chronicle

Learning From Leaders

Teachers incorporate Pineapple Professional Development into their classrooms.

Victoria Hitchcock, Section Editor

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The first week of November 2017 set in motion a new method of professional development. The pineapples you may see adorning classroom doors around the school aren’t just for decoration, they serve a greater purpose. They are a part of the Pineapple Chart, a system that allows teachers to observe other classes to learn new ways of teaching. A pineapple on the door means that the teacher is open to others coming in to watch.

“Any field that you’re in you have to stay up to date, education is the same,” English teacher Heather Preston, who actually proposed the idea, said.

Typically teachers will go to conferences for their professional development, but this can be very inconvenient as they could miss school for days at a time. The Pineapple Chart allows them to utilize each other to learn and continue to grow as teachers.

“I think on our own we can do a lot, but if we work together then what else could we possibly do,” she said. “I think it’s just limited to our imagination.”

Education is becoming increasingly tech-driven, so the pineapple charts will be beneficial in showing teachers how to further incorporate technology into their lessons. English teacher Falesha Wood believes that this gives students a creative gateway because it offers an alternative to pencil and paper.

“I feel like it’s reaching all levels of kids,” she said. “From your top tier kids who are super smart down to your lower level kiddos that are really smart when it comes to technology. That’s more of an interest to them, so I feel like it differentiates the learning for all kids.”

The administration fully supports this Pineapple Professional Development and will help cover classes when teachers are observing lessons, but overall this is run entirely by the teachers. Principal Dee Palmore is pleased with how they have taken initiative in improving their teaching skills.

“It shows the leadership of our teachers,” Palmore said. “It’s not one teacher, it’s several teachers coming together to try to show some things that may help someone else, and I think that’s really a good thing. It’s a good culture for your campus to be a learning environment, not only for students but for teachers as well.”

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Learning From Leaders