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Great Share for Our New Teachers . . . Getting your to-do list under control!

As the first marking period comes to a close, this article from Edutopia can help you stay on top of your constantly growing list of tasks to accomplish.

Click on the title below to access the article:

Getting Your To-Do List Under Control

Building routines around recurring tasks can help new teachers save effort and focus on what really matters.

Get to know your students . . . Year One Staff learn about Culturally Responsive Teaching

Last week, our Year One professional staff examined the critical topic of Culturally Responsive Teaching. The EL Department trainers and coaches, Ms. Ameena Elder and Ms. Nadra Shami presented information and activities that introduced the staff to the challenges that our refugee students face on a daily basis. Time was spent in small group and whole group reflecting on how educators can best support our students that endure these hardships.  The presentation from this session is available on the Dearborn Teacher University tab under “PD Presentations.”

As a reminder, be sure to register for our next Dearborn Teacher University Year One PD on November 27, 2018. The topic will be Assessment with two sessions available. High School Year One staff will meet at 2:45-4:00 for SAT/PSAT and our K-8 session will focus upon NWEA from 4:10-5:25.  Both workshops will meet in the board room at ASC. The link for registration is available here:

High School registration:  SAT/PSAT Session

K-8 registration: NWEA Session

Mentor/Mentee meetings are off to a strong start!

During the past month, over 380 teachers were in attendance at one of the Dearborn Teacher University Mentor/Mentee professional development sessions.  Multiple dates were scheduled to offer flexibility and to encourage having both the new teacher and their mentor attend the meeting together. Based on staff feedback from last year, part of the sessions were focused on completing the Self-Evaluation component from the My Learning Plan teacher evaluation. Mentor/Mentee teams were given time to collaborate and plan for their professional growth goals based on the results from their Self-Evaluation. In addition, DTU expectations for Year Two/Three staff were reviewed. The presentation from all sessions, plus handouts are available on the SIP/DTU blog, as well as in this post. Overall, the second and third year staff are off a great start for the 2018-19 school year. We wish them a wonderful school year!

Year One Professional Staff make their mark with Gradebook

Recently, our newly hired teachers attended their first Dearborn Teacher University Year One professional development on Gradebook. Ms. Fadia Nahed from Computer Services and Ms. Katharine Keebler from Howe Elementary introduced how to set-up gradebook, enter assignments, as well as how to pull various reports. Participants had the opportunity to engage with the MiStar website and leave the session with their Gradebook ready for the upcoming marking period.

Links to the iLearn course for further information are included in this post, as well as the Gradebook Set-up handouts that were distributed during the session.

Elementary – Gradebook Setup

High School – Gradebook Setup

Middle School – Gradebook Setup

To access the training documentation, please:

  1. Click then iLearn, or click the following iLearn Link and then login
  2. Search for course ASC – Computer Services Dept and enroll in the course
  3. Click Group Selection to choose 1 or More groups to review the corresponding documentation; the groups are: Counseling Office, School Office, Support Staff and Teacher

We look forward to seeing everyone during next month’s session on Culturally Responsive Teaching.

Welcome New Professional Staff

Dearborn Teacher University welcomes over 75 new staff members to the district!

Recently the Dearborn Teacher University office presented a two day orientation to our new teachers. During the sessions offered, staff members from various district departments presented a brief overview of how they can support teachers during the school year. The second day was focused upon unpacking elementary and secondary standards, writing content and language objectives and accessing and navigating the DEC platform. A huge thank you to all of our amazing presenters who helped make the orientation a great success!


We look forward to working with our new professional staff during their first year in the district and wish them best of success at the start of the school year!

Final DTU Year One PD Session checks out Google Apps

This past week, the Dearborn Teacher University hosted its final Year One PD workshop for the 2017-18 school year. This month’s topic was on Google Apps. Troy Patterson, Director of Technology and Media Services provided a hands-on overview of how to efficiently utilize Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and other Google apps available for educators to access through the Google Suite for Education. The session included opportunities for the participants to try out the new Gmail platform and ask questions.

Based on the overall feedback, our teachers understand how important the integration of technology can be in working with their students and in their classrooms. Mr. Patterson encouraged all participants to reach out to one of the two district tech coaches for additional support. The Tech Coaches blog offers tips, explanations and the ability to schedule an appointment with one of them to work with teachers and students.

We would like to wish all of our Dearborn Teacher University Mentees, Mentors and Presenters a wonderful summer break!

We look forward to working with you again in the 2018-19 school year.

It’s a Wrap! Year One Professional Staff finish up their first year in Dearborn Public Schools

This past week, over 400 Year One Professional Staff members and their mentors attended their last Mentor/Mentee meeting of the school year. During the meeting we discussed the importance of relationships between the mentor/mentee partnership, as well as the relationships between teacher to students, parents and colleagues. Year end Dearborn Teacher University and state requirements were reviewed for all new staff members and their mentors. Anyone with questions should please contact our office.

We have one final DTU Professional Development opportunity left for this school year on May 22 from 4:10-5:25. The topic for this month is Google Apps. Be sure to register at this link if you’re still in need of professional development hours:

The Dearborn Teacher University wishes all of their mentees congratulations on completing their first year with the Dearborn Public Schools!

Time to Partner Up! Co Teaching-PD Dearborn Teacher University

One Hundred and twenty four first year teachers attended the latest Dearborn Teacher University session, the new professional staff defined co-teaching as “collaboration.” Participants learned about the various models of co-teaching and how important it is for the teams to pre-plan their lessons. As part of the District Strategic Plan, co-teaching partners a general education teacher with a specialized teacher in the area of Special Education or EL. Together, two highly qualified educators work to meet the needs of all students in the classroom.

We are grateful for the wonderful experience and knowledge shared by the leadership team from the Special Education Department, Mike Esseily, Nicole West, Kim Ray, Rola Bazzi Gates, Courtney Pletzke and others. They along with  always support the DTU program by contributing their expertise and presenting on various topics.

The presentation from this session is available on the Dearborn Teacher University tab under “PD Presentations.”

As a reminder, be sure to register for our next Dearborn Teacher University PD on May 22, 2018 from 4:10-5:25 p.m.. The topic will be Google Apps.

The link for registration is available here: DTU – Year One Google Apps

See everyone in May!


Free SCECH Opportunities Through Michigan Virtual


Several teachers often contact the school improvement office to inquire about Free SCECH opportunities. Below is a valuable source through Michigan Virtual which is an online blended learning platform for educators and students.

May 1 is the deadline to register — Last chance to enroll in  self-paced online courses to receive your SCECHs in time for the June 30 deadline.

We highlighted the Free Online Courses listed below:

woman on laptop

Sign up for these courses by May 1 to receive your SCECHs in time for the June 30 deadline!

Resisting Inequity: Language as Power and Right

The School Improvement Office and the Dearborn EL Department members teamed up to attend the 2018 National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) 47th Annual Conference.  The NABE is a non-profit membership organization that works to advocate for educational equity and excellence for bilingual/multilingual students in a global society.  Our teams had the opportunity to attend several high-quality sessions that focused on improving instructional practices for linguistically and culturally diverse children.

One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote session by Saul Ramirez. Mr. Ramirez is the chess coach and art teacher at Henderson Middle School in El Paso, Texas, where he coached his students to win the national chess championships in 2015 and 2016. Ramirez grew up in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio, one of the poorest zip codes in the United States, and discovered chess as a child, which became a pathway out of misfortune.  This amazing middle school teacher believed in his students when no one else did. Two students from the winning team shared their stories of struggle and courage and how playing chess helped change their lives. Needless to say there was not a dry eye in the 2,000 seat auditorium. The story of their championship journey is chronicled in the book The Champions’ Game.

Another valuable session that we attended focused upon online educational resources available ​for teachers at no cost.  Here’s the description from this worthwhile session: When English language learners are placed in your mainstream classroom, it’s a huge challenge for them…and for you.  What is out there that can help you reach your student’s families, teach literacy skills, academic content, and English at the same time?  Join us for the latest research and FREE resources on Colorin Colorado. The website is sponsored by the AFT and is filled with a wealth of information for all teachers and parents to explore while working with children.  Here’s the link to the website:

​​The EL and SIP teams are excited to implement some of these best practices with our Dearborn students and teachers. ​