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The Learning Lab

The Learning Lab
Posted on 06/11/2018
Literacy Interventionist Carly Moats (right) threads her way through a classroom at Deane Elementary.There’s always a lot for Carly Moats to track as part of her job as Literacy Interventionist at Deane Elementary. On this day, she added some classroom visitors to the list, a mix of experienced and new Jeffco teachers, do some classroom observation and later a debriefing with Moats. They were there as part of a Jeffco learning lab.

“We try to offer learning labs across the board so that teachers have an opportunity to go and visit a host classroom,” explained Induction Coordinator Jody Barker. “To be able to see real teachers with real kids with real instruction, but also get a chance to network with other teachers.

These learning labs give others the opportunity to see what it’s like in the classroom every day.

“Honestly, it’s the real deal. This is the real life of an educator; we’re busy, we’re on the go, we’re having to squeeze meetings in with our classroom callings, we’re having to do quick conversations with students, and I don’t think that comes across necessarily when we’re pulled away from the environment in which we’re working in,” said Moats.

Moats was chosen as a model for others to learn from because of her track record as an effective lesson designer and her ability to perform literacy intervention that makes an impact on her kids.

“She also has an ability to really help students believe in themselves and know that they’re going to be able to achieve at that high level,” said Barker.

The lab has been especially helpful for Jeffco newcomer Bailey Leonard, who says she didn’t get this type of support in her previous teaching position in Florida.

“Having opportunities like this in Jeffco is really new to me and I really like it because I’m someone that learns by seeing someone else do it,” said Leonard, who teaches at Hutchinson Elementary. “I know if I’m going to grow and become a better educator, it’s going to be because I see things that other people are doing.”

For Moats, the lab is a two-way street, because it gives her a chance to do some professional interaction that is often limited by her busy schedule.

“To talk, to brainstorm, to learn, to improve practice. It’s a great opportunity for me to hear what’s up and coming in education and the wonders and worries of educators right now,” said Moats.

“It’s just that reality of being able to get a balcony view of the real world that you live in,” added Barker.

See the JPS-TV version of this story here.

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