Dr. John Almarode Leads District Teachers on "Deep Dive" for Better Engagement in the Classroom

On February 19, school and district staff across the district went from being teachers to students as they attended a wide range of Pro-D events.

Out at University Hill Secondary, 250 secondary and intermediate teachers packed the cafeteria for a talk (as well as some fun engagement activities) led by Dr. John Almarode, an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at James Madison University.

During his morning session Almarode touched on the importance of designing lessons and activities, which incorporate three levels of learning including behavioral learning, cognitive learning and social/emotional learning.

Almarode stressed the importance of teachers determining their key messages and then checking in with classes to ensure understanding.

To illustrate his point, Almarode took his audience through a range of activities, which incorporated music and activity. The ultimate goal was to illustrate the importance of giving the brain a break. But Almarode stressed that a break doesn't necessarily mean idleness - it can also just mean a change in activities.

Director of Instruction Denise Johnson says she heard rave reviews about Almarode's session.

"We were very pleased to have someone so current and passionate about helping teachers develop great ways to do student engagement," she says. 

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