Written by Pam Walker
English Content Manager
With A+ College Ready’s Summer LTF Training now behind us, I feel compelled to take a moment to reflect on my own LTF training, which occurred many years ago in the summer of 2009. At that time, I had just completed my fourteenth year of teaching English and was looking forward to a full summer of relaxation. Like many teachers, I was hesitant to give up four of my summer days off to attend a training that might just be another “hoop” for me to jump through. I was a good but tired teacher who did not want to potentially waste my time for rejuvenation in a training that would not benefit me or my students. As it turns out, it was that LTF training that gave me the tools I desperately needed to reignite my love of learning and teaching and ultimately transform my classroom.
The four days I spent immersed in LTF lessons turned out to be the best four days of training I ever received in my twenty years as a public school teacher. Learning the strategies presented at that training and collaborating with other teachers proved to be life-changing for me – as close to a professional religious conversion as one could have! The training unlocked something in me I did not know was fettered; it allowed me to return to my classroom and make English come alive for my students in ways that it never had before. Don’t get me wrong. I was a good teacher prior to LTF; however, after that experience, I became a better teacher, able to guide my students to think and understand deeply and to apply their critical thinking and writing skills in the real world.
Educators often describe their job as a “plate” that is overflowing with all the requirements of the classroom, school, district, and state. While this is an accurate analogy of educators constantly adding or removing or shifting those job requirements, the training a teacher receives during LTF is different: the training becomes the plate, the foundation on which teachers build every other aspect of what goes on in their classrooms. Today, I am fortunate to work with A+ College Ready as we bring LTF training to teachers each summer; it is my job to encourage and support trained teachers on their journey after LTF training. I am proud to be a part of an organization that values education and provides meaningful professional development to educators. It is my hope that, if you are reading this and are a teacher, you will register for one of our summer sessions next year. Without a doubt, I believe that you will find it to be an experience well worth your time and effort.