EDU 20/20 is Partnering with HCS

Being a teacher can feel like a lonely job.  Sure, a teacher is never technically isolated in a classroom since they are responsible for 20-25 other human beings on a daily basis, but their professional work is mostly done in seclusion and separate from their peers.  There is rarely any time to observe another teacher’s lesson in real time or even know if the way a lesson is being taught is the best way to teach that lesson.  That’s why teachers need effective training and time to collaborate with their co-workers.

This school year, Haywood County Schools (HCS) is partnering with EDU20/20 to help support the district’s teachers by providing in-depth professional development centered around high-quality instructional materials.

EDU20/20 was founded by Courtney Dumas and Shannon Streett in 2020 with Miranda Britt joining the team recently.   The mission of EDU20/20 is to empower teachers and instructional leaders in small districts to leverage high-impact strategies and curriculum as a catalyst for instructional improvement and student success.  In other words, EDU20/20 is a support for teachers in HCS to effectively teach high-quality educational materials to the students of the district.

Because high-quality instructional materials can sometimes be challenging to navigate due to the sheer depth of the units, in-depth and relevant learning during professional development is key.

“Our main priority here is on high-quality instructional materials. It’s great to adopt high-quality instructional materials, but it’s something else altogether to understand the materials and the most effective way to teach those materials,” Shannon said.  “That’s where we provide our support.”

During training with EDU20/20, teachers collaboratively work through the planning aspects of a lesson – examining how the lesson is connected, digging into the text, and finding ways to connect the text to students in a tangible way.  To do this effectively, however, teachers need time to do it.  

“In order to teach these materials well, we have to give teachers time to spend with the materials,” Shannon said.  “HCS teachers work really well together – they plan, they collaborate.  They really enjoy their time in PLC’s and in our training.”

During training, EDU20/20 and HCS teachers work in concert to focus content in order to best meet students’ learning targets.

“We have two different processes: one is a unit unpacking process and then we break it down into individual lessons.  We want teachers to teach these lessons with fidelity and integrity, but also know the “why” in regards to student learning,” Shannon explained.  

While Shannon, Courtney, and Miranda are the leaders of the training, they simply see themselves the same as the people they are training – teachers.  

“We want teachers to see us as teachers, too.  We were teachers for a long time and we know what teachers experience – the frustrations, the impatience, the hard parts of the job.  And, I really want them to see us as a partner who can bring them some relief by showing them effective and efficient ways to teach the curriculum,” Shannon said.

Not only does EDU20/20 deliver professional development on teacher inservice days, they also do on the ground work as follow-up to the training.  They will conduct classroom walk-throughs to help support the learning that took place on the day of the training.

“The only aspects we look for when we’re watching teachers teach are what those teachers are doing well and how we can best support them moving forward,” Shannon explained.    

In any partnership, the hope is that the relationship can be mutually beneficial.  That seems to be the case so far with EDU20/20 and HCS.

“HCS teachers have been phenomenal to work with,” Shannon said. “They genuinely are about their students.”