The Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) at George Mason University (GMU)

... is part of the statewide system of Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) TTACs. Specialists provide professional development that focuses on improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities through targeted technical assistance (TA) to schools. The goal is to help school personnel gain knowledge and skills to prepare students with disabilities for graduation with a diploma or completion of an appropriate program, and successfully prepare them for post-secondary education, employment, and independent living.

TTAC at GMU in Region 4 provides assistance to the following school divisions:

Cities

Counties

TTAC News Brief

“Instructional coaches are essential for professional learning. Coaches help teachers take ideas and practices they are learning and bring them to life. Instructional coaches partner with teachers in respectful humane conversations so teachers can choose and implement research-based teaching practices that will help students learn more effectively.”

(adapted from Knight, Unmistakable Impact, 2011)

February 2015

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Creating authentic learning experiences is essential in the transformation of math education and instruction. Authentic learning is student work that is real, actual, and genuine in all the aspects experienced by students (Knight, 2013). Too often we fail to ask the questions: “Is what I’m teaching purposeful? How is it relevant to the world I live in now?” It’s questions such as these that create pathways between content and real life application. Absence of these reflective questions results in students who have no idea why they are doing what they are doing (Pink, 209). Think of it as the fourth R: reading, writing, ‘rithmetic…and relevance (Pink, 2009).

January 2015

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Special Opportunity!

Visit a Co-Teaching Demonstration Site in Region 4

The Virginia Department of Education has identified 27 co-teaching demonstration sites through the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, including 6 at middle schools and high schools in Region 4. These demonstration sites provide opportunities for co-teaching partners throughout the state to observe inclusive practices in action. The co-teaching teams at the demonstration sites share their co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing practices that support successful outcomes for all students.

For more information about the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, or to arrange a visit to one of these model sites, please contact Dr. Lynn Wiley, Director, VDOE TTAC at GMU at hwiley@gmu.edu or 703.993.4496.