Thursday, March 28, 2013

Now is Your Chance to Become an Authorized CLIMBS Facilitator

Institutes authorize individuals to facilitate trainings on WIDA products and resources. Designed for 15-25 participants, institutes are intensive and require follow-up work for authorization or certification.   The WIDA Consortium offers two types of institutes.  One is the Professional Certification for Trainers program and the other is the CLIMBS Facilitator Institute (CFI). As you might suspect, these trainings are designed for teacher trainers or professional development providers. 

Today I wanted to share with you my experiences as a CLIMBS facilitator and encourage you to bring the CLIMBS course to your area by becoming an authorized CLIMBS facilitator or sponsoring members of your staff to become facilitators. First a bit about the CLIMBS Facilitator Institute (CFI)…

The CFI is an annual training opportunity offered by WIDA Consortium staff. Professional development providers from across the Consortium are sponsored by their employers to attend the institute. Since the CFI is similar to a train the trainers event, participants learn how to deliver the CLIMBS course curriculum. After completing the CFI, participants return to their school or regional educational agency and deliver the CLIMBS course to local teachers.

When I'm not blogging for WIDA, I'm providing professional development and technical assistance to Illinois teachers. Naturally, it made sense for me to become a CLIMBS facilitator. The Illinois Resource Center sponsored three of my colleagues and me because we saw a need among the districts we serve in Illinois to have more comprehensive training for teams of teachers and administrators on the ELD standards. A local school district had already sent some staff members to become CLIMBS facilitators.  They spoke highly of the CFI training and said that the CLIMBS course was well received in their school district.  Also, the fact that the CLIMBS course curriculum was already created (meaning we didn't have to build a 5 day training from scratch) was attractive.

We have seen the impact that offering the CLIMBS course has had on our area. To date, we have been able to teach the five day CLIMBS course to educators from seven districts.  Each district has brought a team of educators, typically general education teachers, ESL/bilingual teachers and an administrator.  The ESL and bilingual teachers have been able to deepen their knowledge on the ELD standards and sheltered instruction.  Meanwhile, general education staff and administrators have been introduced to the multi-faceted issues impacting the instruction of ELLs.
The greatest impact I have witnessed is with regards to collaboration.  District team members develop stronger relationships with each other.  They are able to discuss issues impacting their ELLs in more depth and with more confidence than before attending the CLIMBS course. General education staff members come to realize that there is much more to educating ELLs than just teaching them English.  
As a CLIMBS facilitator, I have enjoyed working with my colleagues on this project. I appreciate the opportunity to model the collaboration that we are asking our participants to do in their own classrooms.   I also enjoyed the opportunity to focus on my presentation skills and learn about best practices in adult education during the CFI training.  
Interested in becoming a CLIMBS facilitator for your school district or regional education agency? Get your application in. The next deadline is April 1, 2013. Click here for more details.


Written by: Tammy King


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