“The TRC has so many ideas you can use. They stay very up to date on their resources,” Breanna Rogers said. “One of the ideas I am using is a worksheet and other activities to help the kids get to know each other on the first day.
“The ladies here are phenomenal; they [are] so helpful and full of great ideas. If a teacher gets stuck or needs extra help reaching a particular student, the TRC can provide you with a new, fresh approach.”
The Shorter University graduate looks forward to creating an engaging classroom to help the preschool children enjoy their first experience of school.
“I will be working with 4-year-olds and the first few weeks of school there are going to be a lot of tears and not wanting to leave mom and dad,” Rogers said. “Being able to bring them into my classroom and get them excited about pre-K is going to be a big deal. It is also going to be a challenge.”
Rogers said she looks forward to the opportunity to teach pre-K.
“Small children have the capability to teach us so much. I know I’ll be learning right along with them.”
First-grade teacher, Erin Privett, from Allatoona Elementary School, placed yellow dots on large blue letters to hang outside her classroom.
“I like to make my room inviting and colorful. Especially teaching first-grade, it is important to make your classroom a place kids want to come,” Privett said.
Kim Kappel, director of TRC, said her favorite part of working in the center is seeing teachers collaborate with one another.
“We serve Bartow County, Cartersville City, Excel, Trinity, homeschoolers and a wide variety of daycare centers; this gives the teachers a vast pool of knowledge and experience to draw from,” Kappel said. “We offer for a wide array of supplies and activities for check out. Science equipment, file folder games, task cards, rocks, minerals, manipulatives, videos, DVDs and DVDs to use with SMART Boards are just part of our inventory.
“We also have task cards with QR codes. For example, if there is an orange triangle on the task card, when the QR code is scanned the tablet or electronic device will speak the name of the object on the card to help children learn colors, shapes, animals and various similar concepts. For older kids, we have algebra task cards and it shows the student if they solved their algebra problem correctly,” Kappel said.
Professional learning unit —or PLU— training classes are taught at TRC and most classes are offered for $40.
Kappel said, “Last week we taught a PLU class on science. When we do these training classes, I try to give the teachers one or two hands-on activities to supplement their lesson. We are always looking for the wow factor in learning.
“We have a little ping-pong like ball with electrodes on it. I take three or four small children and have them hold hands in a circle, then you touch the diodes and it makes the little ball scream. When they release hands, the screaming stops; it teaches them the principle of how a circuit works. Science is the next phase for acceleration in learning. If you start now with little baby steps, then they won’t be so afraid of science when they get older. In high school, chemistry and physics will make more sense.”
TRC accepts donations of seemingly random items that can be used by teachers in the classroom for projects. Kappel calls it golden garbage — paper towel rolls, plastic bottles, cigar boxes, hangers and other various items — and stores it in the upstairs portion of the building. Teachers have access to as much of the golden garbage as they need.
Throughout the year the center operates a die cut service, which is helpful for teachers who may be located in more distant areas of the county.
“They may not have 30 minutes to drive here and make 12 apples,” Kappel said. “They can go online and request what they need.”
A group of high school special education students in a program called community based instruction — or CBI — fill the die cut orders.
Kappel said, “The program has many benefits but one is the special ed students learn how to deal with co-workers and a supervisor in a safe environment. These are tools they can use later in the workforce.
“The TRC impacts the teachers and students of this community in immeasurable ways. We have everything from pre-K to high school and we help each teacher in different ways. The resources and supplies save our local teachers money and time, which are both valuable.”