Little Cyclone Teacher Academy

The second annual Little Cyclone Teacher Academy (LCTA) took place from August 6-10 at Ames High School. Teacher on Special Assignment Lisa Clayberg, who is also the Teacher Leader Coordinator, said, “The idea originated last year from being able to provide in-house professional learning for our teacher leaders outside of contract time. However, we quickly realized that any educator could benefit from multiple learning opportunities.”

The LCTA quickly opened to all staff across the district, including administrators and Educational Assistants. This year, 30 different courses were offered to staff, up from 21 a year ago. The courses covered a range of topics that include understanding behaviors in the classroom, work based learning, dyslexia, assessing students with disabilities, and professional learning committees, among many others.

The LCTA officially kicked off on August 2nd with motivational speaker Ken Williams presenting to District teachers and administrators. Mr. Williams is the Chief Visionary Officer of Unfold the Soul, an organization dedicated to helping schools live their posters. Williams is “skills in joining the why of the work to the how of the work, and is an expert at helping schools build capacity in the collective commitments required of learning for all cultures.”

All of the courses were developed and taught by Ames educators, who sent in their course proposals last January, that were reviewed and approved through the School Improvement Team. High school students involved in the Business Engagement Collaborative (BEC) helped organize much of the process. They created the schedule, publicized it for teachers at Ames High, and set up the registration site. This year, 145 teachers across the District participated in the Little Cyclone Teacher Academy.