Staff Goes to School

Teachers Attend Project-Based Learning Workshop


Mr. Cory Caudill wears his PBL shirt

Harley Johnson, Assistant Editor

While students reveled in a third week of winter vacation, teachers and staff members returned to school on January 4 for three days of professional development.

Teachers attended a Project-Based Learning (PBL) workshop from  January 4-6, held at the high school. PBL provides various instructional tools for teachers to improve student learning.

“There are a multitude of benefits for all stakeholders, most importantly, the students. Our students deserve an exceptional education with diverse opportunities so they maximize their potential and are productive, responsible citizens. Extensive research and testimonials have proven that PBL is engaging and improves students ability to develop 21st century skills they need to thrive in todays workforce,” said Mr. Cory Caudill, Media Specialist. “In a nutshell, PBL creates an authentic, real world learning experiences that appeals to students unique interests and abilities. Students are expected to form or construct their own knowledge rather than having it fed to them. In a world where knowledge is at our fingertips, students no longer need to memorize or regurgitate information, but think critically and apply knowledge to different situations.”

PBL offers benefits to teachers as well.

“PBL has proven to increase student engagement which leads to fewer discipline problems, better classroom management, greater student satisfaction, and improved test scores,” said Caudill. Caudill is a PBL leader and says he’s passionate about PBL and believes in the transformative impact it can have on school culture and success.

At the end of the training, teachers left with a PBL project for their own classroom.

“[Staff] learned about PBL, and used the three days to plan a lesson that we can implement during our classes,” said Mr. Eric Wagner, marketing teacher.

Educators learned new ways of teaching and student engagement. Teachers believe the training was beneficial, even if they didn’t want to do it.

“The training was beneficial. I was not looking forward to it at all. I would rather be with the students but I am very happy to have the opportunity and learn so much in 3 days. We were led and directed by experts in the field of PBL education and they knew what they were doing and what they were talking about,” said Ms. Sarah Gosser, Spanish teacher.

Northmont is one of the few districts who secured a grant to have all of their teachers trained in PBL practices by Buck Institute for Education (BIE).