The Exchangeree: Gizmos and Gadgets Galore
A multi-faceted initiative including spaces for learning
A Day at the HUB
Have your heard of this special place? It’s where individuals, especially BCPS educators, gather to collaborate, to inspire, to exchange ideas… it’s the Exchangeree: Gizmos and Gadgets Galore. Many BCPS educators have been to one or both of the Exchangeree’s, hosted by The Education Foundation of BCPS. For the majority of those who have visited, they came to shop for school supplies and resources for their students and their classrooms. What has become an ever-increasing use of these spaces has been to bring educators together to collaborate, strategize, and to build collegiality and team as schools, academic teams and BCPS offices and divisions. We call these types of gatherings, A Day at the HUB.
On July 27-29, 2021, The BCPS Office of Professional Learning held a three-day collaborative planning session with current Staff Development Teachers at the Exchangeree Windsor Mill. The collective thoughts and collaboration of these Staff Development Teachers from various levels of experience and different perspectives interrogated, renovated, and enhanced current materials used to prepare prospective SDTs, onboard new SDTs, and support first and second year SDTs.
Angela Booze, Resource Teacher, Office of Professional Learning said, “If you are looking for a welcoming vibrant space to hold your next small group meeting, I recommend the Exchangeree Windsor Mill! I hope to use this location throughout the school year to host Staff Development Teacher coaching session.”
BCPS Facilitator: Angela Booze, Resource Teacher (BPCS Office of Professional Learning)
BCPS Staff Development Teacher Participants: Hope Lance (Grange Elementary School), Dana Levitt (Johnnycake Elementary School), Monica Macander (Arbutus Elementary School), and Kathleen Harmon, (Elmwood Elementary School)
During the same time (July 27-29) at the Exchangeree at THE AVENUE at White Marsh, The Office of College and Career Readiness sponsored a professional development for nine BCPS teachers called “Training Wheels-Experiential Facilitation 101”. The teachers were elementary, middle, and high school AVID coordinators or School Based Mentor Coordinators. During the training teachers developed key skills for learning experiential activities. They also gained a greater appreciation of their own strengths as an experiential facilitator. The teachers had the opportunity to learn over 45 experiential activities to build relational capacity and community that they can turnkey and teach their students and staff. Included in the training were ways to debrief and reflect on their new learning and how to create their own tools. As stated by Sara Mullin, Resource Teacher, BCPS Office of College and Career Readiness, “The Exchangeree allowed teachers a wonderful space to play games and see the working of programs that The Education Foundation of BCPS offers. On the last day of training the teachers were given the opportunity to shop for items that they could use to create the games/activities that they learned in the training. The staff at The Exchangeree provided a welcoming space that allowed the teachers to grow and develop, while also seeing the mission of The Education Foundation of BCPS. The Office of College and Career Readiness is looking forward to using the space again for upcoming professional developments.”
Participants at the Exchangeree at THE AVENUE, White Marsh included:
BCPS Facilitators: Sara Mullin, Resource Teacher (BCPS Office of College and Career Readiness) and Geoffrey Holland (Sparrows Point High School)
BCPS Educator Participants: Paula Cockey (Pine Grove Elementary School), Morgan Matz (Woodlawn High School), Karen Spurrier (Sudbrook Middle Magnet School), Brad Allen (Franklin High School), Ashley Cole, (Padonia International Elementary School), Marianne Maranto (Parkville Middle School), Julie Degraff (Dundalk Middle School), Susan Miller (Parkville Middle School), and Katlyn Pugh (Sparrows Point High School)
Other BCPS offices who have hosted learning experiences at the Exchangeree include the following: Dr. Heather Woolridge, Coordinator (BCPS Office of College and Career Readiness), Ms. Jill Snell, Supervisor (BCPS Office of Organizational Effectiveness), Amanda Crabb, Assistant Principal
(Westchester Elementary School) and Angela Mize MTSS Resource Teacher (Division of School Climate & Safety | Office of School Social Work)
During the month of August, multiple BCPS schools will be spending A Day at the HUB with their new teachers to begin, enhance and extend those collaborative conversations, build collegiality and team as well as hosting their instructional leadership teams for a full day of strategizing and planning for the upcoming school year. Utilizing the Exchangeree in this capacity allows the participants to “shop the shelves” for academic supplies and resources for their students and their classrooms.
There are multiple opportunities to utilize the centers. If you are interested in obtaining additional information about the foundation’s Exchangeree’s or discussing scheduling options to host your collaborative learning session, A Day at the HUB, please contact the foundation’s staff: Debbie Phelps, Executive Director, email@example.com, Laura Lemon, Associate Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Cindy Whitcomb, administrative/fiscal assistant, email@example.com.