Ten Muscogee County School District teachers are now certified through a program that trains teachers to use arts-integrated instruction across their curriculum.
The Professional Arts Integration Resource (PAIR) program is an educational outreach initiative of the Springer Opera House that provides hands-on, arts based professional development for teachers to deeply engage students in learning.
PAIR lessons integrate drama, visual arts and creative movement techniques directly with state standards while emphasizing 21st Century life skills such as collaboration, empathy, self-discipline and resilience. The lessons also appeal to non-traditional learners, shy students who might not be outspoken in a traditional setting, gifted students looking to be challenged differently, and so many others.
“PAIR was founded on the idea that all kids can learn and that all people, adults and kids, are creative,” Sally Baker explains, founder of PAIR and Education Director at the Springer. “By infusing creativity into learning on a consistent basis, students and teachers will discover knowledge together.”
These teaching strategies are not about creating an artistic product, but rather using the arts as an alternative process to learn in a classroom setting. In addition to achieving better test scores and offering teaching strategies to educators, this program also increases student engagement and builds classroom and school community.
“We see the intangible effects of teacher collaboration, teacher job satisfaction and student excitement in the classroom all the time,” Baker says.
The two pilot schools that participated in this program include Fox Elementary and South Columbus. Congratulations to the following teachers who earned their PAIR certification:
- Christina Alexander, South Columbus Elementary
- Patrice Autry, South Columbus Elementary
- Heather Cameron, South Columbus Elementary
- Tina Floyd, South Columbus Elementary
- Ashley Miles, South Columbus Elementary
- Teresa Mims, South Columbus Elementary
- Monique Proteau, South Columbus Elementary
- Cathy Russell, Fox Elementary
- Haley Morgan Smith, Fox Elementary
- Heather Zurita, South Columbus Elementary
In order for these educators to become certified, they must have regular attendance, participate in arts-integrated instruction both with and without a PAIR Specialist in the room, actively participate in yearly evaluations, and participate in community advocacy. These certified teachers have spent at least two years as a PAIR partnering teacher, achieved almost 100 hours of arts-integration PD, and redelivered strategies to peers and colleagues.
For more information about the PAIR program, visit their website: https://pairprogram.org/