EngageOK Teachers - January 2020

EngageOK Teachers

January 2020


State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister joined State Board of Education member and executive director of ImpactTulsa Carlisha Williams Bradley at ImpactTulsa's Community Impact Report Convening on education equity. Bradley's friend Emilia co-hosted the event with her.

Summit to Help Expand Trauma-Informed Strategies

Dear Teachers, 

On Feb. 17, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will host its third statewide trauma summit in 16 months to expand strategies for trauma-informed instruction.

The first two summits, in 2018 and 2019, reached nearly 1,400 educators, but the need for trauma-informed instruction exists in every classroom in the state. Next month’s “Bridges to Hope: Teaching in the Shadow of Trauma” will welcome 10,000 educators to Oklahoma City to learn from one of the world’s leading researchers on the subject, Dr. Bruce Perry of The ChildTrauma Academy.

Our recent work with trauma has focused on increasing awareness, but becoming trauma-informed goes much deeper. “Bridges to Hope” will move us forward with a multi-tiered professional development approach.

Beginning in March, five regional trainings with 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and Moore tornado survivor Becky Oglesby will help teachers implement trauma-informed solutions in their classrooms. In the coming months, we hope to reach tens of thousands of educators through new online trauma-informed training modules for individuals and teams of teachers.

Please join me Feb. 17 in person or via live stream. Together we can support learning for every child by meeting them where they are.

With respect and gratitude,



Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

trauma summit

We have reached registration capacity for “Bridges to Hope.” To join the wait list, click here.

To watch the live stream, bookmark this link. (Due to contractual agreements, the summit will not be recorded for later viewing.)

family guides

Family Guides Now Available in Spanish

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is excited to share Spanish-language versions of the Oklahoma Family Guides for English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies for Pre-K through sixth grade.

The OSDE Family Guides are resources aligned with the Oklahoma Academic Standards and developed specifically for Oklahoma families to complement classroom learning. They illustrate what is expected of students at each grade level in different content areas along with activities families can do at home to further support children’s learning experiences.

The content information in these family guides is a snapshot of learning in the individual grade levels. For a complete set of academic standards for ELA, mathematics, science and social studies, visit the Oklahoma Academic Standards.

Best Practices: Sharing Your Thoughts With Legislators


The new legislative session in Oklahoma begins Feb. 3. If you would like to contact your lawmakers in person, by phone or email about issues important to you, keep these tips in mind:

IDENTIFY YOURSELF: It’s important for your representative to know that you are a constituent. Include your residential address. Also identify your role as it relates to the issue. If you are writing about education, mention if you are a teacher and/or parent.

STICK TO THE POINT: Be clear and concise with your message. Be sure to state the action that is needed, and include bill numbers if you are referring to specific legislation.

TELL YOUR STORY: Share your unique perspective and personal anecdotes. How would taking action improve your life or those of others around you?

BE RESPECTFUL: Extend the same courtesy to lawmakers that you expect students to extend in your classroom.

READ IT AGAIN: It’s easy to make mistakes, especially when you are short on time or are passionate about the topic. Double-check spelling and grammar when writing a letter. Even better, ask a colleague for feedback before sending the letter.


Find District Openings on OKTeacherMatch.com

OSDE has launched an innovative and convenient online tool to pair teachers with job openings in Oklahoma public school districts.

Using Single Sign On and the Oklahoma Educator Credentialing System, administrators from every Oklahoma public school district can post job openings at OKTeacherMatch.com. Certified educators can see vacancies that match their credentials. To see the available jobs, teachers must have a valid Oklahoma teaching credential and turn on District Job Matching on the site. Once opted in, teacher names and contact information will also be visible to districts. 


The new job portal displays estimated salaries for each job opening, reflecting the average $7,400 teacher pay raise over the last two years and the job-seeking teacher’s degree level and years of experience. 

For more information on how to log in to the site, view OECS's Educator Certification User Guide.

So far, 29 districts have posted jobs using the tool. The number of job openings is expected to increase this spring as schools begin posting vacancies for the 2020-21 school year.


Five Things to Know: STEM Learning in Young Children


Early learning opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) integrate content with in-depth inquiries meaningfully embedded into children’s real world contexts. The STEM experiences teachers provide should emphasize exploratory learning and can involve a variety of learning materials, including literature, consumables and manipulatives, and web-based resources. 

The STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education (STEMI2E2) Center share these “Five Things to Know about STEM Learning in Young Children.”

1. Children can develop the foundations for STEM learning beginning in infancy. Young children explore their environments and learn things from doing, seeing, touching and hearing. Early STEM experiences can tap into their natural curiosity and give them opportunities to be engaged participants in their own learning.

2. Engaging in early STEM learning activities raises later reading, writing, literacy and math scores. Research has shown that teaching science in early years is associated with gains in mathematics, early literacy and reading, and early mathematics learning is a strong predictor of later achievement in multiple domains.

3. Vulnerable children face STEM opportunity gaps. Children who live in poverty, children who are members of linguistic and ethnic minority groups, and children with disabilities have fewer opportunities to engage in STEM learning activities than their peers. 

4. Children with developmental delays and disabilities are especially impacted by this opportunity gap. There are signs that these children are left out of the scant STEM learning experiences in early childhood settings.

5. Many early childhood teachers need more supports to build the foundations of STEM learning. Beliefs that STEM content areas are “less central” or “too difficult,” “advanced” and “abstract” or “developmentally inappropriate" for some children constrain teaching practices.

To learn more about STEM and STEMIE, click here.


Carlisha Williams Bradley, Stephen Smallwood and Jena Nelson talk with State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister in the January episode of “Education Matters.”

OETA Show Spotlights State Teacher of the Year

Join State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister for the latest episode of the half-hour TV show “Education Matters.” Her guests include 2020 Teacher of the Year Jena Nelson, who shares how her high school drama teacher helped her escape the cycle of trauma. Jena’s former teacher Stephen Smallwood also joins the group to talk about what he’s seen change in education over the years and how he keeps teaching relevant for today’s students.

Tune in every third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. on OETA or catch the rebroadcast the following Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. To watch the any episode, go to sde.ok.gov/education-matters.

Free Training & Resources

ED CAMP: The eighth annual EdCampOKC professional development day will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 29 at Southeast Middle School in Oklahoma City. For more information, click here.


ANIMATED POETRY: TED-Ed has produced a series of videos featuring classic and contemporary poems turned into short films by award-winning animators. Some of the current titles include:

  • “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
  • “Ode to the Only Black Kid in the Class” by Clint Smith
  • “For Estefani” by Aracelis Girmay

To see the entire playlist, click here.

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG: Fellowship applications are now available for fifth- and eighth-grade teachers interested in attending the summer Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute in the restored capital city of 18th-century Virginia. For more information, click here. Applications due Feb. 1.

ELEMENTARY MATH WORKSHOPS: OSDE will be providing three-day professional learning workshops for elementary educators of mathematics, elementary curriculum coordinators, administrators and instructional coaches in June. For more information, click here.


JR NBA: Register by Feb. 21 for the chance to have an NBA player/legend visit your school. Jr. NBA also offers basketball curricula for physical education skills. 

EMPATHY CHALLENGE: Your students age 13 and over could win up to $10,000 in prizes through the 2020 Stronger Than Hate Challenge, which honors International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Students may submit videos, poems, songs, blogs or other media that demonstrate the power of storytelling to connect people and overcome hate. Deadline is June 6. For more information and learning modules, click here.

News From Across the State


HONORED TEACHER: Guymon High School art teacher Kristy Patterson was named Best Art Teacher by Oklahoma Living Magazine. To read the story, click here.

SURPRISE AWARD: From poverty to prosperity, Yukon special needs teacher Yeneer Oruru was surprised with the Pay It 4Ward Award. To see the video, click here.

STUDENT VOICES: More than 100 high school students were named to the 2020 State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, the fifth consecutive year the group has assisted OSDE in matters of policy. To read the story, click here.


SHAPED MY LIFE: Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt shares his childhood growing up in Putnam City Schools and how a teacher fostered his love for politics. To see the complete playlist of teachers inspiring notable Oklahomans, click here.

Back to Top
Share This Page!
Last updated on January 29, 2020