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Teachers, Professional Development and True Community

On Monday, January 7th, while the boys enjoyed one final day of vacation, Saint David's teachers spent the day exploring and expanding upon this year’s school-wide theme “True Community” by participating in a series of professional development workshops that were targeted to specific needs.  A brief overview of the workshops follow:

Responsive Classroom: During this three-hour workshop led by representatives from Responsive Classroom, Lower School teachers practiced “interactive modeling”– an approach that teaches children to notice and internalize expected classroom behaviors through “positive teacher language”– using specific words and vocal tone as a tool to promote children’s active learning, sense of community, and self-discipline. 'Responsive Classroom' is a series of strategies and classroom activities and procedures that promote a sense of 'classroom community'--a way to listen, respect and work as a contributing and productive member of a community.

Case Studies with our School Psychologist: In small group sessions, Lower School teachers met with the school's consulting psychologist to discuss how best to address a range of learning style needs in the classroom, group, and in individual instruction/interactions.  Children learn in very different ways. In these small group sessions, teachers shared, and our school psychologist advised, on best practice, effective strategy implementation.  They also examined and trouble shot 'ineffective strategies' in teaching and working with a variety of styles of learning.

Prepare Inc. Workshop: Upper School teachers, in a series of extended sessions learned more about the program that has been implemented for our sixth and eighth grade students as they participated in a series of discussions and role playing exercises focused on personal safety, bias recognition, micro-aggressions, and bullying. The social dynamics for boys in their teenage years change significantly from their childhood years.  Addressing the more challenging social dynamic aspects of these changes in a positive, frank, and deliberate way is an important part of our program.  Educating and informing our teachers about all this work is equally important.

Examining Student Profiles: In a series of sessions, Upper School teachers met with an experienced psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist, for a round-table discussion about practical strategies for helping students further develop and enhance 'executive function'--an important learning skill that transcends many other learning skills.

One of our senior faculty members commented at the conclusion of the day, "Saint David's felt like a mini-university today; as I went from workshop to workshop, I felt like I was back in graduate school."

Our school-wide theme this year was fully explored through a specific educational lens today.  A great day!

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