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The Boys are Back

The boys have been purposefully moving about the building happy to be back at school.  I know that may sound a little strange; but they really do look happy.  Teachers too, are right back at work, preparing lessons, imparting knowledge and wisdom, helping our sons find their voice, their strengths, their passions.

Monday last, while the boys were enjoying the last day of their vacation, our faculty were participating in a full day of professional development activities.  Joining us for the day was Doug Lemov, author of the book Teach Like A Champion, and director of Uncommon Schools.  Doug conducted an engaging workshop with the faculty on three specific strategies common to great teaching.  His research has identified several significant attributes of great teaching and great teachers.  We focused on three most relevant to us here at Saint David's.  Having addressed the What, When and Why questions over the last several years, our school-wide curriculum focus this year is on the "How" questions: How do we know our boys understand what we are teaching? How do we know our teaching is effective? and How do we teach (what methods do we use)?  Specifically, the Monday work with Mr. Lemov addressed the methods "How" question.

The second part of Monday's professional day focused on curriculum design work associated with Teaching for Understanding, a framework we are using to critique and refine units of study school-wide.  Having examined and learned the framework last year with the help of one of Project Zeros professors, all teachers this year are working on refining one unit that they teach using the framework and implementing it this spring.

Thoughtful, critical curriculum planning and effective, dynamic teaching practice when perfectly married, constitute the essence of great schools.  We are constantly working  on both.
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