Posted on Nov 15, 2010
Faculty Meet On Campus and Off for Training and Reflection
October 21, 2010
On October 11, the entire faculty spent the day learning, discussing, and working together about ways to enhance their teaching. In-service days like this provide an unparalleled opportunity for teachers and administrators to spend focused hours working with their colleagues for the benefit of our students.
The early childhood teachers left school at 5:45 a.m. (!) to spend the day at a noted preschool in Los Angeles. It was a rare opportunity for the entire faculty to observe children in a different setting, meet with their faculty and director, and exchange ideas about working with three- to five-year-olds. In reflecting about the experience, the teachers shared observations and thoughts about what they’d seen, specifically in terms of encouraging critical thinking and sustaining interest both in morning circles and student learning centers.
While the early childhood teachers were in L.A., the Kindergarten – Grade 6 teachers examined their own practices. This all day in-service gave them a chance to update each other about two topics (differentiation and rubrics) they had previously explored at a workshop held during “prep week,” the week before children return to school in September. On Monday teachers met first as a whole group, then in small groups across grade levels and within disciplines, to compare notes about differentiation, rubrics, and other ways to help children progress.
Research tells us that children learn best when they are working at a level that is somewhat challenging: not too easy, not too difficult. Differentiation is used in education as a means to create that “sweet spot” in the classroom for our students. Rubrics are a tool that can be used to help children understand expectations, set their own goals, and identify strengths and weaknesses.
Teachers greatly valued the dedicated time they had to meet with colleagues and administrators to discuss these topics and other issues that are vital to the life of the School.
Director of Curriculum