On Monday, March 7th, XLIS teachers were engaged in dynamic professional development sessions throughout the day. The day was about teacher innovation and teachers leading the learning. A wonderful aspect of the PD was that our amazing teachers led all the sessions.
Some teacher workshops focused on their individual professional goals, such as mentoring or coaching colleagues. At the start of the year, teachers decide what aspects of teaching and learning to focus on, and they have completed research and professional development around that topic. Teacher observations also focus on teachers’ professional goals. Every teacher is committed to continuous improvement and achieving their professional goals throughout the year. Our professional day was a great opportunity to share best practices and showcase faculty innovation. Engaged, active learning happens in classrooms where the teacher is passionate about teaching. We witnessed that engagement and passion throughout the day of professional development. We have an incredible group of educators in the secondary school who are committed to professional practice, focused on student learning and building one another up through collaborative sharing. Who benefits most from events like these? Our students.
“Leading and learning colleagues makes professional development a truly authentic experience that is relevant to our school community’s needs and goals.”
——Sloane Hill M Ed TESOL (EAL teacher and Language Acquisition Subject Leader)
There was a focus on Social & Emotional Learning with sessions on Positive Emotions, led by Sophia Suo, where she brought in contemporary research and strategies for mediating emotions. Another session featured a High Impact Invigorator and Low Impact Rest. This session, run by Emma Yang and Sam Pryse, started with Zumba and ended with Meditation. We believe in educating the whole person, so this session focused on connecting the body and the mind. Scott Ramon led a session of Comic Book Creation where teachers exercised creativity and innovation to each create their original comic book. The results that teachers produced in the one-hour session were amazing.
“Being taught by my friends and being able to teach my fellow teachers and share my passion was such a unique and important experience, So empowering and unforgettable.”
——Scott Ramon MFA (MYP DP Visual Art Teacher)
“I enjoyed being part of a collaborative and peer-led PD. It was a powerful day of learning.”
——Joey Fordyce, MAAL (Learning Support Coordinator)
“I enjoyed sharing some of what I have learned about psychology with my colleagues. We discussed how to apply theory to practice. It is a great experience and allows us all to become more aware of our emotions as observers.”
——Sophia Suo, MA (Chinese Language Literature and Language Acquisition Teacher)
Several sessions focused on classroom practices and teaching strategies. Joey Fordyce led sessions at the start and end of the day on authentic assessments and the GRASPS model that teachers are embedding in summative assessments this year. GRASPS is an acronym that we use with assessments to make explicit Goals, Roles, Audience, Situation, Products, Performances, and Standards. From PYP to MYP through some DP subjects, the whole school is integrating GRASPS assessments into the curriculum units. Lea Grinter, our Middle School Lead teacher, ran a session on Classroom Management, supporting teachers to employ strategies to promote positive student behavior. Lea asked teachers to consider why students misbehave. What is the why behind challenging behavior, and how do teachers support students to improve focus in class? Sloane Hill led a session on Checking for Understanding; an important aspect of teaching is employing strategies to ensure the students follow the lessons and truly understand the taught curriculum. Teachers took on different student personas as they engaged with the workshop and considered why students may not be engaged and how to turn this around.
“It was an opportunity to share expert information about why some of our students exhibit challenging behavior at our school and one.”
——Lea Grinter M Ed TESOL (Middle School Lead Teacher)
“This PD was a beautiful chance to connect with our colleagues on a spiritual, mental, professional, and emotional level. We learned a lot through realigning with our wonderful secondary community. Learning new ways to think, innovative ways to approach knowledge and communicate with our peers and students.”
——Samantha Pryse, MA (Language Acquisition Teacher)
Click here for more details.
Daun Yorke (Secondary Principal, MA, EdD ABD)