This week in Upper School 2/25-3/1, 2019
We organized professional development day much like an educational conference where teachers have choice about how to focus their learning opportunities. Throughout the day, teachers were able to select sessions led by our own faculty on a variety of teaching strategies and methodologies. Brian Hemsworth led a session on formative assessment to enable teachers to plan instructional moves based on student feedback. Michelle Rumschlag offered a session on successful classroom procedures to increase student achievement. The Humanities Team shared with teachers how a “TED Talk” final assessment led to deeper connections among content and strengthened critical thinking in 9th graders. Finally, Kathryn Shetty showed teachers how to create a Breakout Box to engage students in learning content and problem solving together. Each teacher shared their expertise and modeled best practice by putting teachers in the roles of students. Foreign language teachers were treated to a session on learning centers, and Hebrew and Judaics teachers worked together to strengthen Jewish connections in the school.
Teachers who participated in the three-day PBL workshop in August, deepened their expertise by participating in small group meetings with Heather Wolpert Gawron, National Faculty Member with the Buck Institute of Education, to strengthen their ability to scaffold learning for students and provide frequent and ongoing assessment at each stage of a project. They also had a dedicated hour of work time after the small group session to maximize knowledge gained in those sessions. Our partnership with the Buck Institute for Education, now PBL Works, allows teachers to receive continued support in developing Gold Standard Projects, in turn, to deepen student learning, engage students in authentic learning, and to increase student achievement.
All in all, teachers engaged in meaningful life-long learning that truly embraced our motto: Education for Life.