Have you ever wondered what our teachers do on Professional Development Days? The truth is, it’s not all fun and games (although, they do know how to incorporate a little fun). PD days showcase weeks or months of hard work and research our teachers have done to provide the quality education and experience our students receive. This year our teachers were given the task of researching topics such as student growth, motivation, learning processes, and teaching strategies and presenting to their peers during ‘teacher work days’. They work in small groups to identify what topics enrich both student life and teacher success. It also provides an opportunity for group discussion, professional goal setting, and examining what works and what changes they will make moving forward.
On Friday, they heard a total of six teacher-led presentations follow by large group discussions. Growth Mindset/Student Motivation, Instructional Strategies and Social Emotional Learning were the first topics of the day. Around lunch time teachers were encouraged to break for lunch with their team and other colleagues. Even though they work in the same building, much of their days are spent instructing, hosting a student meeting or group, not leaving much time to interact with each other. Spending time as a faculty encourages conversation and exchanging strategies around best practices to make the most of the student experience. After lunch, presentations about organizational management, student led learning and student centered learning continued.
Professional Development days have really evolved over the years and with good reason! Teachers are empowered to come up with the topics and goals tailored to the teacher/student relationships and experiences and present them in a comfortable environment. Creating this more relaxed format has allowed teachers to have more time to research and mentor their peers rather than using guest speakers or leaders presenting ‘from the top-down’ like in years past.
Our teams work hard during each Professional Development day to provide a quality learning experience for one another, and we are always grateful for the hard work they do outside of the class room! It is their consideration for both the staff and student experience that creates the Tigers’ long standing tradition of academic success!