From the Desk of the Head of School- November 30, 2018
As a learning community, we talk at length about what it takes to cultivate lifelong learners. In fact, it is what our mission demands of us. We also understand as educators that the best way to leave an impression is to model what it is we expect of our students. With this at the forefront of our minds, we have been incredibly grateful to have our Late Start Wednesday time to delve deeply into the strategic priorities we’ve set for ourselves this year. I wanted to take a moment to outline one aspect of this work that will directly impact the learning that children experience each day in their classrooms.
Last spring, upon the recommendation of the Instructional Practice Committee, we committed to professional development training around differentiation (or tailoring instruction to students’ needs) and co-teaching. We identified an opportunity to further focus the work of our Learning Effectiveness Team (those language arts and math specialists in grades 1, 2, 3, 4-5, and 6-8) and to further evolve our instructional technique in the classroom.
We have partnered with Vanderbilt’s Program for Talented Youth to lead four general sessions with our entire faculty on differentiation and how we work to meet all types of learners in our classrooms. Furthermore, members of our Learning Effectiveness Team have spent a full day of training and will move into a series of half-day trainings around specific tactics of differentiation and co-teaching.
Our focus on our practice will continue, as instruction is at the core of what we do as educators. We are able to facilitate this through our morning meetings and your children are the direct recipients of this work. Just as we live out our vision to “inspire our students’ intellectual development, embrace their balanced, personal growth, and develop well-prepared leaders and positive contributors to our 21st-century society,” we also must find the time, space and assets to do this for our faculty. Our partnership with Vanderbilt’s PTY during our LSW time is just one example of making this happen.