In-Service Day: De-mystified

by Emily Marston, Middle School Division Director

This past Friday was an important day for both faculty and staff to reflect on the highlights of the first month of school, as well as to launch important initiatives that will be a focus of our professional development work this year. For the faculty, we met in our peer coaching and evaluation learning circles to review the instructional standards we developed last year and to identify areas of practice we feel we need support and areas of practice in which we can support others. The administrative staff met to begin the process of identifying best practices to which they want to be held accountable. Similar to the faculty’s process last year, this work will involve creating standards; vetting those standards through research, discussion, and peer observation; and finally revising these standards to make sure they are clear and effective.

Time was also devoted to focused unit work. A sibling playday for preschool applicants took place in the Early Childhood Education Center and involved preschool, kindergarten, and Primary Unit faculty. Junior Unit faculty had a division meeting to discuss pedagogy (what makes a good open-ended question?) and logistics (how to better align report checklists), as well as time for team meetings. Middle School teachers met in their teams to work on curricular initiatives and how best to document their work.

We ended the day with a presentation by the Advancement Department, specifically Development and Admission, to learn more about the annual fund goals this year and upcoming open houses.

It was a rewarding day for us all and a wonderful chance to catch up with our colleagues.