Back to School

As I walked around the middle and high school building on Monday night, I observed small groups of engaged teachers collaborating on a technology challenge. As part of our annual faculty retreat, the faculty first divided into skill sets of content knowledge, creative ability, and technological competence. With a representative from each skill set, the groups were given one hour to create a one minute video about global citizenship using Splice – an IPad App. The outcomes were a powerful example of creative work using technology in a project based approach to learning. Throughout this first week of faculty planning, we focused on three primary goals. First, we discussed instructional excellence – refining our classroom expectations and reviewing a number of classroom films. This process allowed us to come to consensus on what great teaching looks like. Included in this was a new focus on how to serve gifted students as part of our customized learning program. Second, we continued our curriculum design project. Working with an outside consultant, all faculty continued the process of refining the curriculum based on best practices and documenting the plans within our online curriculum system. As the culmination of our curriculum project, this work (conducted over the last year) has added significant sophistication to our school. The last goal of our planning week was teambuilding and collaboration. Great schools must have great collaborative teams. Through a variety of challenges, the faculty prepared to work as a team to offer a great experience for our students. Students come back to school on August 29th, but faculty are already back to school!

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