Professional Development: Collaborating to Enrich Teaching & Learning
For faculty and staff, a professional development day is an opportunity to turn the classroom around and become students for a day.
On Friday, Dec. 2, Rashi faculty and staff spent the day discussing and reviewing successful strategies for infusing higher-order thinking into daily lessons. During the morning sessions, faculty met in small groups to strengthen our understanding of how essential questions pique all learners’ curiosity and beg to be discussed, debated, and explored. As teachers, our role is to facilitate inquiry by modeling and reinforcing norms of productive discourse, and becoming careful listeners. Through our discussions and current work in classrooms, it became apparent that the Rashi faculty and staff are committed to expending all energies to support a culture of inquiry.
During the week of November 29, faculty participated in Teacher Rounds. Rounds are slightly different from other professional development activities. They take place in classrooms and encourage reflection on the teaching and learning process. The observations provide a shared experience as a basis for conversation. During the afternoon session of the Professional Development Day, teachers met and shared their different perspectives and expertise during a structured reflection process. The Rounds process takes “teacher’s practice to the next level-to uncover more, learn more, do more. The whole purpose of Rounds is to enable a change in teaching, with the ultimate goal of Improving Student Learning.” - The Power of Teacher Rounds
Rashi core values and educational philosophies begin with our faculty and staff who live and work by them. As a final activity for the day, faculty and staff spent their last hour participating in a host of social activities in the spirit of the Kehillah. Teachers were offered four different activities: a walk in the woods, DIY body butter making with HR Specialist Holly Smulski, salsa dancing with Middle School Spanish teacher Lorena Kavande-Flores, or card-making with Director of After School Programs Venus Corriveau.
Professional development is a critical component for educational improvement. Rashi is committed to supporting opportunities for faculty and staff that enhance and transform learning. Faculty benefit from a rigorous supervision and evaluation system, ongoing participation at conferences and workshops, and collaborative endeavors that are connected to and derived from working with students and understanding their learning.