April 12, 2019
As a Quaker, progressive school, we want our teachers to model the behaviors and traits that we try to promote among our students. For teachers, lifelong learning should include a deep commitment to ongoing professional development. Like many independent schools, we support teachers as they go to summer conferences and workshops, regional and national teachers association meetings, and even accreditation visits to other schools. Still, there is a place and a significant need for teachers to share practices among themselves, as we encourage each other’s growth. Such an opportunity is happening today at Burgundy Farm School in Alexandria, Virginia.
Ten years ago, I attended a meeting where local progressive schools discussed re-establishing a consortium where we would focus on professional development for teachers. This was, and continues to be, a highly effective yet low-budget, operation. Every other year, our organization, CAPS (Capitol Area Progressive Schools)
, comes together for a full day to discuss the practices and possibilities of our progressive schools. Jennie Claiborne
is Chair of the CAPS Steering Committee. Schools encourage their staffs to present a broad selection of workshop topics. Our faculty has responded with their usual excitement, and I look forward to their presentations:
Bryan Adams and Adriana Murphy: Teaching Science With Integrity: Confronting Race and Gender Issues in Science Education;
Jennie Claiborne and Lyssette Cruz: No Single Stories in Language Arts;
Soo Young Chrisfield: Beginning Recorder: The Process of Prep to Performance
Sam Laury: Math Activities to Improve Numeracy
Kiersten Whitehead: Diversity and Inclusion in Theater Productions;
Connie Belfiore: How to Attract and Retain Qualified Students.
The timing of this event enables teachers to consider adopting new practices and strategies as they look forward to summer planning.