Faculty Focus: Fall In-Service
October 12, 2021
On Friday, October 8, TA teachers participated in the first in-service day since school’s opening six weeks ago. In the day-to-day bustle of the school year, in-service time is a valuable opportunity for teachers to collaborate, share strategies and resources, and tackle new skills. It’s a time to reflect together on the work of teaching and learning and to reconnect with colleagues as part of a professional learning community.
Teachers started the day with a hands-on session about electronic portfolios, led by Rebecca Walter and other colleagues on the school’s academic advisory committee. Instead of just listening to a presentation on the topic, teachers went through the steps themselves to create their own personal portfolio. This way, they could more fully understand the user experience and be better prepared to guide their advisees through the process in the coming weeks. TA students will be developing an electronic portfolio this year as a way to collect and reflect on their academic work and their progress toward proficiency in TA’s Transferable Skills. Teachers also had time to work with department colleagues to further explore ways to effectively link the schoolwide transferable skills to curriculum and instruction in their subject area.
Faculty and administrators on TA’s newly-formed DEI Council led a more reflective activity on becoming antiracist educators. Participants had a menu of readings and videos to choose from to read, watch, discuss, and set a personal goal for the year.
Fortunately, the weather cooperated nicely for the midday session on outdoor and place-based education. The fog lifted and gave way to a beautifully sunny autumn afternoon. Garden coordinator Ehrin Lingeman and TOP coordinator Leah Boch welcomed teachers to the timberframe classroom and school garden for a discussion on ways that we are incorporating TA’s vast outdoor resources into student learning in math, science, humanities, and the arts and how to do more. Teachers rolled up their sleeves to do some garlic bulb planting as well.
The day’s agenda also included good food to nourish everyone and some unscheduled time so that teachers could focus on their own individual planning and priorities.