Got a minute?
September 20, 2017 - Rebecca Reeder
Each month I would like to invite you to share a minute of your time with me as our community addresses the important questions academically, personally, and spiritually that surround the one reason we are here: your child. As we embark on a new school year for our three schools, one Academy, our first priority is answering the question: Are we ensuring the skills that will be necessary for our students, in the world they will face, are incorporated into their total educational experience? As educators we know it is different from what we faced in our classrooms of a few years ago.
How do we achieve this goal?
Step 1: Investing in the professional development and collaboration of our faculty.
Teachers must be able to establish a classroom environment, which incorporates this new type of education, and we need to continue this from one grade to another.
This past summer, Nardin teachers participated in a variety of workshops, seminars, and conferences which will provide a framework for a new style of teaching and learning. Some of their experiences included: Project Based Learning at the Buck Institute; a month-long experience "Re-enchanting Nature: Humanities Perspectives" at Carrol College in Helena, Montana, through a grant sponsored by the National Foundation for the Humanities; BOCES workshops for Google and project based learning; MAP testing; Physical Education enhancements, and many more.
Step 2: Establish a Professional Learning Community (PLC) culture in our Academy
What is a PLC? As defined by DuFour, Dufour, Eaker & Many, it is “an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.”
Simply put, this is a process in which educators commit to working together to ensure higher levels of learning for every student. Moving forward, we will be guided by the three guiding principles:
1. Focus on learning
2. Have a collaborative culture
3. Be results oriented
This type of work will help us be sure that we evaluate all of our curriculum across the Academy.
Our driving questions surround the ideas: Are the essentials covered in each grade level? Do we have a common language across the three schools? Have we incorporated 21st century skills into our lessons? How have we changed our teaching techniques to provide our students with a positive, quality experience where each student is valued and given the support to succeed?
The short video below can give you the idea of the skills and qualities we recognize that successful students will need in not only the 21st century, but beyond.
This school year is an exciting time for everyone at Nardin – Montessori, Elementary and High School. We eagerly look forward to the beginning of this process that can lead to every Nardin student achieving his/her success and looking to a bright future as they move on in their lives ready and willing to “make a difference in the world.”
Save a minute each month to join me in this important work!