Though school doesn’t start until Wednesday, teachers were back at work on Monday morning for the start of a two-day professional development meeting.
After a brief welcome back and sharing of summer experiences, the faculty began a full-day workshop titled Teaching in a Block Schedule, Gr. 6-12 with Judy Stoehr, an internationally recognized expert on the block schedule and other educational approaches.
Because La Pietra employs a block schedule throughout the year, teachers have a number of ways to maximize the 80 minutes of class time they have with their students. Stoehr’s workshop explored various planning, assessment and instructional techniques aimed to maximize student learning.
Stoehr’s interactive style had teachers convening in small, cross disciplinary groups to discuss ideas such as how to best help students make connections in their learning, and how to utilize assessment data to guide instruction.
The launch of the school’s 1:1 iPad3 program this school year has created opportunities to integrate a new powerful tool into their instruction. A portion of the day’s work focused on maximizing the benefits of the devices.
“This day is about educational thought, educational dialogue, and educational discourse that will make your year with the students as wonderful and rewarding as it can be,” said Shelley Lane, Director of Curriculum and College Counseling, in her introduction of Stoehr.
The second day of the in-service meetings will expand on Stoehr’s workshop and allow more time for teachers to collaborate. Through the year, La Pietra teachers will engage in ongoing professional development sessions that will build upon the in-service concepts.