Last October 12th we held our annual Faculty Inservice Day which is the day when the faculty participates in a professional development. This is usually a one-size-fits-all session on a single topic such as literacy, student engagement, or assessments. This year, however, we took a different approach and asked our talented and experienced Chairs to lead a mini-PD for their colleagues, and offered our teachers the opportunity to choose to attend the sessions that interested them.
Mr. Ken Favell, Chair of the English Department, and Mr. Eduardo Magana, Chair of the Spanish Department, led a presentation on how to teach our students how to write clearly and concisely, as well as how to build language through examples, simulations, and practice.
Ms. Carolyn Westdal – Chair of the Science Department, explained how to use stations in the classroom to get our young men up and out of their seats while reinforcing content knowledge. I was inspired by this presentation, and just last week used it in my own AP US History class. The students enjoyed a video lesson on the Federalists and Anti-Federalists at one station, did a Constitutional scavenger hunt at another station, and deconstructed the Declaration of Independence at a third. The students remarked that they enjoyed the stations so I will call that a win!
Mr. Tim Moore, Chair of the Math Department, presented a variety of ways to use technology in their classrooms and to support and alleviate their tasks and workload. Coach Banuelos is now using the Schoology platform to give students quizzes as homework, freeing up more class time for instruction as a result of attending this session!
Mr. EJ Vieyra, Chair of the Theology Department, guided teachers in discovering ways to highlight social justice issues in their content areas, and Fr. George Teodoro, Chair of the Social Science Department shared his method of unit planning with his colleagues.
It was a great day of learning and sharing, of teachers teaching teachers, and of collegial bonding, and I can’t thank our Department Chairs enough for the planning and preparation that went into such a successful professional development day!
We are … Verbum Dei!