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The Community of Innovative Teachers (2016-17)

How might we create meaningful leadership and professional development opportunities that inspire collaboration as well as passion and enthusiasm for our tasks/roles as educators?

Project Overview

The Community of Innovative Teachers is an in-house professional development program focused on the science and art of teaching.

Conversations among colleagues about curriculum and pedagogy are essential for the continued growth of a talented and diverse faculty. This kind of communication encourages teachers to identify curricular intersections across disciplines and divisions, develop plans for interdisciplinary collaboration, inspire each other, and implement increasingly innovative approaches to teaching. This project aims to build an inclusive community of faculty that values, prioritizes, and facilitates the communication that leads to collaboration, inspiration, and innovation, for teachers and by teachers.

Through informal, faculty-led discussion groups (guided by the principles of “how might we” questions and the theory and process of Design Thinking) and four screenings of diverse films focused on innovative approaches to curriculum and pedagogy, the aim of the first phase of this project is to create a permanent program series for faculty which will foster curricular and pedagogical communication, collaboration, inspiration, and innovation.

Because innovative teaching has many different faces, these discussions and screenings will place special priority on the value of addressing differing perspectives on innovative and collaborative teaching, from diverse sources. These gatherings are designed to be invitational, informal, social, and driven by faculty interest, changing the current, division- or discipline-bound paradigm in which discussion among faculty members about curriculum usually takes place. An encouragement of a new kind of professional development, this program encourages faculty members to learn from their colleagues in-house, fostering a culture of observation, collaboration, and mentorship.

Fellows

Sarah Danziger
Department Chair, Classics; Latin Teacher, Upper School

Kyle Mitschele
Social Studies Teacher, Middle School

Institute Projects