During the last week of September, a team of eight faculty and administrators, representing all three Nueva divisions, traveled to Portland, Oregon for a three-day workshop focused on Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching.
Support from Nueva's generous donors allow our community to take advantage of professional development opportunities like the Danielson conference, instilling a passion for lifelong learning in every student, teacher, and administrator.
Perfectly Suited for Nueva Faculty
At its core, the mission of the Danielson Framework is to enhance the professional practice of educators through observation and conversation. It is a set of deep, research-based components covering all domains of the complex profession of teaching: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities.
“Grounded in a constructivist view, the Danielson Framework centers around providing engaging learning experiences. It is central to the work of any educator and certainly for the work we do at Nueva,” said Upper School Division Head Stephen Dunn. “The breadth and depth of the frameworks provide opportunities for teachers, new and seasoned, to closely examine and reflect on their pedagogy and instruction.”
Upper school English and middle school elective teacher Allen Frost added, “I’m hoping my work at the conference around data-driven conversations can be used to think about how we support each other to grow as teachers across all divisions at Nueva. Specifically, I’m hoping to integrate some of the ideas around planning and reflecting conversations into both formal and informal observations.”
The Danielson approach is oriented toward growth, rather than judgment, drawing our faculty in. The Nueva team felt the strength of the framework as a traditional administrator-to-teacher evaluation tool that colleagues and teaching teams can also use to foster growth and important, self-reflective conversations.
“This model presumes that teachers want to learn and grow, and it gives the teacher a voice in determining the course of that growth,” explained kindergarten teacher Laraine Ray. “When having conversations with a colleague about their teaching, we play different roles: calibrator, consultant, collaborator, and coach. I intend to become more aware of when to fall into each role, and how to move between these roles with more fluidity.”
Provided by Our Annual Benefit Donors
Nueva faculty crave time for reflection, to develop curriculum, to integrate, to collaborate, and to take intellectual risks — the same habits they cultivate in their students. The generosity of Nueva’s Annual Benefit Auction donors creates these opportunities for transformative learning experiences to ensure we continue to meet the intellectual, social, and emotional needs of gifted learners.
“We could not be more grateful to our donors for their contributions to our Benefit Auction. Their support enables our faculty to pursue professional opportunities, incorporating best practices and current thinking directly into their classroom practices. Our students directly benefit," said Head of School Diane Rosenberg.
Attendees were particularly appreciative of the opportunity to attend the conference as a team. “I was so grateful to be with a team of Nueva teachers and colleagues, creating immediate application of new information,” said Laraine. “The time spent together, traveling as a team, was rich and rewarding, because we quickly customized our learning to Nueva. How might we use our learning in our unique, progressive environment? How might this better our teaching of Nueva students? We always leave our experiences feeling so fortunate to be teaching at Nueva!”
October 13, 2017