We believe that the fulfillment of our mission requires on-going, meaningful professional development for all faculty and staff. Meaningful professional development opportunities should further the school’s mission, promote collegiality and foster innovation.
Professional development takes on a host of different forms: internal class visits, external schools visits, conferences, internal & external workshops, continuing education, webinars, collaborative discussions, readings, research, published writing, working with professional organizations, online coursework, visiting speakers & authors, seminars, curriculum alignment, cultural competency training, technology training and more. Collegiate works to take advantage of all these different avenues to continue to grow as teachers and learners. The Professional Development Committee, made up of division heads and the Director of Academics, meets monthly during the school year to review professional development opportunities and to build collegial networks inside and outside the school.
This initiative is an opportunity for teachers and other faculty and staff members to lead a professional development experience with their colleagues and for their colleagues. Opportunities can include a wide range of experiences such as a film viewing, book discussion, article discussion or any other learning opportunity. Leading and participating in the Collegiate Collaborative is voluntary for our faculty and staff and is a great way to foster leadership, build relationships and engage in higher level discussions.
Since 2013, Collegiate has organized its own internal annual teaching & learning conference for faculty and staff by faculty and staff. Participants choose several teacher-led workshops to attend. This conference-style professional development opportunity allows faculty and staff to lead and attend workshops that best meet their professional needs and interests. Some of the past workshops have included bookbinding, art & critical thinking, using Twitter and other social media outlets for education, revamping units with technology integration, understanding how the brain learns math, painting as an Impressionist, assessing performance and identifying “blinders” & resisting stereotypes.
The February Faculty Classroom Challenge encourages teachers to visit as many classes as possible during the month of February. This is a priceless opportunity for teachers to “walk in the shoes” of their colleagues that teach in other divisions or departments. This professional development opportunity fosters collegiality and often builds new relationships across all divisions of the school and leaves a lasting impression on the faculty.
In 2015, the Innovation Grant opportunity for faculty began. The purpose of the Collegiate Innovation Grant is to encourage and foster innovation in the classroom and support collaborative work that crosses the disciplinary boundaries. The fund is directed toward furthering faculty expertise in the art and science of teaching. There must be a clear application to student learning and teacher professional development. The fund provides resources for ideas and experiments, allowing teachers to take that chance and try something new. Proposals should be aligned with the mission of the school and describe the processes, techniques, and applications as they pertain to student and teacher learning, and indicate measurable outcomes. Beginning in the summer of 2015, faculty groups can apply for an Innovation Grant through the faculty professional development funds application process.
Louisville Collegiate School has cultivated a partnership with The School of St. Jude in Tanzania. Faculty members travel each summer to Tanzania to participate in a professional development opportunity to teach at The School of St. Jude.
Collegiate faculty members spend two weeks co-teaching at the school, experiencing the local culture and interacting with staff, faculty, and students. Collegiate teachers lead interactive classes, participate in faculty meetings, perform at school assemblies, take field trips, engage in reading books with students during DEAR (drop everything and read) time, help with homework and play enriching games. This fascinating opportunity is an annual professional development commitment for both schools allowing them to trade experiences and knowledge.
Each year, one faculty member is selected and honored at graduation with The Katherine McCracken Davis Distinguished Teaching Chair Award. This chair is awarded each year to a full-time teacher who best represents the ideals of lifelong learning and the pursuit of excellence. Every other year, one faculty member is selected and honored at graduation with The Helen Kent Longley Distinguished Chair Award. This two-year appointment celebrates a teacher of any grade or discipline who has taught at Collegiate for two or more years, and who has exhibited the qualities of enthusiasm for scholarship and learning, commitment and loyalty to the school, and love for and enjoyment of students.
Questions about Collegiate’s Professional Development Program can be directed to the Dean of Faculty, Clay Gahan, firstname.lastname@example.org.