On November 6th, we welcomed our fellows to our second All Corps professional development event of the 2021-22 school year. We wanted to build on the community and strong peer learning that we developed in our first All Corps, while including more skill-based teacher training. Additionally, one thing that we have noticed as the year is progressing is how many of our teachers are struggling with mental health; so we also wanted them to have time to connect with their peers, practice mindfulness, and ultimately leave the event feeling supported. Overall, we framed the day around our core value of continual learning.
We kicked off the day by celebrating fellows through peer shoutouts, warm-up games, and acknowledging birthdays. Then, our fellows moved into content-specific groups led by ATC alumni who teach those content areas. They meet with our Director of Teacher Development Lizzy Hetherington to talk through what needs the coaching team is seeing in classrooms regarding content to create a development scope for the year. After the session objectives are determined, content leaders go through rounds of feedback on their session from the coaching team. This time was extremely productive according to our fellows with 87% saying they learned something immediately useful for their classroom and 97% reporting they grew as practitioners of their content.
Next, fellows engaged in peer learning through fellow-led skill-based sessions. Our teacher development team monitored fellows overall to see where they could use additional development and decided on establishing classroom culture, using small groups, and implementing student choice. We then identified fellows who excel with these skills and worked with them to design and facilitate a 90-minute session on that skill for their peers. Fellows who led sessions went through multiple rounds of feedback with their coaches and our Director of Institute Matt Caston. This time was also extremely productive according to our fellows with 90% saying they learned something immediately useful for their classroom and 87% reporting growth as a practitioner of their content.
Finally, we wrapped the day with a session on teacher wellness. Our teachers took the opportunity to catch-up with each other and grow as learners, with many opting to join their peers in one of the optional breakout rooms for lunch. Overall, the day was extremely successful and we hope that our teachers left feeling supported by our program and each other. 90% of fellows reported that the PD empowered them to facilitate excellent, equitable education for their students every day, 97% agreed that ATC creates a welcoming environment for them, 97% agreed they have the ongoing support they need, and 74% were very likely to recommend ATC to a friend or family member.
We can’t wait to see our fellows for the next All Corps professional development on February 12!