Friday, February 18, 2022 Blog Post – K-12 Staff Day of Learning
Our staff were engaged in a variety of different learning activities and experiences.
The elementary school staff participated in a series of workshop training sessions with Lori Carpenter (Elementary School Principal) in partnership with Nina Pak Lui (TWU School of Education Faculty) to facilitate learning about assessment practices. Anita Wood (Assistant Principal) and Karen Brouwer-Vlieg (Grade 3 teacher) also presented and engaged staff in discussion of running records and their impact on reading instruction. This morning was a fantastic blend of expertise from Nina at TWU, and sharing the experience and leadership of our own instructional staff.
Gathered in the library, staff learned about and collaborated on assessment practices. Topics included tracking student progress, formative assessment strategies, process and purpose of running records (frequent mini reading assessments), and using learning targets to guide instruction and assessment. Teachers had the opportunity to reflect on their practice and integrate their learning into their own instructional program. This approach to assessment is love in action for our students as children of God, respecting them and inviting them into growth and positive relationship with learning.
Here are some reflections from the elementary school staff:
“Actually practicing the strategies – you just really remember how well they work when you do them yourself.”
“I really liked working through new ways of formative assessment; to actually do them and experience them and we see the value in them.”
“I feel affirmed in some of the recording I’m doing, but enjoyed learning how to be more clear about my learning target at the outset.”
“Meaningful assessment shows clear understanding of what students actually know beyond a score.”
Teachers experiencing and practicing effective strategies in formative assessment:
The middle school staff engaged in some learning around standards-based assessment practices facilitated by Brenda Wind and David Jackson (Middle School Assistant Principals). Using an appreciative assessment lens, our teachers worked on creating effective learning targets that are connected to assessment tasks, reflected on how they were developing rubrics that assess students’ competencies, and how to support all learners by helping students identify where they are at in relation to the criteria standards.
Here are some reflections from the middle school staff:
“The importance of putting our curricular competencies at the forefront of our learning progressions and not only the content.”
“As we get rid of the negative deficit statements, the language we use to support assessment makes it clear that all students can be successful.”
“The importance of working through individualizing the scale but also trying to meet the standard.”
“The importance of assessment as a reflection of what students can do and not only what students cannot do.”
“Assessment to move learning forward in the learning progression made me reflect on whether my assessment decisions are helping make students move forward or keeping them stagnant.”
The high school staff participated in a faculty culture day facilitated by Joel Ditson (High School Principal). Building on some of the work on effective learning organizations, the staff explored the importance of gratitude for one another, worshiped together, and worked on their collaboration skills with some team building challenges.
Here are some reflections from the high school staff:
“As a new staff member, it was great to see the staff in a new context. It was refreshing to think about things like gratitude in a way that helps us grow together as a staff.”
“This was a great day of teambuilding. Being together. Being appreciated. It was about laughter and thinking about what it means to be with one another in our work.”
“This was fun. The opportunity to be creative and get to know people more was great.”
“Perspective of a situation is far more important than I usually give it credit for. My perspective on what
I am going to expect in a situation actually shapes the experience far more than I give it credit for.” “It was a great opportunity to build- build community, team, trust, and learn together.”
These are some of the things we want to do best: community, connection, and learning collaboratively. We value the opportunity to learn and grow together as a staff and faculty as we think about how we deliver engaging Christian teaching and learning experiences for our community.