Friday, March 16, 2012

Conference Day: Teacher Dialogue Across Schools

Each year teachers and other staff members devote three conference days to professional learning. This work is framed by our three-year initiative related to critical and creative thinking. The conference days are supplemented by weekly meetings that focus on how best to improve the quality of thought and originality that characterize student work.

On March 13, keynote speaker Ken Kay launched the spring conference day. Mr. Kay founded the Partnership for 21st Century Skills in 2002. Building on that work, he is now the Chief Executive Officer of EdLeader21. That organization is a network of education leaders across the country, focusing on how to move school districts forward in the effort to strengthen, teaching, curriculum, and assessment of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.

Policy Board chairperson Ann Meyer introduced the day, which involved a lot of effort and organization by Teacher Center Director Denise Lutter. The remainder of the day teachers worked in small groups, with each person bringing a strategy, assignment, or example of student work to share.  The idea was to learn from colleagues in other schools and departments. Group facilitators included Janine Holzmann, Joanne Dalsimer, Chris Doyle, Susan Williams, Adrienne Laitman, Chris Yi, Sara Payne, Dean Tatarian, Gail Mathias, Denise Lutter, Dierdre Fogarty, Dana Landesman, Karen Coons, Mary Ellen Mullin, Ann Meyer, Mary Schenck, Val Palacio, Karen Rotach, Jean Windels, Denise Flood, Toby Gillen, Charles Ippolito, and Erin Cramer.

As on past conference days, the Bronxville Teachers Association sponsored a benefit luncheon on behalf of the Westchester Food Bank.