This past summer, St. Paul's teachers participated in more than 450 hours of professional development workshops, seminars, and conferences. Teachers developed their skills across multiple disciplines including Multisensory Math, Project Based Learning, Conscious Discipline, and much more.
St. Paul's teachers are continually learning new techniques to provide an exceptional classroom experience for students. Whether it's incorporating drumming curriculum to foster better communication skills or implementing daily positive affirmations, our teachers were excited to bring their new training back to the St. Paul's community this year. Read more below about some of our teachers' professional development highlights from this past summer!
Our St. Paul’s early childhood – 2nd grade music teacher, Rachel O’Connell, is excited to introduce students to our new collection of Tubano drums this year. Ms. O’Connell went through a week of “Drumming Up the Fun” training this summer, and this curriculum uses drumming to teach communication skills, foster collaboration, and celebrate world music. Ms. O'Connell noted, "Drums bring such a sense of community and togetherness to the classroom."
Gretchen Beilharz, 3rd – 5th grade math teacher, went to a Multisensory Math workshop where she learned about teaching students abstract math concepts through drawing pictures and hands-on items (i.e. clocks, blocks, and measuring devices). This approach helps make math concepts more accessible and easy to understand for a wide range of students. One parent shared, "We are so thankful for the trainings that St. Paul's teachers continue to pursue. St. Paul's engages students of all abilities. Being able to touch and feel math is especially fun for [our son]!"
Project Based Learning
A few St. Paul’s teachers had a great time this past summer learning all about Project Based Learning at a conference in Napa Valley. Ken Stewart (7th grade teacher), Abby Crady (Kindergarten teacher), Becky Nash (5th grade teacher), and Carey Lorfing (1st grade teacher) are all bringing new PBL techniques to help students explore questions, showcase their research, and provide peer feedback.
St. Paul’s is invested in nurturing kind leaders, and some teachers received special training in Conscious Discipline techniques to promote kindness at the school. Matt Ronan (2nd grade), Libby Huggins (3rd grade) and Kelly Van Maren (4th grade) are thrilled to implement this new teaching method which emphasizes positivity, acknowledgement, and mindfulness. Ms. Huggins likes to start each day with a connecting activity where students use physical touch, eye contact, and affirmations to create a positive and focused learning environment. Mr. Ronan shared, "I've been emphasizing how much I care about them and focus on being as positive as possible. It makes the whole day better."
Professional development experiences like these are key to teachers providing diverse and engaging instruction for students. The St. Paul's community is committed to developing confident learners, ethical leaders, and compassionate citizens, and this new training will help further that mission throughout the school year.