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Faculty and Staff Growth Newsletter

December 2020 Faculty and Staff Growth Newsletter

This month’s articles offer strategies for better breakout rooms, synthesize the voices of veteran educators and highlight the importance of spatial reasoning in schools. Also please take a look at anti-bias workshops offered by the Museum of Tolerance and the range of professional growth opportunities Prep faculty and staff have recently experienced!

Also, please get in touch if you have participated in professional growth workshops recently, including free webinars or conversations, that haven’t yet been featured in this newsletter. We’d love to include it all!


Jennifer Gonzalez, Connecting Students in a Disconnected World, Cult of Pedagogy

This 35-minute podcast/blog post is so practical I’ve already recommended it to several people. It’s worth it for the breakout room tips alone.

Not only will the extra socializing make your regular academic stuff go better, it’s just something we all need more of right now. Your students need it, and so do you.

Kristina Rizga, et al., On Teaching Project, The Atlantic

Dozens of experienced teachers tell their stories as part of this project, supported by grants from various foundations. Articles include Teaching Kids to Love Science, Celebrating Neurodiversity in the Classroom, How to Teach Drama Remotely, and What Anti-Racist Teachers Do Differently.

The 15 teachers I got to know closely—from rural Oklahoma to Mississippi, subarctic Alaska to suburban Arizona, California, Texas, Kentucky, and Michigan—told me that effective teaching depends on paying attention to students as individuals, addressing their needs with cultural sensitivity, and seeking the active support of peers.

Sarah Gonser, Spatially Gifted Students – Our Future Architects and Engineers – Are Being Overlooked, Edutopia

This article speaks to the power of hands-on work in science, math, art, STEAM and many other disciplines.

At least 4 to 6 percent of U.S. students—and many millions more around the world—are exceptionally talented in spatial reasoning, but because we’re not measuring and nurturing their unique skills, schools and the workforce are missing out on “a huge pool of untapped talented students, including those who come from low-income backgrounds.”

Upcoming Online Workshops

L.A.’s Museum of Tolerance is offering a wide range of seminars online, including a School Climate and Culture Institute and an Anti-Bias Curriculum Institute on the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice standards. These five-to-twelve-hour workshops are offered at multiple times in 2021, including in the summer.

Faculty & Staff Professional Growth

  • Math teacher Maddie Martin, 9th Grade Dean Beth Pattinelli and Admissions Assistant and Community Liaison Cristina Delgado continued their work in diversity, equity and inclusion at the annual People of Color Conference, hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools this month.
  • Maddie Martin also completed the first semester of her masters degree in Math Education at California State University, Northridge.
  • Last week 10th Grade Dean Ricardo Rodriguez and Drawing and Painting teacher Melissa Manfull took part in a community conversation with the California Teachers Development Collaborative, Creating & Collaborating in the Time of Covid
  • This month Assistant Head for Academic Life Sarah Cooper attended a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Curriculum Audit workshop held by One Schoolhouse.