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Faculty and Staff Growth Newsletter

March 2023 Faculty and Staff Growth Newsletter

Take a look at the latest newsletter to hear about recent professional growth by Prep faculty and staff, watch a two-minute video on why brain breaks are important, consider the benefits of visiting colleagues’ classes, and imagine the big educational questions sparked by AI right now. Also, if you are looking for that just-right summer professional growth opportunity and haven’t found it yet, please get in touch with Sarah, Reid or your department chair. We’re happy to help! 

Austin Roy and Rob Lewis

Interesting Recent Articles 

The Mysterious Power of Brain Breaks,” Edutopia  
Check out this 2-minute video about brain breaks to reaffirm the power of processing time to help cement knowledge, especially if the break happens outside. 

A 2022 analysis of 14 studies examining the learning impact of brief green breaks of 10 to 90 minutes, like a walk in the park, a visit to a school garden, or gazing at a green landscape, concluded that students who partook in the activities performed better on tests measuring attention and working memory. 

Larry Ferlazzo, et al., “Peer Observations Can Make Us Better Teachers. Here’s How,” EdWeek 
The first two responses to this EdWeek question of the week offer excellent suggestions for supporting your own teaching by visiting colleagues’ classrooms. 

I will never forget the time I saw a teacher pulling a small group of students for a reading-skills lesson. Until that day, I had only read about what small groups would look like. Seeing a teacher conduct the group while managing the remainder of the class brought what I had only read about to life. It gave me the confidence to go back to my own classroom and do it myself. 

Exploring Generative AI Tools in Classrooms,” Stanford  
Recently “the Stanford, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and the Stanford Accelerator for Learning convened more than 50 teachers online to share their ideas on the future of generative AI in education. OpenAI, the creator of the ChatGPT platform, also attended the event. This document is a summary of the questions, comments, challenges, and opportunities discussed during the 90-minute conversation.”

Questions raised included: 

  • Why do we teach what we teach in the ways we currently teach it? 
  • How will AI tools like ChatGPT change the skills and knowledge students will need to 
  • be successful in life? 
  • How will AI tools like ChatGPT change what we assess, how we assess it, and why? 
  • What constitutes independent thought and writing? 
  • How will the availability of tools like ChatGPT change the profession of teaching? 

Upcoming Summer Institute 

An annual workshop from Global Online Academy’s Center for Professional Learning is returning this summer in person: Learning Summit 2023: Design for Agency, a four-day, three-night in-person retreat from June 26-29, 2023 at Episcopal High School, in Alexandria, VA.

“How do we empower students and adults with the relevant skills needed to learn and thrive, now and into the future? From AI developments to global crises, what prepares learners and educators to respond to a rapidly changing world is agency. We know from research that students and adults learn deeply when learning experiences are designed to foster agency. How do we ensure agency is at the heart of our work? The GOA Learning Summit offers both classroom educators and school leaders the chance to address recent developments in AI, to learn key research and practice related to agency, and most of all -- to apply, plan, and design for taking action in schools.” 

Recent Faculty and Staff Professional Growth