Though summer is a time for teachers to step away from the front of the classroom, many take time to be students at workshops and conferences. Summer professional development opportunities provide teachers with great ideas and excitement for the new school year.
Many of our AP teachers attended conferences to better prepare themselves to prepare students for the college-level courses. History teacher Patrick Kelleher and math teacher Bob Aronstam attended the AP Annual Conference. Bob attended a post-conference workshop in AP Statistics, led by Josh Tabor, the author of the teachers' edition of the textbook he uses. "We learned some of the best practices of experienced AP Statistics teachers, such as drawing class activities on a poster board (instead of the chalkboard). Drawing dot plots on a poster allows me to refer to it several times throughout the year," says Bob. "We also had excellent discussions on how to compose tests and quizzes and how to grade them according to the AP Scoring Guides."
Science teacher Eileen Perkins and history teacher Daniel Petri attended the AP Environmental Science and AP US History conferences, respectively.
History Department Chair Jane Hannon and history and psychology teacher Carolyn Fay were readers for AP tests.
"I think being an AP reader will make me a better teacher as far as knowing exactly what will count for each point on the Free Response questions," says Carolyn, who read for the AP Psychology test. "I also think that it was very helpful to get to know other AP Psychology teachers and compare how they teach Free Response writing and certain concepts."
Principal Kate Blaine, Dean of Faculty Christine McGovern, and English teacher Anna Royal attended National Coalition of Girls Schools Annual Conference (NCGS), Education Innovation: Building Cultures of Creativity. "The relationships NCGS helps to facilitate among educators working with and for young women have been essential to my work," says Kate. "Opportunities for broad engagement and brainstorming—as well as the chance to network and affirm friendships with our colleagues in girls' schools in the D.C. area—are always life giving, energizing, and a great source for creativity and re-examination."
Christine agrees and adds, "Of particular interest to me was learning more about Global Education initiatives to give our students even more opportunities for partnering with international schools, as we did last year with Mrs. Angotti's World Smarts project with a boys' school in Ghana."
Kate, Christine, Anna, and science teacher Mark Pennybacker, attended the Science of Teaching and Leadership Academy, which is a week-long immersion into the mind, brain, and education research-informed teaching and learning. With the help of several alumnae, science teacher Nancy Cowdin lead a workshop at this conference. Nancy also attended the National Science Teachers Association.
History teacher and Astronomy Club moderator Will Farquhar and physics teacher Michal Kolpak traveled to view August's solar eclipse had in totality.