Professional Development: The BVR Faculty Institute

It was Professional Development Day at Beaver, and our faculty created a great lineup of sessions!

The morning was filled with workshops, while the afternoon was spent collaborating across departments and divisions.

Below is a sampling of the sessions presented:

“Neuromyths” with Jayne Everson
At this workshop, teachers discussed common educational neuromyths and their origins – including learning styles, left brain/right brain functionality, and male/female brain differences. Teachers also shared resources related to working memory, executive function, and universal design for learning tips and tricks.

“Exploring New York Public Library’s Digital Dive” with Jenna Wolf
What can you do with NYPL’s incredible new digitization project – unveiled January 2016? Teachers found out at this workshop and brainstormed ways to apply these tools to the classroom – from scratching aerial maps like lottery tickets and unveiling changes over time to exploring what was on the menu at the Hotel Commodore in 1919 to remixing photographs and creating new works of art.

“Who Gets In and Why? Admissions Case Studies” with College Counseling
Faculty and staff got a peek behind the college admission’s curtain. They read and reviewed three college applications and then participated in a mock admissions committee to determine who got in and who didn’t.

“3D Modeling and Fabrication” with Elisa Shapiro
Our resident rocket scientist shared the tools available for teachers and students in the engineering studio. This interactive session featured demonstrations on 3D drafting, the 3D printer, and the fancy new CNC router. Faculty also learned about the different tools they could use to get students coding, creating, and applying content in all disciplines in new and innovative ways.

“Intro to PencilCode” with Rob and David Bau
Designed for new Beaver faculty, this workshop introduced (or reintroduced) the basics of coding in a non-threatening way.

“Beaver Curriculum Slam” with David Ingenthron and Amy Winston
Amy Winston and David Ingenthron MCed one-minute, rapid-fire presentations by teachers on the exciting things going on in their classrooms, with the goal being to inspire collaboration. 

“Identity and Poetry” with Matt Lippman 
The intersection between identity and poetry is alive and vibrant. In this workshop, faculty used poetry as a way of exploring the building blocks – the layers – of how we see ourselves and how the world/others, in turn, see us. They focused on race, sexuality, class, gender, love, joy, sorrow, exaltation, and anything else that swims through the sea of ‘self’.

“Reading and Writing in a World of Texts” with Lisa Brown
Faculty considered how to leverage all the content available to students –  from “new” content, like blogs, Twitter, and Instagram, to “traditional” content like newspapers, novels, and journals – and how it impacts their learning and communication. In addition, they explored the division between teachers and students when it comes to content, and discussed ways to make the reading and writing assignments they assign, and students produce, compelling and meaningful.

“Tools for Tech Strategizing” with the Tech Integration Team, Melissa Alkire, Yolanda Wilcox Gonzalez, and Robyn Mabry
This workshop provided tools and tech strategies faculty can implement to increase their quality of life and support the classroom experience, helping alleviate some of the pressures that come with a fast-paced year.

“Google Cardboard | Make it Your Own” with Jenna Wolf, Pat Ausman, and Robyn Mabry
Faculty explored virtual reality with Google Cardboard and their cellphones.

“Turns out, the solution to the problem is talking about the problem” with Kim McCabe and Meera Shah
Be it girls in science, people of color in finance, or any other example of under representation, we may have overlooked the most powerful and simple tool – talking about under representation. Springboarding from this article, workshop attendees moved beyond gender equity in STEM fields/classes to think about ways to  more broadly address equity and access in the classroom.

“Coates Book Club Continued” with Josh Rilla
This was part two of the Ta-Nehisi Coates Book Club we ran in the fall. Faculty continued their conversation about Coates’ impact on readers and reflected on how his book, Between the World and Me, could influence our school and our role as educators. 

See more photos from the day on our Facebook page.

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