Imagine a room full of teachers laughing, asking questions and talking about your kids and what makes them special. Now, picture your favorite teachers at TLS. I hope it makes you smile. Last Monday, we had a wonderful day of learning and dialogue as a faculty.
Professional development experiences and speakers give us opportunities to learn together and have important conversations about the quality and continuity of experiences we want children to have at The Little School. On Monday, we dove into the best practices of math instruction with our partners from Bridges In Mathematics. We examined strategies to help our students gain deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and deeper practice with foundational skills. We explored tools for planning and assessing powerful learning experiences. Our new math curriculum, Bridges, creates a unifying platform for us to share teaching strategies and track student progress over time, and this was a common thread for discussion.
Another piece of becoming a confident mathematician is the mindset that one brings to the work. Jo Boaler, a researcher out of Stanford, has dug deeply into the ways that student attitude towards math impacts student success. Here’s a link to some of her work. One of our facilitators commented, “I just love hearing your teachers talk about how they tell kids they are mathematicians. It’s one of the hardest things to effect in a school, and you all are really mindful about this.”
We are also mindful about the ways we balance our academic learning with our commitment to social emotional learning. To that end, we also spent time with Prism Equity Collective, examining the domains of anti-bias teaching and community building. Research tells us that children as young as three are solidifying their beliefs about identity and difference. This means it’s critical that from Meadows to Cedars, our students are engaged in meaningful conversations about who they are and how they view others. Informed by Teaching Tolerance‘s frameworks, we talked about ways our curriculum reflects a commitment to understanding 1) identity, 2) diversity, 3) justice and 4) action.
It was a great day of learning and thinking together, focused on the mission of what we do best – celebrate childhood, nourish curiosity, connect community and create meaningful learning experiences anchored in progressive education. Next year, we’ll be able to not only build off this learning, we’ll be able to expand it to include parent education events and events with the broader educational community. It’s just one of the ways that the new building and the Campaign for a Big Future will positively support our program and community.
It’s Giving Tuesday around the world, and we would be remiss if we didn’t reach out and talk to you about how your giving impacts the lives of children, the work of faculty and the legacy of The Little School. Many of you are considering how your gift to the Campaign for a Big Future can impact our school. We have $1.2M dollars left to raise in the campaign by the end of the school year. Your participation and generosity matter tremendously. If you would like to have a conversation about designing an impactful gift, please reach out. We would love to talk with you! If you know how to make an impact and want to pledge your support today, thank you! Please click here to visit the campaign site. Thank you to all of you for your generosity and support of The Little School.