St. Patrick’s faculty and staff are lifelong learners who consistently model empathy, engagement, risk taking, and agency. We are dedicated to engaging in our professional growth, constantly building new skills. These qualities make it vital to find ways to capitalize on the in-house expertise of our faculty and staff. Our Professional Day on October 11 offered an opportunity for faculty and staff to lead courses around a particular area of interest or professional knowledge. Eighteen different courses were offered across two sessions, allowing Faculty and Staff to select a topic meeting their needs for growth or to develop areas that reach outside their comfort zone, a behavior we ask of our students daily. Courses ranged from understanding anxiety and ADHD to discussing microaggressions, bookbinding, sewing, and developing reflection in student portfolios.
Faculty and staff were surveyed this fall to ensure that our professional development opportunities address areas of interest and need. The Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) seeks not only to further develop the skills of educators, but also to develop relationships between our faculty and staff. By asking Faculty and staff to share their areas of strength in the survey, we were able to draw in new voices. October TLC courses then encouraged pairing of presenters by strengths, often connecting individuals between divisions or departments. These partnerships not only expanded the richness of the presentations but fostered new relationships within the community.
In reflecting on the courses and time spent Tuesday, two themes emerged from faculty and staff. A gratitude and amazement for the quality of the courses and a desire to have more time to engage with topics allowing time to discuss and apply the new ideas. After a great kick-off to the year, we look forward to conducting Teaching and Learning Center courses after school and on subsequent professional days.