Our faculty work tirelessly to instill a love of learning in our students. Each year they hope to send the graduating class off to college with an understanding of what it means to be a lifelong learner. As such, our faculty continues to pursue additional educational opportunities each year.
This summer several of our teachers spent their summer vacations taking classes toward graduate degrees and attending conferences to learn new techniques and hone their knowledge in their unique fields. We are so proud and thankful that our faculty sees value in continuing their education. These are just a few of the many teachers who took time out of their summer for professional development.
Eric Fleming – Middle and Upper School Spanish
Mr. Fleming took a weeklong intensive course at Messiah College titled “Advanced Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Education” that was focused on diversity. Mr. Fleming found the class to be informative and thought provoking and he feels that he is better able to relate to people of diverse backgrounds after taking the class. He hopes to parlay this information to his students through the study of language and other cultures. This course was the final class Mr. Fleming needed to take towards his master’s degree in Education. His next step is to complete his thesis which is about establishing better authenticity and creating real-life scenarios in foreign language classrooms.
Jamie McKim – Fourth Grade Teacher and Assistant Head of Lower School
Over the summer, Mrs. McKim traveled to Pittsburgh for a week to learn more about the Responsive Classroom, a research-based approach to teaching that concentrates on teacher and student interactions. The belief is that students cannot learn academically if their social and emotional needs are not met. Responsive Classroom has four domains: Engaging Academics, Developmental Awareness, Effective Management, and Positive Community. This school year, the Lower School plans to focus on the Responsive Classroom approach. They already incorporate some of the techniques daily, but they will continue to utilize even more. Mrs. McKim is sure that this year’s professional development will allow the Lower School faculty to become Responsive Classroom rock stars!
Asa Church – Middle School Humanities teacher, Enrichment Director and Co-Director of the 6-12th grade Advisory program
Mr. Church spent a significant portion of the summer in graduate school as he works toward earning a certificate degree in Restorative Justice for Education. The classes, which were partially funded through the generosity of the YCDS Parent’s Association, were “Foundations of Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation” and “Introduction to Circle Processes”, both offered by Eastern Mennonite University – Lancaster Campus. Mr. Church will take one more course this fall, for a total of five.
Restorative Justice for Education seeks to engage the entire community affected by harm to make things right. It recognizes that a healthy response to behavior is proactive, rather than reactive, and that shame is far too often ubiquitous in how adults interact with children. As YCDS continues to take seriously the part that social-emotional learning plays in our robust program, Mr. Church will be working with Mrs. Molly Wertz, Dean of Students, and Mrs. Michelle Odell, Assistant Head of School, to infuse aspects of Restorative Justice into our practice through the Advisory Program and in our procedures for addressing behavior.
Katie Torres – Middle and Upper School Spanish
Mrs. Torres attended her first of four summers at the Master of Arts in Spanish Program at Middlebury College in Vermont. She spent six weeks living in the residence halls and speaking Spanish exclusively. During this immersion program she had the opportunity to learn from professors from many backgrounds and countries. Many of the other students in the program are also teachers so she was able to share experiences and ideas with them. She is excited to bring these ideas back to her classroom. In addition to serving as a student, Mrs. Torres was a part of a mentoring program that allowed her to spend time with a beginner level student each week. She loved the opportunity to be a student again and she was even able to enjoy some time between coursework to participate in the choir, go hiking, and attend other events on campus.
Melanie Glennon – Upper School English and Curriculum Coordinator
Mrs. Glennon spent her summer finishing her dissertation entitled “Communicating and Cultivating: Exploring the Phenominology of The Extracurricular Writing Relationship Through Narrative”. Her PH.D. Defense is set for early fall. In addition to this exciting achievement, Mrs. Glennon was invited to submit two manuscripts to the TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching will be a definitive resource for ELT/ESL practitioners, teachers, and students, encompassing all the major research, administrative, pedagogical, and professional development issues in the field. One of the themes Mrs. Glennon will write about is entitled “Coaching and Mentoring” and the other is “Curriculum Mapping/ Innovation.”