“Imagine if schools weren't only a place to learn standardized academic material but were also places of wonder, awe, and self-actualization, as well as hope for humanity.” - Scott Barry Kaufman
We think Mead is pretty awe-inspiring already but are always eager to reflect and make it better.
Staff at Mead have had, or are looking forward to, the opportunity to participate in a number of professional development conferences. Professional development is not only essential to our growth and learning but also to reinvigorating our passions for what we do every day. Specific professional development also targeted the further integration of Nexus students into an evolving progressive inclusion model.
After staff attends conferences, they meet together a few days later to debrief and decide on what and how to teach the rest of Mead's faculty. Learning from each other always feels intimate and relevant and allows us to enter into deep conversations about how and why we do what we do here at Mead.
Five faculty members attended 2E21, the 2-day conference given by William and Mary and hosted by their Center for Gifted Education. We heard from a number of experts in the field of twice-exceptionality and giftedness. We were inspired by the work of Dr. Sally Reiss and the Schoolwide Enrichment Model, Dr. Matt Zakriski on how to help our students overcome perfectionism, and Debbie Reber and her fabulous support for parents. We could not stop talking to each other about takeaways from this event!
Science of Teaching During a Pandemic
Staff members also attended the Science of Teaching During a Pandemic given by Learning and the Brain. During this full-day conference, staff heard from numerous psychologists and cognitive scientists about the latest brain-based research and classroom applications. Workshops included how to teach distracted minds, playful learning, and the science behind active learning. At Mead, we believe very strongly in brain-based research, and Learning and the Brain conferences speak our language!
The NAIS Annual Conference
Staff then went full-on into the annual conference given by NAIS, the National Association for Independent Schools. This year’s weeklong event was titled Beyond the Doors: Activating Our Communities. Staff had the opportunity to listen to renowned keynotes and attend numerous workshops including those on school culture, social issues, education, equity, and inclusion. Many opportunities for self-care and fun were also built into the schedule. We wish we were there in person but loved how well they put together this virtual week.
Learning and the Brain
Members of faculty are getting ready to attend the Learning and the Brain 2-day conference being given in April. This year’s theme is Teaching Purposeful Brains: Creating Meaning, Curiosity, and Connections to Help Kids Thrive in Uncertain Times. Several of the workshops we are looking forward to involve strengthening resilience, using our curiosity to counter anxiety, and creating schools of belonging.
Professional Development is ongoing at Mead. Opportunities are carefully selected to meet our teaching and learning goals, and even when faculty aren't attending conferences, there is still always knowledge being shared from teacher to teacher!