Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.
- Alice Walker (b. 1944)
As part of our Faculty Meetings week prior to Campus Trip, the Waring Faculty participated in Waring’s inaugural Faculty Conference, a three-morning event for staff to engage in professional development and prepare for the novel school year ahead.
The goal of the Conference was to bring our strengths as a community to bear on educating during uncertain times in order to build community, foster optimism, empower our instruction, and create a better learning experience for our students. The Conference focused on three important strands: Teaching & Learning, Social Emotional Wellbeing, and Social Justice Education. Sessions were led by Waring faculty as well as guest speakers, and Conference participants engaged in rigorous, timely, courageous, and necessary discussions, presentations, and activities.
The Teaching & Learning strand focused on sharing and developing practical skills to most effectively teach in a hybrid environment and to foster student engagement and understanding in both virtual and in-person settings.
The Social Emotional Wellbeing strand, led by Waring’s Social Worker, Meg Ferguson-Sauder, LICSW, focused on wellness best practices for staff and students in these uncertain times.
The Social Justice Education strand focused on examining how core identities impact teacher and learner experience, and on discussing advancing anti-racism in our community. Waring invited two consultants to speak with staff on Social Justice: Arlynn Polletta, Equity and Inclusion Director at Pingree School, and Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, Author of The Stamped: Remix Educators Guide and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.
Our faculty found the Conference enriching, relevant, and helpful. Waring is committed to engaging in intentional ongoing professional development in these three strands throughout this academic year. While school may feel different in many ways, we are looking forward to a productive year together.
If you would like to engage in these conversations at home, here are some resources:
Teaching and Learning
- 5 Tips for Supporting Your Waring Student in Our Hybrid Learning Environment
- How to be an All Remote Learner at Waring
Social Emotional Well-Being
- The 2020 Back To School List for Teens’ Emotional Well-being, New York Times, 8/25/20 by Lisa Damour, PhD
- How to Manage Anxiety under Covid-19, by Lisa Damour, PhD
Social Justice and Anti-Racism
Joan Sullivan and Michelle Ramadan, Faculty Conference Organizers