At TCS, our teachers instill a love of learning in our students, in part because they too want to continue to grow and hone their areas of expertise through professional development. Thanks to our generous families and their contributions to the Annual Giving Campaign (AGC), TCS is able to invest in faculty education and create a culture of learning and leading at TCS. A portion of funds from the AGC provides our faculty and staff with opportunities they may never have been exposed to otherwise and provides our staff with access to the most renowned experts in the field of education.
Ongoing professional learning keeps TCS faculty and staff up to date on the latest research on how children learn, new curriculum resources, emerging technology tools for the classroom and best practices. Providing our faculty and staff with these types of experiences allows our teachers to bring what they have learned back to their team to be implemented into their teaching and learning.
Using some funds from the AGC, two of our kindergarten teachers, Michele Savio and Rachel Augustyn, recently attended a Bank Street College of Education kindergarten conference that focused on celebrating kindergarten’s important role in a child’s life called, “Where Did Our Garden Go? Practice, Policy & Advocacy.”
“Attending the Bank Street conference was one of my favorite professional development opportunities,” Rachel shared about the experience. “Gathering with like-minded teachers who are all committed to ensuring kindergarten remains a place where children are allowed to be their fantastic five and six-year-old selves was refreshing and validating.”
“I will be mindful to distinguish between the sound of a chaotic classroom and the hum of energy when children are deeply engaged in the flow of play, making stories, telling stories, being right there, inside of their creative worlds,” shared Michele, after attending the conference. “I want to support diverse forms of play, including large and small-motor play, imaginative play, rough-and-tumble play, and rules-based play. Building a bridge from oral language to written language, playfully, will allow for intellectual skill development which means happy, well-adjusted kids.”
At the conference, Rachel attended “Block Building Basics: Making the Most of Your Block Area” workshop and shared about the experience, “I was blown away by what I learned and saw in this workshop. Some people may look at children playing with blocks and not think much about it, but blocks have the ability to enhance your curriculum in wonderful, unexpected ways.”
Rachel explained that children not only use creativity and imagination while building, but they also use problem-solving strategies, cooperation, self-expression, science, math and more!
“If students are learning about transportation, they might use the block area to build different types of vehicles, if they’re learning about Native American culture they might build a long-house. Blocks are so much more than just something to play with, they’re a learning tool that’s a crucial part of kindergarten,” said Rachel.
“Thank you, TCS, for allowing me first-rate preparation that emphasizes the full development of the child and the importance of play. Thank you for trusting in me to nurture my students’ innate love of learning. Thank you for supporting my own capacities for creativity, autonomy and integrity. Thank you,” said Michele.
And so to that, we say THANK YOU, TCS parents, families and friends, for your ongoing support, that allows us to offer the enriching professional development experiences that our teachers are able to bring into the classrooms at TCS.
Thank you, TCS Families!
Professional Development by the Numbers:
- 50+ professional learning opportunities have been offered to faculty and staff.
- ALL of TCS’s faculty and staff have participated in at least one professional learning experience this year.
- In the past four years, the professional learning budget has increased from $50,000 to $130,000 a 160% increase!