01 Aug Teachers are learners too
Woodstock staff gathered for their pre-semester retreat looking at a range of topics including a session entitled Developing a Profound Sense of Self by Academic Dean Amy Seefeldt, while principal Dr Jonathan Long talked on how to improve healthy interpersonal relationships. The themes of citizenship and how to develop 21st century skills were also explored.
Assessment planning, department meetings and individual preparation time all filled the first two days of the retreat for teaching staff.
Teachers were asked to read Diana Senechal’s book Republic of Noise:The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture, to challenge trendy approaches to group work and critical thinking and to help teachers re-evaluate their classroom practices.
All staff were asked to read two chapters from Peter Block’s Community: The Structure of Belonging for day three of the staff retreat, before discussing what they read in small groups.
In asking staff to read two chapters from this book Academic Dean Ms Seefeldt hoped that it would “introduce ideas of pursuing restorative conversations that enable us to move away from assigning blame and toward realising the incredible educational potential this community holds”.
On day four the planning and strategy team introduced the new Woodstock website and explained how it can help staff.
Day five concluded with a session by Head of Student Services Jeff Doerfler entitled What’s different about working in a residential school? During this session all the residence staff were introduced to teaching and support staff.
A final session explained the new enrichment theme for the semester which is called Thought for Food, and encourages the community to think about what we consume physically, mentally and spiritually.
Let the semester begin!