Lower School teacher Laura Jordan attended The Science of Teaching and Leadership at the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (MD).
Lovett's endowed summer study and travel funds allow faculty to take advantage of professional development opportunities that might not be feasible during the school year. Upon her return, Laura offered this reflection:
“Who are you doing this for?” the CTTL director (Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning) asked a room of 200 educators on our first day. The room was silent but it was clear that every educator and school leader was thinking the same thing: our kids. With an opening line like that, I was already inspired. Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland has hosted an MBE workshop for the last two years and this year I was fortunate enough to attend.
MBE, or Mind, Brain, and Education is about taking neuroscience and best teaching practices and putting them together to make the best learning environment for our children. We spent the week learning about the brain (and even dissecting one!), better understanding research (and biases), and creating action research projects of our own that we will use this coming school year. MBE truly plays a transformative role in education.
Throughout the week, we were able to embrace neuroplasticity and understand that teachers are brain changers. We worked to affirm what we are already doing in our classrooms and uncover brain myths to better understand our classroom practices. We continued to build our teaching toolboxes and look closely at practical knowledge of MBE research. Through the Deep Dives I was able to attend, I learned more about growth mindset, giving feedback, and cognitive load and the ways I can leverage these in my classroom. We also were privileged enough to visit Johns Hopkins University for a Science in Action Day where we could talk and learn from neurologists.
Each day we met in transformation groups to create goals and an action plan that was just right for our schools and classrooms. This year I will be able to meet virtually with my group three times so that we can hold one another accountable, mentor one another, and celebrate the MBE learning that is going on in our classrooms. I can’t wait to put what I have learned into practice and would recommend the Academy to all faculty and staff.