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Our Teachers Envision the Future

November 14, 2017

Connecting the Dots:  How Teachers as Innovators Envisions Pike’s Future

Investment in Our Shared Tomorrow’s Teachers as Innovators priority directs important resources toward strengthening the work of our faculty.

To ensure that they are flexible and responsive, Pike prefers professional growth initiatives that are teacher-driven and student-centered.  Lower School Head Marybeth Heyd explains, “We want teachers to seek out through their teams, divisions, and coaches, the strategies that will best impact learning for the students we have right here, right now.”

“I sometimes think that outsiders believe it’s a matter of taking a specific curriculum and teaching from it.  The classroom, however, is a really dynamic, always fluid place.  Pike teachers need to respond in the moment — from moment to moment — from a full and flexible toolbox.” 

Of course, tomorrow’s students will soon be today’s students, so what’s the long-term picture?

Head of School, Muddy Waters notes, “We know where we want to go, that is, what the parameters of excellent teaching are and will continue to be.  Those calculations have shaped our thinking about what’s next.”

Here are four examples of the types of professional growth Pike wants to support through Teachers as Innovators:

Micro-sabbaticals.  Projects that allow teachers to pursue specific strategies and approaches that immediately increase the learning outcomes of their students.  Faculty recipients could take from one day to one week to deeply explore specific, well-defined and classroom-based problems through research, visiting nearby schools, and identifying outside coaches, all while a high-quality, skilled substitute keeps class moving.

Building the Pike Brand.  Encouraging faculty to present their expertise and experience at regional and national conferences.  Outcomes include building teacher acumen, positioning Pike as a school known for leading-edge teaching, and asserting ourselves as a school of choice for highly-skilled and motivated teachers and administrators as we seek to draw the strongest faculty and staff that we can.

Leadership Stipends.  Dedicated funds to ensure that our most experienced teachers have opportunities to bring their expertise to their peers and to the school as a whole.  While schools remain largely horizontal with regard to leadership opportunities, Pike endeavors to create opportunities for strong skillsets to impact how we do what we do and become guides for an even better Pike experience.

Bringing the Outside In.  Developing a program of outside in-residence professionals across curricula, guest speakers/teachers, and educational thought leaders from beyond the walls of Pike in order to augment our knowledgeable, committed, and curious faculty.  From the latest research and brain science to social-emotional wellbeing insights and beyond, these external resources provide new ideas and approaches that augment and expand our acumen in teaching children for the contemporary world.

Clearly, the professional growth model at Pike is vibrant and focused squarely on strengthening student learning.  Waters summarizes succinctly: “Our investment in Teachers as Innovators will reap exponential benefits.”

Learn about Pike’s Teachers as Innovators Fund