Santa Barbara Middle School offers students in grades 6-9 a profound educational experience, guiding young people as they transition to adolescence. Through ancient traditions and rigorous academics combined with bicycling and expeditions in the outdoors, SBMS aims to teach compassion, kindness, and self-knowledge and solidify a foundation for a child’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and sense of…

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As a former Dean of Faculty at an independent school and now Executive Director of the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC), I know well the energy and resources that go into recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new faculty. Given the shortage of teachers in California as well as greater attrition and churn, I have been giving…

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The CATDC is thrilled to announce that our team is growing! We have hired two Associate Director of Programs to support our program and membership growth in Southern and Northern California. We have also brought on our Central California consultant, Josie Bahedry, to work with us in an ongoing capacity as our Central California Program…

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I became the “consent lady” by default. A health educator for 25 years, I value all aspects of wellness–sex education included. While developing the Health program at the Urban School in San Francisco, my colleague and fellow health education teacher, Jenn, and I were both juggling parenting commitments and child care, and trying to create…

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The CATDC’s Ongoing Programs, series of 3-5 meetings led by local educators, are some of our most agile and responsive professional development offerings and the foundation of our unique approach to growing capacity in California independent schools. Easy access to digital and print resources and online courses make continuing education within reach at all times,…

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Last spring I was invited by New School-West—as a parent—to travel to Reggio Emilia, Italy, on a Five State Educator’s Tour with the entire faculty and one other parent. I have been a parent at The New School-West Preschool for seven consecutive years. One might call me a New School-West expert—not necessarily for raising 3,4,…

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The word discipline originates from the Latin root discere which means “to learn” and forms other derivatives like disciplina which means “instruction” and discipulus which means “disciple or pupil.” At Turning Point School, the disciplinary process in middle school is rooted in the intention of “learning” rather than “punishment” and lends itself best to personal…

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Head-Royce, along with many Bay Area Independent Schools, prioritizes hiring a top-notch, diverse faculty in order to support our mission, ensure effective teaching and learning, and meet the needs of our student body. This priority is corroborated by trends observed by NAIS, and the fact that over 40 schools from California sent representatives to the…

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Creative collaboration with teachers in the service of student learning has been a deep current running through my career. As Executive Director of the CATDC, learning with and from other educators has become not only a passion, but one of my primary job responsibilities.

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Working in schools is a vulnerable act. Every day can feel like a high-stakes performance review in front of an audience of young evaluators: performing effective planning, organization, pedagogy, relationship management, flexibility, patience, community building, knowledge of human psychology and all the additional skills of being an educator. It’s no wonder then that when teachers hear they’re about to be evaluated, anxiety sets in and amygdala hijack takes hold.

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The Girls Learn International club at Oakwood School recently won an Oscar for their documentary short, Period. End of Sentence. Learn more about the movement for menstrual equality and the group of students that brought global awareness to this important topic.

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Understanding our neurobiological hardwiring plays an essential role in creating environments where teachers and schools can thrive. School leaders have the opportunity to notice the state of escalation occurring in stressful situations and model vulnerability to create space for others to do the same.

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Given the current national landscape, it has become painfully obvious that those of us in schools need to double our efforts to teach racial literacy (Stevenson, 2014). Recently, I was working with 4/5th graders who are part of a racial affinity group program we coordinate in Portland, OR (for more about these groups, see So…

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