St. Patrick teachers participate in professional development
In a typical school year, St. Patrick teachers will participate in five professional development days. These professional development days are crucial to the development of our teaching staff. Catholic education in the 21st century is evolving and becoming even better as it adapts to an ever-changing customer base, while retaining the foundation that was laid in place by our predecessors.
On Friday, March 12, St. Patrick teachers participated in their fifth professional development day of the 2020-21 school year. The sessions that were presented are as follows:
● Rachel Selby, the School Outreach Coordinator for The Right Door For Hope, Recovery, and Wellness spoke to our teachers about mental health in the classroom and self-care. The main focus of this session was to learn how numerous mental health concerns are present in the classroom and tips to help support students with these concerns. Staff also discussed what self-care means and reflected on their own self-care. Rachel provided a self-care assessment, which helped staff reflect on different aspects of their life such as physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, relationship, and workplace. Staff were encouraged to take baby steps in improving their lowest scored area.
● Our elementary principal, Mrs. Cortney Smith, and elementary teacher, Mrs. Mary Cook, presented information from a conference they attended titled Inclusion In Action Conference, from the FIRE Foundation in Kansas City, MO. This year, the two-day conference took place virtually with experts from across the nation and even the world, coming together to celebrate inclusion in the classroom. Together they focused on a school environment that includes human dignity, gentleness, kindness, and compassion to bring out the best in all of the students and provide opportunities for all. A focus was on all students learning together and from one another. Research has shown the benefits to learning side by side. Socialization, graduation rates, post academic success, and behavior outcomes improve significantly when all are included.
● All staff watched a virtual presentation from the Sophia Institute, which provides the textbooks for our elementary religion curriculum, titled: “Created in Christ, Combating the Sin of Racism.”
Throughout the professional development day, all participants took part in reflection and discussion of how to apply the development training moving forward.
It is inspiring to see the level of devotion and commitment that exists within our teaching staff. They have been on the front line, providing our students with both in-person and remote learning options throughout the entire 2020-21 school year. Our professional development day provided them an opportunity to continue to develop their skills and abilities with the goal of ensuring that their students are provided with the best education possible.
Randy Hodge is the High School Principal at St. Patrick School.