Behind the scenes of staff development days


“We’re constantly learning; those days are for us to learn as students and continue to grow as professional educators,” dance teacher Dana Findley said.


Lauren Hannani staff writer
While students were enjoying their day off this Monday, teachers from all over the district were spending time at Beverly doing some learning of their own in order to improve their classroom skills.
From kindergarten to 12th grade, all teachers united in their departments and grade levels to share and collaborate different ideas to take into their classrooms this year.
“I always enjoy having the opportunity to collaborate. I want to work more with my colleagues; we all share ideas. It’s like getting a chance to work on a group project; you don’t always want to work by yourself. It’s nice to get new ideas, and bounce ideas off of someone. It gives us the time to do that, where during the day we all have different prep periods and we can communicate on email, but it’s nice to sit down face to face,” dance teacher Dana Findley said.
Teachers in the visual and performing arts department updated course descriptions and discussed how to improve every student’s experience at school.
“It’s a chance to make programs grow from kindergarten up through high school. We talk about curriculum and share with each other. For the arts department, we talked about how to continue to help students who are interested in careers in the arts: graphic design, art, theater, dance, etc. How we can help students who want to do multiple facets of the arts and kind of be a ‘triple threat’,” Findley said.
Beyond department and grade level collaboration, high school teachers attended technology sessions.
“After the department meetings, we went to some form of technology training so we can get up to speed with technology since it’s the new trend these days. It’s a combination of training and collaborating with colleagues,” math teacher Ted Yoo said.
As technology continues to become a big part of students’ lives, the teachers are also affected by this development.
“We need to also be up to speed with how things are changing. We learn a lot; it’s not necessarily going to translate every day into the classroom, but it does set up the big picture for us,” Yoo said.
Overall, the professional development days serve as a chance for teachers to be students for a day and become more educated on the latest trends and methods that can be very beneficial.
“It’s a chance to get inspired for the teacher also,” Findley said. “I think it’s important to always look back and see what your goal is- to help our students become more knowledgeable, more strong, more creative, more passionate. I don’t want to do the same every thing every single day.”