This year, teachers across grades PreK-12 at BFA-Fairfax are arriving early to meet in a variety of collaborative environments. For thirty minutes before students arrive in classrooms each morning, teachers are meeting to discuss curriculum, teaching, student progress, programming for students who are struggling and those in need of enrichment, and the vertical alignment of learning from grade PreK-12.
Some mornings, classroom teachers are meeting with supporting professionals, such as special educators; speech and language pathologists; literacy, math, and technology specialists; guidance counselors; and behavioral specialists to look at student work, in hopes of tailoring targeted instruction to meet the unique needs students. These teams of educators look at items such as classroom assessments, performance tasks, projects, and behavioral data to proactively anticipate and respond to gaps in student understanding and social/emotional stress.
Other mornings, teachers are meeting in multi-age, interdisciplinary teams to design engaging, rigorous curricula, to think critically about how to redesign systems at BFA to run smoother and more efficiently, and to discuss ways to engage community partners and get students learning outside the classroom. Some initiatives being taken on by these interdisciplinary teams are the new Farm to School Program and myriad mini-grant proposals to be submitted to the new Launch FWSU initiative, in which teams of teachers compete for six $1000 mini-grants (underwritten by the Bay and Paul Foundation) to pursue projects, aligned with the FWSU Action Plan, that meet student needs in creative ways.
Teachers are jumping into this challenge with both feet. There is an undeniable professional energy being brought to this collaborative time. The dedication of teachers at BFA-Fairfax and their enthusiasm for collaboration has significant potential to benefit students. When you see a teacher, thank them for their hard work on behalf of our wonderful students! Our school system also cannot thank the BFA-Fairfax community enough for their investment in providing this time for teachers to collaborate.
Target 2 – Leadership FWSU students and staff lead innovative, personalized learning opportunities, both locally and globally
Indicators of Success for this Target -Student and staff leaders innovate and take risks when faced with new challenges.
Action Step – Shift teacher roles from director of teaching to facilitator of learning