AcademicsNov 30, 2020

updated Jan 7, 2021

Teachers teaching teachers

Faculty share skills and knowledge to adjust to a whole new model of teaching

Faced with a school year unlike any other, MHS faculty sprang into action this summer.

Reimagining their teaching for a “hybrid” model, they took advantage of every possible resource, including launching their own peer-to-peer training. Forty faculty enrolled in online professional development through our partners at One Schoolhouse and the Global Online Academy, ranging from daylong workshops to three-week courses focused on designing for online learning.

And, then something magical happened: they started teaching each other. Targeting three key areas, technology, assessment, and curriculum, colleagues helped their colleagues prepare an academic program that would work in all locales, in-person and from a distance.

“Our premise was simple: our school is filled with experienced teachers who had participated in a variety of professional development courses outside of MHS or had expertise in certain areas,” explains Christopher Ouellette, Director of the Leonhardt Academic Skills Center.

Mr. Ouellette, along with Dean of Academics and Faculty Lisa Alberti ’73, Science Department Chair Donna Daigle, and Language Department Chair Sarah Nix, served on the Miss Hall’s PD Task Force, which steered the initiative.

We thought that if we could tap into these humans, we could empower their voices and raise up each other.

Director of the Leonhardt Academic Skills Center

Their Summer Series featured nine professional development sessions led by MHS faculty:

  • Innovative Practices w/ Zoom, English Teacher Richard Scullin
  • Wayfinding, Science Department Chair Donna Daigle and English Teacher Monica Kirschmann
  • Student Agency and Classroom Culture, Elizabeth Gatchell Klein Studio Art Chair Sophie Lane ’96 and Donna Daigle
  • PowerSchool 102, History Teacher Michael Alexander, Ph.D., Phoebe Goodhue Milliken ’37 English Department Chair Julie Schutzman, Ph.D., and Sophie Lane
  • Maximizing Learning Outcomes in a 5-week Term, Michael Alexander and Monica KirschmannAssessment, Christopher Ouellette, Director of the Melissa A. Leonhardt ’76 Academic Skills Center
  • Creating with Videos with Loom, Director of Engineer & Technology Innovation/STEAM Coordinator Christopher Himes, Ph.D., and Director of Technology Matt Pocock
  • Supporting Learning Needs in a Hybrid Model, Christopher OuelletteAssessment, Math Teacher Adrienne Lazes ’05 and Donna Daigle

Additional leadership and professional development for MHS faculty and staff

English Teacher and Leonhardt Family Teaching Chair Rebecca Cook-Dubin has been named the 2020-21 Facilitator for the Headways Humanities cohort, and Director of Advancement Merritt Colaizzi has been named the facilitator for the Advancement/Development/Alumnae Relations Professionals cohort — interactive professional development conversations sponsored by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS) — October 2020 to April 2021

Head of School Julia Heaton, Dean of Equity and Inclusion Paula Lima Jones, Director of Engineer & Technology Innovation/STEAM Coordinator Christopher Himes, Ph.D., and English for Speakers of Other Languages Teacher Liz Kulze attended the virtual National Anti-Racism Teach-In sponsored by AISNE, the Association of Independent Schools in New England — August 10 to 12, 2020

English Teacher and Leonhardt Family Teaching Chair Rebecca Cook-Dubin attended the seminar “Diversity and Inclusion in Online Learning,” presented by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) — July 6, 2020

National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Educating Girls Symposium

English Teacher Emily Pulfer-Terino ’97’s poem, “Life Drawing,” was published in Juked, an independent journal that appears online as well as in annual print issues, and Emily’s poem, “Little Earthquakes,” was published in The Ekphrastic Review, an online journal devoted entirely to writing inspired by visual art — Summer 2020

English for Speakers of Other Languages Teacher Marian Rutledge attended the 2020 MATSOL Virtual Conference held by the Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages — May 26 to June 4, 2020

Members of the Advancement Team led four online fora and participated in no fewer than 46 webinars to reinvent their work as the global pandemic hit — March to April 2020

Head of School Julia Heaton presented a workshop at the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University Teachers College. The workshop focused on school finance and fundraising and is part of the college’s master’s degree program in independent school leadership — February 20, 2020

Director of Academic Counseling Sarah Virden and English Teacher Monica Kirschmann attended the workshop, “Student-Centered Scheduling,” presented by Independent School Management in Wilmington, Delaware — January 27 to 31, 2020

National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference

English Teacher and Leonhardt Family Teaching Chair Rebecca Cook-Dubin and History Teacher Michael Alexander, Ph.D., presented at the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Educating Girls Symposium, “Leading Schools, Leading Girls: Preparing for the Future,” at the Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas — January 27, 2020

Studio Art Teacher Ellie Spangler opened a show (January 30, 2020) with artist Melissa Matsuki Lillie at Six Depot Roastery and Café in West Stockbridge. Ellie showed (March 2020) twelve of her pieces in the Lightforms Art Center’s exhibit of work by Hilma af Klint in Hudson, New York. Ellie also had a show March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 at Nudel, in Lenox, and a show through December 1 at District, in Pittsfield.

Dean of Equity and Inclusion Paula Lima Jones and Spanish Teacher & Global Programs Liaison Josephine Nicholson, accompanied by Alessandra Alicea ’21, Chelsea Canal ’21, and Jiho Shin ’21, attended the annual National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Seattle — December 4 to 7, 2019

Summer 2019 meeting of the Southern New England Chapter of APPA, hosted at MHS