Training for New Faculty
Professional development at Beaver begins in the summer preceding a teacher’s first year with a four-day workshop called “Introduction to Life @ Beaver.” Participants learn about our modern approach to curriculum and assessment, about how we use instructional technology, and about teaching in a multicultural learning environment.
Throughout the year, new teachers receive direct support from Department and Division Heads. In addition to classroom observations, ongoing support includes close lesson analysis, new faculty retreats, and opportunities to attend professional development workshops organized by some of the nation’s leading authorities on innovative classroom practice.
Every Monday morning (8-9 AM) is set aside for faculty meetings designed to inspire collaboration and improve instruction. Weekly workshops cover a range of topics from curriculum design to civic engagement and teaching with technology. In addition, divisions and departments are engaged in a continuous process of program review that affords all teachers the opportunity to take on active roles as instructional leaders in the school and beyond.
Conferences and Workshops
Beaver is especially proud of the number of faculty at various stages of their careers—including first-year teachers— that are presenting at national conferences and educational events—including the annual conferences of the National Arts Education Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the American Educational Research Association, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the NAIS People of Color Conference. All faculty are encouraged to submit conference proposals, and the school will eagerly support teachers whose proposals are accepted.
Beaver also supports faculty members in participating in local or regional conferences and workshops related to their discipline, to pedagogical topics, or to themes related to the school’s goals around civic engagement.
Observation and feedback are critical to professional growth, and the Beaver evaluation system is designed to give all teachers support and guidance in developing and expanding professional competence in all aspects of the work performance. Teachers receive specific evaluation in over a dozen categories. Each evaluative conversation is anchored by close analysis of planned lessons and pedagogy, giving teachers a wealth of tangible feedback that can support continuous improvement.
Beaver provides some financial support for coursework leading to a teacher’s first master’s degree.
A sabbatical program is available to all full-time teachers on a seniority basis. The program provides support for a full year at half pay or a half year at full pay.