Teaching At Hillbrook
“It was great to attend the SEED [Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity] facilitator training this past summer. I met people who changed my own perspective and it reminded me that each individual has their own story to share. Co-facilitating SEED meetings this year for colleagues at Hillbrook allows me to see and connect with my colleagues with a depth that is not often given time in a typical workplace.”
“Attending AWP [Association of Writers & Writing Programs] Annual Conference breathed life into my own reading and writing practice and gave me a contemporary selection of books that the students will love to read and learn from--in particular, books that build empathy. It was so refreshing to learn from writers and educators who are at the top of their crafts, share that experience with my colleagues, and to be able to take that enthusiasm and passion back to my students.”
Hillbrook's Center for Teaching Excellence
We aim to stand at the leading edge of best practices in education, and one of the ways we achieve this is by attracting and retaining world-class educators. Established in 2012, the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at Hillbrook School is a learning institute dedicated to the continual, intentional growth of educators at Hillbrook and beyond. The CTE supports lifelong learning, with an emphasis on programs that promote cultures of thinking, co-teaching, and that develop cultural competency, and teacher inquiry.
The Center for Teaching Excellence has given me the opportunity to be a researcher on campus, a co-designer of agile learning spaces and of a new schedule, an observer in Instructional Rounds, a learner about Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity through SEED protocol groups and through faculty/staff meetings, a feedback-asker and giver, and a co-teacher with colleagues across grade levels and disciplines each year.
- Director of Teaching & Learning, Ilsa Dohmen
The Resident Teacher Program
What is The Resident Teacher Program?
Learn to teach by teaching. The Resident Teacher Program is a paid, 1-2 year, intensive, hands-on teaching and professional development experience. Beginning and early-career teachers engage in teaching and school-wide responsibilities with guidance and support from our grade-level and departmental teaching teams.
Modeled after medical residency training provided for doctors, Residents gain increased responsibility during their tenure on campus, coming in time to teach shoulder-to-shoulder with master teachers. Grade-level and departmental teaching teams provide residents with appropriate curriculum resources, critiques of lesson plans, and positive, constructive feedback on observations. The administration is supportive and proactive in helping residents with their future teaching career opportunities or continuing graduate school studies. Professional development is provided, along with regular support and coaching. Our emphasis on collaboration and co-teaching allows the Resident and teaching teams to make deep inquiries into learning.
How does it make a difference?
Residents improve the school’s already low teacher-student ratio. A Resident extends the instructional reach of our teachers, bringing another pair of hands into our classrooms so that students can benefit from more small group work and individualized attention, along with another set of trained eyes, offering teachers more information to better assess the social, emotional and academic growth of each student. Residents bring new ideas and educational theories to school discussions, enriching not only their own experience but the experience of the entire school community. Residents also have leadership opportunities at Hillbrook-sponsored conferences and events.
How does it work?
Our experienced teachers initially guide the Residents in basic educational practices; in time, Residents come to work alongside their grade-level and departmental teaching teams as co-collaborators. Hillbrook teachers raise their level of teaching excellence as they are challenged to reflect deeply on best practices in education.
Our program provides a multi-layered support network. Residents meet regularly with their grade-level or departmental teaching team, and with each other. The Director of Teaching and Learning coordinates a monthly professional development seminar that provides opportunities for residents to collaborate, explore and exchange ideas on cutting-edge practices impacting teaching and educational excellence. In addition, the professional development opportunities available to Hillbrook faculty both on-site and off-site are available to residents. Residents receive training in Responsive Classroom and Development Designs, and participate in all Hillbrook in-service days and faculty meetings. Residents leave Hillbrook as trained educators.
Program Components Include:
- Mentoring and modeling of best practices in education from experienced teachers
- Regular resident seminars as a forum for support and encouragement from peers, as well as collaborating, exploring and exchanging cutting-edge ideas on teaching and learning
- Leadership opportunities at Hillbrook-sponsored conferences and events
- Professional development workshops
- Individualized coaching
Skills Developed Include:
- Selection of curricular materials
- Planning, preparation and presentation of units, projects and lessons
- Classroom management, including training in the Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs
- Methods of assessment
- Effective use of technology, including a 1:1 iPad program and iLab
- Report writing and parent conferencing
- Job searching and portfolio/resume development