Humans have been engaged in the practice of teaching for thousands of years. As an outgrowth of our desire to grow and learn, teaching is an activity through which we communicate all that is important for our species to endure. Parents teach their children important life lessons, ministers teach their congregations religious practices and principles, coaches teach their players the rules and skills of the game, and teachers help students learn to think in logical and creative ways. Most of our life energy is spent being both the recipient of someone’s teaching and guiding the learning process for others.
In secondary schools, the teaching profession focuses on communicating core knowledge in the form of skills, content, and enjoyment of the subject to students. The practices and principles of good teaching are studied as the teacher goes through his or her own education, on-the-job training, and profession development. Most schools encourage teachers to continue their professional growth throughout their career, providing the necessary resources to accomplish the task. Sometimes teachers are left unequipped as they design and implement a plan to explore new ways to teach their subject.
The Center for Teaching, an endeavor between The Westminster Schools and Drew Charter School, is devoted to helping teachers improve their understanding of the craft of teaching through programs and resources which facilitate their learning. The Center will pursue partnerships and programs designed to identify best practices in education, recruit and retain excellent educators for the Center and member schools, and build on each school’s excellence. The programs at the Center will provide professional development opportunities and teacher training to educators at all levels of experience. Program initiatives include, but are not limited to:
- Curriculum development and identification of best practices in all grade levels and disciplines
- Mentoring and training for faculty new to the profession
- Year-round workshops, conferences, and seminars to promote professional development and to provide opportunities for faculty to interact with national thought-leaders in education
- Collaboration between faculty from public and independent schools designed to exchange information about best practices in teaching
- Teacher exchanges between public and independent schools.
The following diagram shows the different programs that will be developed by the Center for Teaching as it carries out its mission. Click here to view the diagram.