As the students traveled back to campus to begin the winter term, the faculty gathered for a day of professional development. It has been a long-time tradition on these travel days to spend time working on both professional and personal growth. The faculty-led sessions included the following topics:
- Helping all students reset for the new year
- IPSES: The Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, and Social dimensions of learning
- Surveying faculty duties that bring joy and those that are more challenging
- Strategies for observing mental health challenges in students and practices to help all students function at their best
- Strengthening our faculty culture by having honest conversations, especially when air needs to be cleared
It was a dynamic learning experience with plenty of energized discussions. As one faculty member said, "I value our team and even when we have to say difficult things to each other, there is an openness that I have not seen in other school settings."
After the sessions, the entire employee team gathered for a New Year's luncheon where we toasted the new year with thoughts on our forward vision and shared many laughs. There is a famous saying in schools, "Don't smile until Christmas." We have certainly started the new year with a positive tone and excitement about welcoming back the students and getting back to facilitating learning in all its dimensions.
Here we go!
Laura D. Gauld '76