August 29, 2016, Issue #11
Upcoming Workshops!
Oct 8, Dec 7, Jan 26, Mar 7, Apr 25
Location: Marlborough School
Facilitator: Stella Beale
Learn More
Sep 29, Nov 2, Jan 11, Apr 25
Location: Bay School of SF
Facilitators: Steve Morris and 
Alison Park
Learn More
Oct 6, Nov 10, Feb 9, Mar 16
Location: Polytechnic School
Facilitators: Sharon Thompson and Rachel Countryman
Learn More
November 9
Location: Turning Point School
Facilitator: Carla Neufeldt-Abatie
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Oct 2-3, Nov 4, Jan 12, Feb 10, Mar 31
Times vary
Location: Locations vary
Facilitators: Crystal Land and 
Kristi Thompson
Learn More
What is the CATDC?


The California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC), is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing professional growth opportunities for teachers and administrators from independent schools. Its member schools represent the diverse range of small and large elementary, middle, and high schools from all over the greater San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas.

What is the mission of the organization?

The aim of the CATDC is to: 1) Promote enriching professional development opportunities.

2) Support collegiality and cooperation among teachers and schools.

3) Inspire teachers to become educational leaders.

I thought you were called the BATDC?

The BATDC started in the San Francisco Bay Area in the year 2000, and has since grown to include a network of over sixty independent schools in the region. In 2012, a group of LA area heads of school asked if the BATDC could replicate its proven model by launching a branch of its operations in Southern California. Now, following the completion of the two-year pilot program, and with a thriving group of over thirty member schools in Southern California, we have changed our name to the "California Teacher Development Collaborative."

How can I take part in the CATDC's offerings?

1) If your school isn't already a member, encourage them to join here

2) Register for our upcoming events, and keep an eye out for our spring schedule of workshops.

3) Get in touch and let us know what kind of professional development opportunities you're looking for.

4) Let us help you leverage the power of the network by connecting you with colleagues from other schools. 

5) Join our mailing list to stay up to date on all our future workshops and events.

A Message from the Executive Director,
Janet McGarvey
Greetings as we start the new school year! I hope you are rested, invigorated, and excited as we once again see the students return to campus. This summer was a busy one for the CATDC. We offered a total of six multi-day events: Teaching Foundations, Design and Maker Class Colloquium, Responsive Classroom, Mastering Group Facilitation (SF and LA), and Equity as Excellence. Each was filled to capacity, and it was a delight to see many of you who are regulars as well as to welcome those for whom this was the first experience with the CATDC. The reviews were stellar, and I am grateful to all of the presenters and leaders who so brilliantly facilitated each day's activities. I believe it was our best summer ever.

As Lori Cohen points out in the following piece, cultivating a Beginner's Mind is helpful for even the most experienced educator. This summer I saw that over and over: being open to possibilities and new ways to collaborate deepened the experiences of everyone. At the same time, we were reminded of the complexities of our students' daily lives as they are exposed to a variety of learning opportunities. Helping them maintain openness and curiosity is so very important, and the joy we feel as they grow is a precious gift to each of us.

And speaking of joy, check out the opportunities to collaborate with fellow educators from schools all over the state through the CATDC. Meeting new and like-minded colleagues -- as well as re-connecting with those you have come to know over time -- is one of the great benefits of membership in this unique organization. We are currently enrolling our ongoing programs through the CATDC website. And there will be many other events throughout the year, including some perennial favorites!

I wish you a terrific year ahead.
Beginner's Mind and the Importance of Ritual
By Lori Cohen, The Bay School of San Francisco
Last fall, I wrote about the  Beginner's Mind  in relation to new teachers and their expectations. And it's no accident that one year later, as the school year renews, as teachers and students return to engage in another year of learning, as we embark upon the predictable and unpredictable moments in the cycle of the school, that the Beginner's Mind becomes part of the yearly ritual I return to.

The concept of the Beginner's Mind comes from the Zen Buddhist tradition and is known in Japanese as "
Shoshin (初心)": an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when entering any task, familiar or unfamiliar. For educators, this can be an especially important mindset as we begin with new courses, grade levels, and groups of students, even ones we have known and taught before. The Beginner's Mind allows us the opportunity to meet people again as they change, to allow for us to change as well. The Beginner's Mind makes innovation possible, gives chances to those who may not have succeeded before, allows people to evolve as the world does-keeping education dynamic.
And while the Beginner's Mind opens us up to possibility, the rituals of school keep us grounded in moments when the feelings of overwhelm, jitters, and opening day anxiety may get the best of us. Veteran teachers know all too well how important the first days/weeks of school rituals are. New teachers will eventually come to know these rituals with more ease as the years pass, and they, too, will develop their own routines to help students succeed.   Read more...  
Goals and Takeaways from the Bay Area Math Curriculum Meetings
By Chris Mader,  The San Francisco School

This past spring, the CATDC in partnership with the San Francisco School hosted two meetings focused on math curriculum. The first meeting in March brought together middle school math educators and administrators while the second meeting in late April brought together middle and high school math educators and administrators. The 'Bay Area Math Curriculum Consortium' is quite a mouthful of a title, one that I jokingly used with colleagues when describing the meetings I envisioned last summer. These meetings brought together folks from forty plus Bay Area - and beyond - schools with similar questions, emerging math educational philosophies, and visions about what math curriculum and instruction can be in independent schools.

Math Placement Anxiety

The competitive nature of high school admissions in the Bay Area creates a convergence of so many issues for our parents, including this question about math curriculum and placement. Here at the San Francisco School, I found that as a PK-8 program, with students matriculating to many Bay Area independent, parochial and public schools, this anxiety was amplified with the underlying question from parents 'How is the school preparing my child for high school math?' That question naturally leads to the internal school/program question 'What are the skills, knowledge and habits of mind we want our eighth graders to graduate with as math learners?'
Important questions for sure, though neither with easy answers given that our students, on average, move on to almost 20 different high schools each year. There is no way that SFS can either know every high school math program, let alone, prepare each student for each one. We feel strongly, also, that we can and should define these attributes ourselves based on our own research as well as our school's mission and educational philosophy. All of this brought us to the 'Bay Area Math Curriculum Consortium' meetings this spring.

Our Goals

  1. Share and understand middle-school math curriculum.
  2. Develop common understanding, even language, around math curriculum and pedagogy.
  3. Share and understand high-school math curriculum, program sequence including skills and conceptual understanding expectations for rising ninth graders.

Teaming Up for Professional Development
By Eryn Hoffman, CATDC
One of the CATDC's core values is collaboration, and our programs offer participants opportunities to build networks of support and understanding amongst like-minded independent school educators. Nowhere is that spirit of collaboration more clear than our summer workshops and institutes! This year, in Los Angeles, more than 250 educators gathered for the CATDC's multi-day programs, and more than 200 educators attended CATDC events in the Bay Area.  These summer experiences brought new information and skills to participants, and they also provided opportunities for faculty to engage in purposeful professional growth directly with their colleagues.
Frequently, CATDC member schools opt to send teams to workshops, recognizing the power and impact that the programs have when multiple faculty from the same school attend. Josie Bahedry, Head of the Village (K-6) at Chadwick School explained her philosophy about team-based professional development.   Read more...