September 29, 2016, Issue #12
Upcoming Workshops!
Oct 4, Dec 1, Jan 31, Mar 14
Times vary
Location: Bay School of SF
Facilitator: Tom Malarkey
Learn More
Oct 25, Feb 7, Apr 25
Location: Bay School of SF
Facilitator: Katherine Preston
Learn More
Oct 16-17, Nov 11, Jan 12, Mar 16, Apr 27
Times vary
Location: Windward School
Facilitators: Peggy Procter and 
Jeanette Woo Chitjian
Learn More
October 27
Location: Head-Royce School
Facilitators: Rachel Concannon and Leslie Powell
Learn More
November 9
Location: Turning Point School
Facilitator: Carla Neufeldt-Abatie
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
Improviser and storyteller Dave Morris reminds us that among the essential rules of improv are these three:

  1. Say Yes!  Accept the situation or scene as your starting point.
  2. Say Yes AND!   Contribute something.  Avoid BUT; it's a stopping point every time.
  3. There are no mistakes , only opportunities . Failure is part of the process of success.

This year we have chosen "Yes, and" as our theme for the annual Women in Leadership conference. It seems appropriate for the entire year as well. Therefore, in this edition of the CATDC Buzz , we begin a series of contributions that are intended to embody the spirit of improvisation, beginning with "Yes, and."  

In addition to our overview of the past summer's amazing programs, you will read articles by Elizabeth Denevi, who led the summer institute on Equity and Inclusion at the beautiful Futures without Violence center, and by Lori Cohen, regular blogger and lead facilitator of Teaching Foundations, who this time writes about bridging the art and science of teaching.

As we move through this academic year, I hope you will join fellow educators in the spirit of improvisation, realizing that it lies at the heart of the collaborative process.
In all of the CATDC programs and events, we strive to model and encourage collaboration that is joyful and inspiring as well as productive. Come, participate, and join colleagues from other schools in getting better together! I look forward to seeing you soon.
How to Begin and Maintain a Diversity Advocates Group in Your School 
By Elizabeth Denevi, Mid West Educational Collaborative
Advancing equity is challenging, and we need all the support we can get. While we often talk about the value of networking, it's even more critical for those who are trying to make are schools great places for all kids. A great way to find support around equity initiatives is to begin a diversity advocates group in your community. Below are the six steps you can take to begin such a group and keep it going throughout the school year.

1. Think broadly and don't be afraid to start small

Using the term "diversity advocates" allows you to include folks who may be doing equity work in their schools, but don't have a formal title. It's also important to reach out to community partners, local colleges/universities, and public schools. Partnerships beyond the walls of independent schools allow us to be better versed in current issues as well as best practices. It also helps us challenge the insularity that can come with working in independent schools. And it doesn't matter how many folks come to the first meeting - if you build it, they will come.

2.  Create a mission statement and set agendas

At the first meeting, create a rationale. Why do you want to meet? What do you hope to accomplish? This kind of "front loading" will focus your time and increase productivity. Yes, part of the meeting can be a discussion of how things are going. But you want to be sure you are balancing any "lemon squeezing" with some lemonade as well. Try to send out agendas in advance to create interest. And always ask members for agenda items to increase investment and ownership.

3. Meet regularly during professional hours

Heads of schools have regular monthly meetings during the school day. So should diversity advocates. Whether it's a breakfast meeting from 7:30 to 9:30 AM or lunch from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, schedule the meeting during the school day. It honors the professionalism and validity of the work that could otherwise go unrecognized.   Read more...  
Intuition: The Bridge Between the Art and Science of Teaching
By Lori Cohen, The Bay School of San Francisco

Some scholars contend that teaching is an art-that there is an ineffable quality to instruction that can't be quantified. Great teachers have that "it" factor; students are inspired; learning happens as a result of passion plus osmosis.
Some scholars contend that teaching is a science-there are multiple layers (lesson design, unit design, pedagogy, theory, curriculum) that, when combined with precision and care, create standout learning experiences that provide clear learning and data to support it.
Some scholars contend that teaching is both an art and a science-that while there are theoretical constructs that underscore one's teaching practice, a teacher's way of being (their passions, interests, love of learning and craft) carries students even further.
The bridge between the two: intuition.
Intuition in teaching serves as an intersection between the "felt sense" of one's teaching practice and the habits of experience. After one has taught long enough, s/he is able to naturally call upon skills in a given moment-skills that are immediately responsive to the needs in the classroom.
The challenge, however, is creating space and time to build intuition.
Most beginning classroom teachers are hungry for strategies: lesson strategies; differentiation strategies; culturally responsive strategies; strategies for working with parents; classroom management strategies. Those in their first several years are building their toolkits so that one day, these practices are inherent in one's teaching repertoire. It takes a long time, and yet, when a teacher becomes more habituated to the workflow of teaching, it is exciting to feel that shift from survival to experience.
I would advocate that as teachers cultivate their repertoire of skills and strategies, they simultaneously tap into their intuition-the inner knowing of what's right in the moment, the link between the science and the art of this profession.
So how might one build intuition in teaching? And what does that even mean?  

CATDC Summer Reflections
By Tracy Gallagher and Eryn Hoffman, CATDC
The CATDC had another busy summer with six summer institutes: three in the Bay Area and three in Southern California. The 2-4, full-day format allows for genuine reflection, collaboration, inspiration, practice, feedback, and plans for application. Each year we are blown away by the honesty, energy, and fortitude each attendee brings to our summer institutes-but this summer was above and beyond what we have come to expect. Record number of attendees, all-star facilitators, and new and exceptional partnerships, all contributed to this being the best summer yet.

Equity as Excellence

We kicked the summer off with Equity as Excellence: three inspiring days moderated by Elizabeth Denevi. Our speakers included Milton Reynolds from Facing History and Ourselves, Randolph Carter from East Ed, Howard Stevenson, author, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Joel Baum from Gender Spectrum. Our task was to place equity at the center - to build out a set of practices that will help all students and adults thrive in our schools. Participants developed language that was inclusive, they were vulnerable, shared personal stories, discussed and practiced how to manage racial stress, and ultimately how to become a diversity leader in their schools. Everyone was extremely courageous, which made for an impactful week of learning and practice.   Read more...