December 15, 2016, Issue #14
Upcoming Workshops!
February 3
Location: Windward School
Keynote: Dr. Tina Payne Bryson
Learn More
January 17
Location: Jewish Community High School
Keynote: Dr. Jennifer Brokaw
February 27
Location: Campbell Hall School
Facilitator: Katherine Preston
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
The past weeks have been a time to process, both individually and collectively, the end of the contentious and surprising national election of 2016. I have been struck by President Obama's grace, equanimity, and reassurances and have made him my own Role Model in Chief. At the same time, I have reflected with gratitude upon the many other role models I have had throughout my professional career. I have carefully watched and appreciated those who courageously face seemingly insurmountable problems, who endure tremendous loss, who know when and how to say and do the right thing, who make the mundane joyful, and who attend to those who are in need. What I find most powerful is that it all begins with empathy and that the role models I have admired are of all ages and levels of life experience. Indeed, some of those I have learned from the most have been extraordinary students, the ones who have humbled me with their natural and profound understanding of the human condition. As the year winds down and affords less hectic days at school, it seems to be a good time for paying attention to the lessons from our role models and for a recommitment to acting with strength, conviction, empathy, and good will. Perhaps with a glass of a delicious beverage in hand!

In this issue, regular contributor Lori Cohen gives her take on the election and its aftermath, we present a thoughtful excerpt about the power of writing by the always-inspiring Roland Barth, and frequent participant and leader Erin Murphy, contributes some thoughts about collaboration and a great idea for a future program.

As I write this, the news of my successor has just been announced, and I am feeling blessed to have witnessed a remarkably well-done search process led by board members Elizabeth McGregor and Eric Temple. They and the search committee, as well as the rest of the CATDC board, have given many hours of thoughtful work to ensure that the leadership of the Collaborative is in excellent hands as I pass the baton six months from now. Congratulations, Lisa Haney, on your appointment as the CATDC's new Executive Director!

I wish you all a wonderful holiday break and a new year that is one of peace and joy.
How to Talk About the Election
By Lori Cohen, Bay School of San Francisco
In my 18 years as an educator, there have been two moments where I have struggled for the right words: 09/11/01 and 11/09/16. On September 11, 2001, the world was stunned as two planes flew into the World Trade Center. I was on my way to school. I listened to the radio as the first building was smoking from an attack and as the second plane was hit; I was in shock as one of those buildings collapsed while I was minutes from being at school. I was in disbelief by the time I arrived.
I barely remember what I said to my students, but in some form or another, I shared that acts of terrorism are not the work of rational people, nor are those who commit acts of terrorism the representatives of an entire group. While these terrorists were committing acts of hate against the U.S., it would be unfair of us to blame the whole of the Muslim religion for the acts of very few people. My co-teacher and I then opened a forum for students to express their feelings, a nonjudgmental space for young people to share what was happening for them.
I find myself in a similar place now after this week's election of Donald Trump. The morning after what was purported to be a landslide in the other direction, half the nation was in shock about how the election turned out. And while many people who voted for Clinton felt the sting of loss, many who voted for Trump felt joy, relief, a reason to have hope. It was a hard pill to swallow in places where teachers were at a loss for words, and where children were in tears out of fears of deportation. For just as many Americans who feel joy, the present moment also is a frightening time where some very real fears were raised on the political campaign.
As I reflected on the outcome of the election, and as I glued myself to social media (as I imagine many did), I paid attention to posts from both sides of the political divide. Some posts included messages of love and healing; some focused on the reasons Clinton was an unsuccessful candidate from the start; some touted Trump as the winner and shared that losers of the election should just get over it; some blamed coastal elites while others blamed Midwestern uneducated white people. And while all these responses were predictable to some degree, I was most fascinated by those whose politics or backgrounds didn't fall along traditional demographics or party lines.
Read more...  
By Roland S. Barth, Learning By Heart

Excerpted from  Learning by Heart  by Roland S. Barth. Copyright © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
I have a little sign over my desk that reads, "In order to know what I think I have to write and see what I say." When one writes, one thinks, one necessarily reflects. Writing can take many forms, such as journal writing, free writing, memo writing.
I remember that as a teacher, then as principal, whenever something especially noteworthy or satisfying or problematic occurred in the classroom or the school-a particularly successful meeting, a remarkable change in a child, a heated letter from a parent, a sudden insight from a teacher-I jotted it down on the back of an envelope or on a napkin and added it to a pile forming in the bottom drawer of my desk. A few years later, I took a year's leave of absence, looked in my bottom drawer, and found a far different literature than the sedimentary deposits of studies accumulating on top of the desk! I assembled these hundreds of bits and scraps of writing into a book, "Run School Run". 
Without this record of ideas and insights and anecdotes, I would never have been able to create the book. For without these notes there would have been little memory of the rich details of my school experience. Thus, from my momentary reflections in practice, I was later able to reflect more contemplatively on practice.
For most of us, writing comes with great difficulty. Yet part of what it means to be a professional is to learn how to write about practice and to disclose one's thoughts in writing to others. When we write we become responsible for our words and ultimately we become more thoughtful human beings. Writing (and reading) about practice is closely related to improving practice, for with written words come the innermost secrets of schools and of their schoolmasters.
Time, of course, is a huge impediment to writing. No school person I know has any discretionary time for this kind of "add-on." The complexity of the subject matter is another obstacle. How does one convert into organized, linear prose the massive, simultaneous onslaught of incidents, behaviors, and feelings that bombard educators each day? Yet when we make a bit of time here and there and develop some meaning-making lenses through which to observe and write about our practice, we find ourselves reflecting on practice, clarifying practice, and learning from practice.

Q&A with CATDC Alum Erin Murphy

How would you describe the CATDC to a friend or colleague?

I'd describe it as a community of professionals with a desire to learn, collaborate, and explore all of the questions out there in this changing landscape of education. It's a support system, a lot of fun, and really collegial. I don't know what I would do without the experiences I've had. Thank goodness someone pointed me in this direction when I was moving to the Bay Area. I'd have been really lost for a lot longer than I was that first year!

What are your views on collaboration? How does it help schools and communities?

I think collaboration is most effective for schools because more people in the room working on something is better than working on an island. We ask our students to work together for a common goal so it makes sense we should walk the walk. We learn from one another and I can't even count how many times I have walked away from a collaborative experience with a new perspective or new ideas. Collaboration requires us to bring our commonalities and differences to the table. We need to expose ourselves as communities to different perspectives.

If you could dream up a professional development workshop, to attend or facilitate, what would it be?

I would love to have the CATDC help to facilitate a "school visit" group where teachers and administrators could visit other schools on set dates, etc., making it more streamlined. We're trying to do this as a lower school heads group but are finding it really difficult to pin down dates and structure. A group of 3-4 teachers with similar jobs and 3-4 admin with similar jobs are put into groups and take turns rotating to each school during the year, combined with meetings as a whole group to facilitate conversation and follow-up. After attending  Understanding the Changing Needs of Faculty workshop, I think this could be beneficial. We have so much to learn from one another. We are the best resources for one another. Imagine what we could accomplish if we had ongoing development that put us into one another's schools on a regular basis!