June 19, 2017, Issue #18
Upcoming Workshops!
July 18-20
Location: Futures Without Violence
July 24-27
Location: Windward School
July 31-Aug 3
Location: JCHS
Aug 1-Aug 3
Location: Westridge School
Aug 10-11
Location: Westridge School
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
Exactly seventeen years ago, we sent out a letter to over 40 independent schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and asked if there was interest in a new organization that would provide local professional growth opportunities for teachers and administrators. It came after several months of conversation and planning by a dedicated group of advisors, all school heads. Our collective vision was finally a reality! I remember saying to myself, "Wow, what if it worked!"
Through the next decade and more, it DID work, and that exclamation continued to keep me optimistic and open minded. In 2010 we officially expanded the BATDC to Los Angeles/Pasadena and became the CATDC, and again I found myself saying, "Wow, what if it worked!" The Collaborative is now well established in both southern and northern California, and it serves over 100 member schools. Through hard work, unwavering devotion to service and leadership, and continued curiosity and drive, this organization has exceeded even our original audacious dreams.
As I prepare to step away as founding Executive Director, I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for all of you who have made it work. Over the years, CATDC's programs and events have been known for offering presenters, facilitators, and leaders of the highest caliber. And those who have visited from other parts of the country have routinely commented on how motivated, smart, and engaged the participants are. Best of all, those who have participated in multiple events have inevitably developed close professional friendships and networks of like-minded colleagues through the CATDC. I have been so inspired by your energy and commitment to excellence in the service of students and families. My heartfelt thanks are to you, to the amazing leaders who have been models of great teachers and administrators, to the outstanding board members who have graciously given their time to this organization, and to my fellow staff members. The CATDC is in the best shape it has even been thanks to the collective efforts of so many and the devotion to the organization for all of these 17 years.
And now it is time for me to start a new chapter and for all of us to welcome the new Executive Director, Lisa Haney. I could not be more excited about Lisa's leadership and enthusiasm. She has a deep understanding of the Collaborative from many years of participation in it, and she brings a wealth of talent for ensuring that the CATDC will continue to develop and flourish. I have every confidence that the future is bright for this unique organization.
My own path is directed to a new home in Carmel Valley. When I was around 10 or 11 years old, I naively informed my grandmother that I would like to buy an acre of land in our neighborhood in Palo Alto and keep a horse there. She gently clued me in to the ways that real estate works, especially in the Stanford area, so I buried that desire, but it must not have been too far hidden because I am now the delighted (and slightly nervous!) owner of a one-acre property in the Carmel Valley, where I can house two horses. What if it worked! My own Piper will move there when it is time, and until then I will keep two retired horses on my little slice of horse and gardening heaven. I look forward to frequent trips to the Bay Area to do some consulting and visiting, and hope that you will keep in touch. And always, I will hold you in my heart with gratitude and love. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The Learning Continues
By Lisa Haney, CATDC
At the end of my final faculty meeting as Dean of Faculty Development at The Athenian School, I invited everyone to turn and talk to their neighbors about their plans for summer learning: not the assigned educational articles that I had sent out that morning along with the agenda, but their own chosen reading and projects planned. Despite the fact that we were all exhausted from the hard work of ending the school year, the room quickly filled with the buzz of excited conversation.
I turned to the two colleagues nearest me and shared with them that I expected my summer to be full of learning in my new role as the Executive Director of the CATDC, and was looking forward to participating in my first workshop in this capacity: 
Equity as Excellence. Then I listened as one faculty member told of a trip he would take to Iran to do research for his Middle Eastern History class. The other was bound for the United Kingdom; while a Shakespeare expert, he would be teaching "Measure for Measure" for the first time in the fall and planned to see the play at the Globe Theatre in London as part of his preparation.
I was delighted to hear about how they were both following their passions in pursuits that would so enrich the experience of their students. Only later did it strike me that my two colleagues were heading to areas that had recently been struck by terror attacks. There was no mention of these events during our short conversations; no concerns expressed. They would simply go forward with their plans.
I draw inspiration from the many people who have been directly impacted by these senseless acts of violence, who carry on with their lives so courageously. And I gain hope from the work of educators doing what they can to dispel ignorance. Life must go on, and the learning continues; indeed, how much more important education has become during these tumultuous times, especially education that encourages critical thinking, builds empathy, and supports equity and inclusion.
Whatever your own summer has in store for you, I hope that you make time to rest and rejuvenate as well as to reinvigorate your own love of learning; to become a student again, so that you may enrich this ever more valuable endeavor of teaching.
It's Okay to Let Go
By Karen DeGregorio

Gaps, detours and time away from our career path is not necessarily encouraged or acknowledged as a valuable use of time in our independent schools, especially if we aspire to be leaders, and so, against our better judgement we allow our fears and the chatter of others to persuade us to stay even when in our heart, we know it's time to let go. At least this has been my experience. Sometimes we know it is time to move on and that is okay.
In all honesty, soon after I decided to leave my previous job, I was fearful of not sliding into a new full-time position. What would it look like on my resume? How would I pay the rent? How would this effect my employment opportunities in the future? More importantly, how would I fill the unknown space? The thought of not going to school in September was challenging.
Despite my many apprehensions, I decided to take the leap. Since my decision to move on I have traveled to Cuba and Costa Rica, attended numerous professional development conferences, participated in a year-long affinity group for women in leadership through the CATDC, been a long-term sub, read over 20 books, taken three online classes, established a daily meditation practice, volunteered with various organizations and seen the Grand Canyon. And the list goes on. I have learned that changing course, and slowing down is okay and a net will appear when needed. Here are a few of the lessons I learned.
Being part of CATDC's Women Rising group this year offered me a community that enabled me to stay grounded during my gap year. I am forever grateful to my sisters in the circle. Without them the past few months would have been more challenging. At our last gathering the participants were asked to prepare and present a short talk about a quote, person, student or experience that has impacted us as leaders. I chose to use a Zen saying that reads: 
Leap and the net will appear. The quote has been on my refrigerator for some time now and gives me courage to move forward.
In Cuba, I was reminded of the resilience that people, including myself, have under challenging circumstances. I was inspired by the Cubans' resourcefulness, and faith. After learning that teachers make a monthly salary of approximately $25.00 USD, I was jolted into a new mindset. I was going to be fine.
I spent two weeks in Costa Rica where I attended a continuing education class for yoga teachers. Here the daily practice of letting go physically, mentally and emotionally set me up for the months ahead.  Slowing down, breathing and meditating are tools that I have used daily as I moved through the unknown. 
My trip to Cuba ignited my curiosity and launched me into stacks of reading material that I would never had had time to enjoy while working full-time. I devoured several excellent books about Cuba including:  Conversations with Cuba by Peter Ripley,  Cuba Confidential by Ann Louise Bardach and  Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire. My bookshelf looks different now, a collection of mementos from my intentional detour.
I also decided, if I was going to be away from a traditional classroom, I would explore other learning spaces. One morning when I was anxious about "not" having a job, I occupied my time web surfing. On this journey, I ended up at  FutureLearn.com, an online learning site where I could take classes on all sorts of stuff for FREE. I spent many hours taking fantastic courses with participants from all over the world. My favorite was  Leer A Macondo a Spanish literature class where we discussed novels by Gabriel Garcia Márquez with professors from La Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia! I also took a  Mindfulness and Meditation class with Monash University in Australia. My bookshelf continued to grow as I found useful resources on meditation, such as,  Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach and  Real Happiness at Work by Sharon Salzberg.
I am presently training as a volunteer at the  Museum of Tolerance because I believe in their mission and want to experience the museum gallery as another classroom. Their mission is to challenge visitors to explore the meaning of tolerance and the consequences of intolerance by focusing on the history of the Holocaust and the dynamics of discrimination in our world today. I can't think of a better time than now to share my teaching experience with their visitors of all ages.
Of the more than 20 books I have read this school year, the most recent one was  Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett. It is a book that asks big questions about what it means to be human and how we want to live. I learned about the book from the website  Onbeing.org. The website is filled with wonderful articles and podcasts about many aspects of life and is an inspiring place to land when doubt and fear creep in.
My detour and the gap in my resume feels okay to me today. I am glad that I had the courage to let go of a job last Spring. No regrets. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. For me, it is essential to exercise my intuitive muscle and honor my courageous spirit. I never could have imagined all that I experienced this year, what I learned about myself, and about the larger classroom called life. The next time your intuition suggests that you take a leap, I would encourage you to heed the call. The net will appear and you will be better for it.

Summer School: Gearing up for Teaching Foundations 2017 
By Lori Cohen, The Bay School of San Francisco
We're well into the 21 st Century, and the buzzwords of a new era are part of our daily lexicon now: project-based learning, design thinking, differentiation, personalization. And as the culture of learning has changed in this century, so has the definition of teacher. Whereas once upon a very long time ago, it was okay (I'm actually not sure this was ever okay) to pontificate in front of a room of captive youth, now we must be so much more for our students-most notably, the ones who live with the paradox of being the expert who can say, "I don't know;" the culture creators and co-creators alongside our students; the social-emotional gurus who can nudge, encourage, and set clear boundaries; the facilitators of a learning process whose planning makes classroom interactions look seamless. It's an incredible time to be a teacher.
As the  Los Angeles and  San Francisco Teaching Foundations teams convene to plan our summers, we engage in deep conversations about the "must haves" for today's teachers: What are the questions we want teachers to ask? What are the tools we want teachers to come away with? How do we answer the question about what it means to be a teacher today?
And as we plan our work, we'd like to make some snippets of our thinking transparent. In our view, today's teachers need to consider the following:

Identity and Cultural Responsiveness

Parker Palmer writes about teaching who we are, and we believe this notion is central to the role of teacher. Equally important is knowing who our students are and what comprises their identities so that we may best serve their needs. Both the work of understanding self and our students allows us to create a classroom community that is inclusive and thriving.

Co-creating/Maintaining Classroom Culture

Classrooms are dynamic spaces, and the difference of one student can have a significant impact on how students and teachers work with one another. The outdated trope of "don't smile until Christmas" has been turned on its head, and we have come to realize it's better to co-create expectations and classroom values-and actively work to maintain these values-from the first day of class.

Careful lesson design

While teaching certainly has its intuitive elements, and while there is indeed an art to the work, teachers need a range of tools to draw upon to meet the needs of diverse learners. If we work with the assumption that we all learn differently, then teachers have to consider multiple ways in for their students and plan for a series of learning opportunities in their classroom spaces. For a teacher to shift from the front of the room to the facilitator's role, good planning is key.

Openness to growth and feedback

In the world of "likes" and the culture of commentary on everything from restaurant reviews to responses to Twitter feeds, feedback is central to how we move in the world-and the more immediate the feedback, the better our ability to pivot towards growth. Today's teachers need to recognize that feedback serves to benefit everyone, and that while some forms of feedback may be more challenging than others, if we can sort all feedback in service of growth, our students will have a more optimal learning experience.