March 15, 2018, Issue #26

March 20, 2018
April 12, 2018
April 26, 2018
April 16, 2018

June 18-20, 2018
June 18-19, 2018
June 21-22, 2018
July 17-20, 2018
July 31-Aug 3, Oct 19, Feb 8
July 31-Aug 2, 2018
August 7-9, 2018
August 7-10, Oct 18, Feb 7
August 10, 2018
August 13-15, 2018
August 14-15, 2018

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

2) Register for our upcoming eventsand keep an eye out for our spring schedule of workshops.

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

4) Have expertise to share? Contact us about writing a blog post or leading a workshop.

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

A message from the  Executive Director, 


Anything you do
From the soulful self
Will help to lighten the burdens of the world.

I see educators as powerful agents of change. In order for teachers and administrators to better play this role and provide the best possible education for students, they must also be supported to grow.

Whether learning how to better tend to the health and well-being of their students, revise their curriculum to be more responsive to diversity and integrate current events, or develop their public speaking and leadership skills, independent school educators have certainly been developing their capacities with the CATDC this past month.

I have appreciated meeting up with independent school colleagues from our member schools in other learning spaces such as the Art of Coaching Conference , and have been impressed by the number of teachers and administrators from our member schools who led workshops at NAIS in Atlanta. If you were not able to attend, be sure to check out the NAIS Independent Ideas Blog which is chock full of conference highlights. I was especially impressed by the reflection on the Social Impact Design Workshop featuring student experiences with purposeful learning, including a graduate of Hillbrook School.

Thanks to the small but committed team at Northern California POCIS , I have also taken part in local community-oriented spaces as well: parents, educators and trustees gathered on a Saturday morning at The College Preparatory School to hear Dr. Shakti Butler discuss Strategic Questioning for Social Change , based on an article by Fran Peavey . Across the Bay, the Katherine Delmar Burke School partnered with the San Francisco Day School to host Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. , who led a discussion on the progress we are making (or not making) regarding privilege and leadership in independent schools, and introduced us to his latest book: The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys.

This is a rich time in the life of schools. With the lengthening days and ever fuller plates, our thoughts naturally drift toward summer. More expansive learning opportunities abound at our Summer Institutes, and this month's Buzz features articles by some of our outstanding facilitators: Elizabeth Denevi, who leads Equity as Excellence ; Lori Cohen, Coordinator of Teaching Foundations ; and Andrew Davis, facilitator of From Busy to Intentional , a new Summer Institute. We also offer a piece by Avery Pickford of the Nueva School, who will be co-facilitating one of our spring workshops: Fostering Mathematical Thinking . I hope you will carve out time to learn with and from the CATDC;
you have no idea what you might set in motion for yourself, your students, and your schools.
Why Teaching Foundations Matters to Me: A Personal Reflection
By Lori Cohen, The Bay School of San Francisco
We're in the process of preparing for one of my favorite professional development workshops,  Teaching Foundations. Each year around this time, we start our planning, and I already can't wait to meet the participants and begin an inspiring week together.
I've been thinking a lot lately about teacher preparation for those who are new to independent schools or who are in their first years in this profession, and I've been reflecting on why this work in particular is so important to me. I can't help but think back to my first years in independent schools and what a world of difference a program like  Teaching Foundations would have made for me, especially in understanding the culture of independent schools and ensuring that I would have a successful entry into this milieu.
Like many independent school teachers, I got my start in public schools, and my initial experience teaching independent schools was quite exciting; it was comprised of lots of creative curricular freedom, deep collaboration with colleagues (and time to do so), smaller class sizes, which in turn meant more devotion to each individual student. And yet, I felt like I was missing something, like I was struggling to understand some sort of unspoken language or series of agreements about what it meant to work in an independent school.
So What Do White 4th Graders Have to Say About Race?
By Elizabeth Denevi, Mid West Educational Collaborative
As it turns out, a lot.
Twice a month I get to work with fourth graders at a local school. The district has a stated commitment to racial equity and has been considering culturally responsive strategies with faculty and staff. When some middle school students of color reported a series of racial microaggressions, the administration instituted racial affinity groups in 4th grade as one way of addressing issues of bias and stereotypes at a younger age. I partner with an educator of color who meets with the students of color at the same time as I meet with the white students. We also have several multiracial students who move between our two groups depending on their needs and identity.
During our first meeting, I asked the white kids three questions. I put them up on big pieces of poster paper, and they write their answers on post-its. Here were the questions:
1. Where did the term "white" come from?
2. What does it mean to be "white" to you?
3. Have you ever heard any stereotypes about white people?
Make Your Dumb Smart
By Andrew Davis, Mount Tamalpais School
Until a few years ago I would head home early on Friday and leave the piles until Saturday morning; I needed that fresh mental energy to simply figure out what to do, let alone do the work. Since learning and refining work efficiency and effectiveness techniques, I have a new approach to Fridays, one that leaves me better prepared for the week ahead and with less work to do on Saturday morning. The difference? The checklist.
One Tuesday morning - my "smart" time - I created a list of all the things that I need to do every Friday to wrap up the week behind me and prepare for the week ahead. I typed up this list, printed a number of copies, and pinned them next to my desk. Since then, each Friday I have taken down one checklist and start working my way down the list. Because my list tells me to, I: empty and process my inboxes (digital and analog), empty my outbox, review my major projects and determine next action items... and the list goes on. With few exceptions I have not headed home until all of this work was done.
Yes, I still have homework for the weekend, but I know exactly what that work is and I find it much easier to get down to work once I find the time.
How can a checklist make such a difference? Even though I am, perhaps, my worst self on Friday afternoons, I am able to get more accomplished because I did the "smart" work, making the list, ahead of time. My previous Friday problem was not the pile of work, but the lack of energy to prioritize or attack the work. I don't have to think about what to do, I just do.
Describing Student Experiences in the Math Classroom
By Avery Pickford, The Nueva School
In a sentence or two, describe what your students did in class today. Go ahead. Don't be shy. Talk to your device. Or engage in this activity with a colleague.

Lessons. Tasks. Investigations. Projects. Problems. Worksheets. Labs. Assignment. Handouts. Exercises. Classwork.
Did you use any of these terms in your description? Regardless of your answer, these different terms likely elicit a different emotional response in you. Furthermore, the same term likely evokes different feelings for different people. Let's take the very commonly used word "worksheet" for example: one person's memory of franticly competing to finish a timed, graded worksheet consisting of forty repetitive arithmetic exercises contrasted with my recent experience watching students collaborate on a worksheet that proved to be the perfect balance of discovery and guidance.