April 19, 2018, Issue #27

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, 


On an a cold and very clear morning this week, I sat in the Manson Room of the Bay School, which has generously hosted the CATDC office and many of our workshops for over a decade. Captivated by the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the hills beyond, I closed my eyes to participate in a guided meditation led by our facilitators in the final meeting of one of our ongoing groups: Support for Supporters.
Violet Borowski and Katherine Preston of the San Francisco Friends School encouraged us to bring our attention to our breath, set an intention for the day, and take full advantage of this opportunity to lift up and out of our busy routines, focus on learning, connect with others in similar roles, and reconnect to our deepest purpose.  
I appreciated this moment of mindfulness as well as the reminder of the valuable role that our ongoing groups play in sustaining and empowering independent school educators so that they can better serve our students and our schools. While the CATDC provides a rich variety of professional learning experiences, our ongoing groups serve as the heart and soul of the organization, not only by creating communities of practice across schools, but by giving teachers and administrators the chance to stretch themselves as leaders and extend their reach as agents of positive change.
As the school year is winding down, our ongoing groups are wrapping up: it has been a privilege and pleasure to witness the sharing of key takeaways. In this month's "Buzz" we offer perspectives from participants in TALL Change, Leaders of Color, and our two emerging leaders programs in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, testaments to the lasting impact of their learning. I want to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of our participants for their deep engagement, our stellar facilitators for their invaluable service, and our host schools for providing spaces to do this important work.
In addition to partaking in all this rich closure, we are also gearing up for the year ahead. We are delighted that many of our established groups will continue and excited to be launching new ones on such topics as mathematical thinking, social entrepreneurship, and instructional coaching. While full descriptions and timing of these programs and more won't be available until May, you can read about   Why Instructional Coaching Matters in Independent Schools in a blog written by Lori Cohen, frequent contributor to the "Buzz" and Dean of Faculty at the Bay School, who will co-lead our instructional coaching group with me. And speaking of increasing one's impact, it is wonderful to see Lori's thinking and writing extend to a larger audience as a guest blogger for Elena Aguilar in Edweek.
As you wrap up your own school year and plan for the next, be sure to take a look at our summer offerings as well as consider how your own professional path can be enhanced by joining an ongoing group or other CATDC workshop. We welcome your participation in this vibrant community of teachers, learners, and leaders.
Lessons From My First Year of Leadership
By Jill Bergeron, Chandler School
This year was my first as an administrative leader. After teaching for many years, I was promoted to interim division head and needed a crash course in effective leadership. Thankfully, the CATDC was offering an ongoing program for new leaders. The four meetings over the course of the year provided me with a network of colleagues and a wealth of advice. As I look back over this past year, I am reminded of the many lessons I have learned as a first year leader. While I can't include all of them here, I've chosen my five most impactful lessons:

Lesson 1

As a starting point, I thought about the meaning and significance of leadership. For me, leadership is anchored in the service of others. This is what allows me to thrive during the good times and survive during the difficult times. I nurture this belief by turning to the words of leaders who have endured far greater trials than me and I am reminded of how they have handled difficult situations with grace and dignity.
In looking at your own situation, consider finding a mantra that anchors you. It might come from a spiritual text or from the advice of a respected peer. Wherever you find those words, paste them to your desk or tape them to your ceiling. You'll see them when you lean your head back and sigh or cast your gaze down and groan. These will be the words you can turn to when you need to remind yourself of why you lead and serve.
Applying CATDC Practices of Learning and Leading to your own School Community
By Cathy Aragon, Meredith Landis, Sylvia Rodriguez Douglass, San Francisco Day School
Over the past decade we, Cathy Aragon, Meredith Landis and Sylvia Rodriguez Douglass, have individually learned from many workshops and conferences provided by the CATDC. In the last year we found ourselves drawn into conversation, reflecting on what we brought away from these professional learning opportunities and recognizing the major themes in our work that we want to continue to pursue together.

As full-time, over-scheduled teaching professionals it can feel impossible to find time to strategize about ways to make positive change in our schools. We use conferences or workshops as a place to escape and find a quiet moment of introspection and productive thought. Through participating in four different CATDC programs (TALL Change, Leadership 101, Leaders of Color, and Women in Leadership), we three colleagues gained a great deal and realized were able to bring our thinking back to our school to continue the conversations. It felt as if we had been given permission to expand outside of our roles and consider how to pull these different threads of conversation together into one central idea for positive change that works for our school.  
Why Instructional Coaching Matters in Independent Schools
Guest post by Lori Cohen, Education Week
In the independent school world, "independent" is the name of the game-and it can be simultaneously freeing and limiting as an educator. Each independent school site, no matter the region, has its own culture and values, its codes (both written and unspoken), and its ways of assessing, supporting, and providing growth opportunities for its teachers. While independent schools can feel quite different from their public, charter, and parochial counterparts, the glue that holds all schools together is this noble charge we call teaching. And the most meaningful support we can provide all teachers is through instructional coaching.