November 14, 2018, Issue #33

Nov 16, Feb 5, Mar 8, May 3
Dec 5, Feb 14, Apr 17
Dec 5, Feb 12, Apr 17, TBD

Nov 29-30, 2018
Dec 7, 2018
Jan 17, 2019
Jan 25, 2019
Jan 29, 2019
Feb 5, 2019
Feb 8, 2019
Feb 12, 2019
Feb 13, 2019
Feb 15, 2019
Mar 15, 2019
Mar 21, 2019
Mar 29, 2019

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, 


We need leaders who recognize the harm being done
to people and planet through the dominant practices that
control, ignore, abuse, and oppress the human spirit.
We need leaders who put service over self,
stand steadfast in crises and failures, and
who display unshakable faith that
people can be generous, creative, and kind.

As Executive Director of the CATDC, I often come in contact with leaders who hold the qualities called for by Wheatley. In four extraordinary days last month, I had the good fortune to hear Rosetta Lee speak about how to create culturally inclusive classrooms at the Nueva School; engage in discussion with Reveta Bowers and Deborah Reed about the joys and challenges of being a school head at the Leadership Fellows retreat; and practice deep listening with Ellen Porter Honnet at the Stanley King Counseling Institute. I deeply appreciate the contributions made to the CATDC by these luminaries in our field, and others such as Pedro Noguera and Heidi Hayes Jacobs. I am equally grateful for those many experts from our member schools who facilitate our ongoing groups, and the hundreds of educators who have participated in our programs: leaders of their own classrooms and school communities.

Given the times we are in and the unique demands of being an independent school educator, seeking out opportunities for learning and inspiration is essential. "We need to be purposeful about replacing the energy that our day-to-day work requires," writes Trina Moore-Southall, Director of Equity and Inclusion at Brentwood School and facilitator of our Southern California Teaching Foundations Program in Join the Club. As Southall points out, affinity spaces and professional organizations provide the openings to make vital connections with other educators.  Along those lines, I am delighted to report that at last count, 112 schools have joined the CATDC's statewide learning community. Whether or not your school is a member, we welcome you to join our intensives or the few ongoing groups yet to get started.

We also need to build in time for reflection; as Lori Cohen, Dean of Faculty at the Bay School and CATDC Facilitator Coach, enjoins: "Reflection will give us space to explore how we think, what we value, what excites and drives us, what stories we tell ourselves, and what we may need to change to build stronger skills around planning, interpersonal dynamics, and other aspects of our professional work."

The holidays are a great time to initiate or reinvigorate this practice of reflection, as well as to engage in another activity essential to our well-being, expressing gratitude. I love the simple approaches suggested in Gratitude Practice Explained from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, including thanking the people in our lives who have helped us in one way or another: "Consider sending a letter to someone telling them what their actions meant to you, even if--especially if--it happened long ago."

It seems only fitting that I take this opportunity to thank the members of the CATDC team, who have been working harder than ever to support all this great learning: Eryn Hoffman, Southern California Program Director; Tracy Gallagher, Director of Communications and Events Coordinator; Ellen Beller, Director of Finance; and Jannah Tate, Southern California Events Coordinator, all approach their work with exceptional generosity, creativity, and kindness. I also want to thank Janet McGarvey, my predecessor and founder of the CATDC, who has been such an important mentor to me and so many other California educators. I am delighted to share this episode of Brief but Spectacular that Janet recommended, about 94-year-old teacher, Flossie Lewis--a poignant reminder of the potential we all have to transform lives.

We will be taking a break from publishing The Buzz in December, returning in the New Year with a new look. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming programs, but if I don't, best wishes for a restful and rejuvenating winter holiday.
The Power of Reflection
By Lori Cohen, The Bay School of San Francisco
In our classrooms, we ask students to reflect on their learning as a metacognitive act, as a way to cement learning and create new neural pathways. We know that formative assessments--brief checks for understanding and ways of making our thinking visible--are an excellent gauge for where our students are, and serve as a springboard for students' growth. It's time we did more of the same for ourselves.  

When I entered into my teaching credential program 20 years ago, my supervisor talked about the scope of our work for the year: we would learn some theory; we would do some student teaching; we would finesse our lessons and units; we would apply for jobs; and we would do lots of reflection. My supervisor emphasized reflection in particular as the most important part of our practice--we wouldn't be effective educators unless reflection was part of our daily work. Two decades later, I'm grateful for this wisdom, and I continue to see the value of reflection in each phase and stage of my work.
Read online...
Join the Club
By Trina Moore-Southall, Brentwood School
Clubs and affinity spaces are designed to appeal to people of common interests and experiences. This shared experience ignites a sense of understanding and support within the group, a familiar camaraderie. The sense of empowerment that exists in affinity spaces is more critical when this group of people is part of a less dominant, disadvantaged, or less experienced group.
I have several friends that are beginning parenthood. I often share with them all the ways in which I messed up, made mistakes, felt inadequate and sometimes even like I was failing as a mother: not only to laugh at myself years later, but also to communicate that they are not alone. I share anecdotes of holding my baby in the backseat of a car without the car seat; eating crackers for dinner; wearing the same pajamas for days; listening to endless crying (not the baby's -- mine); struggling with baby weight (not the baby's -- mine); and yes, leaving my child on a bus. Don't call Child Services yet; this baby is now 18 and doing amazingly well on his university campus. However, I probably could have used a New Parents Club.
Gratitude Practice Explained
By Robin S. Stern, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
Gratitude is a state of mind that arises when you affirm a good thing in your life that comes from outside yourself, or when you notice and relish little pleasures. Though some people and things are clear blessings, this state of mind doesn't actually depend on your life circumstances. Whether it's the sight of a lovely face or a tasty bite of food or good health, there is always something to be grateful for. Even bad experiences at least teach us something. And gratitude is not just a feeling outside your control that arrives willy-nilly. It's more like a radio channel: you can choose at any time to tune in.

Gratitude acknowledges connection, and perhaps for this reason it is central to spiritual traditions worldwide, including Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and East Asian religions. When we contemplate our place in the intricate, interdependent network of life, we feel wonder and joy. That realization can lead us to express thanksgiving.
Viral Sensation Flossie Lewis is Still a Spectacular Teacher at 94
By PBS NewsHour
More than 7 million people viewed teacher Flossie Lewis's Brief but Spectacular take on growing old in 2016. When it aired, her former students contacted us by the dozen, many to express appreciation for the profound impact she had on their lives. Flossie, now 94, returns in this special installment for an inspirational class discussion with some of her biggest fans.