KO’s campus is getting busier as the first full faculty meeting opened the 2019-2020 academic year this Tuesday.
After a hearty breakfast and welcome introductions, the faculty tackled their summer reading, Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain by Zaretta Hammond, an important book for educators who teach in diverse communities. The book examines the connection between cognition and culture and offers strategies for teachers to reflect upon their own practices in the classroom so that all students can achieve the highest outcomes for themselves. Students learn best when they are guided by “warm demanders” - those teachers who not only support their students but set higher expectations of them. This balance is achieved when there is a high level of trust, rapport, and care in the classroom between the students and the teacher. Director of Teaching and Learning Jane Repp and Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competency Joan Edwards observed the rotating discussion groups prompted by pertinent quotations from the text which required a great degree of self-examination from the teachers.
As a community with a growth mindset, KO continually asks faculty to refine their teaching and adopt best practices in the classroom. Teachers have self-selected Collaborative Learning Groups (CLG) that they will join. These groups will meet three or four times during the fall and winter to collaboratively lesson plan and analyze student work with the goal of creating an equitable classroom culture where student ownership is the norm. The five focus areas include a book club related to the summer reading, project-based learning (PLB) and authentic application, how to give feedback to develop independent learners, student-led class discussions to aid in student agency and choice, and collaborative learning.
Repp asked the teachers to constantly engage with this question in their work: "How do I learn deeply together?"
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.