St. Martin de Porres Academy Professional Day at Fairfield

Submitted by Lynn Holforty on October 5, 2012

On September 21, Fairfield’s Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) hosted a professional development day for the Teaching Fellows from Saint Martin de Porres Academy (SMPA) in New Haven. Associate Dean Dr. Christine Siegel began the day by presenting a brief history of the Fairfield University GSEAP and its partnership with the Academy. This partnership dates back to the fall of 2009 with the GSEAP supporting Saint Martin’s professional development, and has since grown to include arranging visits to local schools and monthly “Teacher Learning Community” TLC meetings facilitated by Dr. Wendy Kohli.

In addition to orienting SMPA Teaching Fellows to the various Fairfield resources available to them, such as a tour of the Bellarmine Museum of Art and a visit to the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, the focus of the day was “Developing a Climate for Working Together.” SMPA faculty, led by Dr. Diana Hulse and Dr. Siegel, spoke in small groups about corrective feedback and individual preferences with regards to working style. The team teaching model practiced at SMPA was also a common thread throughout the workshop. Teaching Fellows brainstormed ways to give and receive effective corrective feedback within their teams.

After a lunch in the Barone Campus Center with other GSEAP faculty and friends, the Saint Martin de Porres Academy Teaching Fellows departed Fairfield University with new strategies for working and teaming with each other. When asked about his experience at Fairfield, third year teacher and Fairfield GSEAP student, Chris Harvey said, “The partnership St. Martin de Porres is privileged to have with Fairfield University results in tangible benefits in the classroom and development of our practices and policies. As a school that uses a team-teaching model and a holistic approach to education, the session lead by Dr. Diana Hulse helped us along on our mission to provide quality education to underserved middle school students in the Greater New Haven area.”

Saint Martin’s thanks Fairfield University GSEAP for its continuing efforts to support teacher education through meaningful professional development.

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