Creating a Culture of Professional Development in Schools

The first Weismann Symposium and Dinner for the spring took place on March 25 and featured three Bank Street graduates as panelists: John O’Reilly, Principal of Academy of Arts and Letters; Nigel Pugh, Principal of Richard R. Green High School of Teaching; and Dina Velez, Principal of Newark Educators Collaborative Charter School. Rebecca Rohr Ritter, Director of Academic Programs at the Shefa School moderated.

The event focused on how to create a culture of professional development (PD) in schools, by using a differentiated approach. Beginning with small group discussions among attendants, the moderator asked each group to share challenges they’ve encountered with professional development. A panelist discussion followed. The event ended with the small groups sharing their insights from the talk. Topics discussed included:

  • How to build a school culture with teachers at different stages in their career
  • How to balance content and pedagogy into a cohesive PD plan
  • How to create a sense of community and caring for others
  • How to deal with issues of lack of follow-through and follow-up
  • The importance of vision

Since 2007, the Adelaide Weismann Center for Innovative Leadership in Education has presented a series of dinner symposia each year, focused on current leadership challenges. At each symposium, a panel of school or district leaders—including Bank Street graduates—discuss specific challenges they have encountered and the wide range of factors that shaped their responses. Current graduate students in the Educational Leadership Department serve as moderators. Every Weismann Symposium and Dinner is a free event open to the Bank Street Community. Check the calendar for the next event!