MKA has an exceptionally accomplished faculty. 77% of the 159-strong faculty hold advanced degrees and 14 have earned doctorates. At MKA, teachers are learners. MKA’s professional development program is a hallmark of the community in large part because it is so ingrained in the professional culture of the school. Meaningful professional development accompanies any significant curricular change and allows teachers to examine current research on learning and teaching, learn new instructional strategies, increase knowledge in their discipline, explore new uses of technology, collaborate to develop ideas and plan how to move students forward in their learning.
What makes MKA’s professional development options unique among independent schools?
- A variety of in-school workshops offer faculty the opportunity to focus on issues that are central to the school’s mission. These workshops are tailored to the needs of MKA faculty across three campuses and facilitate the development of common vocabulary and understanding and classroom-ready products and practices.
- On-line options offer more flexibility and provide teachers with the opportunity to deepen their learning and create a classroom-ready product over a longer period of time.
- Faculty take ownership of and are supported in individual, professional growth as they participate in development options that spark their interest and best meet their needs.
- In-service days focus on the implementation of action plans developed through the Middle States reaccreditation process with a focus on Curriculum Mapping, new strategies for teaching and assessment, and the advisory program.
- Week-long institutes provide opportunities for tri-campus collaboration through deep conversations that spark the design of innovative, effective curriculum.
Though particularly robust in the summer, professional development is an ongoing focus throughout the school year. MKA supported offerings for teachers include:
- In-service days, in-school workshops and retreats throughout the year led by MKA teacher leaders and/or national experts, such as Michael Thompson, Pam Robbins or William Wians
- An MKA Technology Institute and MKA Ethics Institute – each week-long events that take place in June
- On-line MKA curriculum development workshops focusing on Backward Design, Assessment and Differentiation with feedback provided by MKA teacher leaders
- Opportunities for curriculum development by teams or individuals
- Targeted training in monthly tri-campus workshops, faculty meeting presentations, and individual assistance focused on areas such as: use of technology, instructional strategies and/or assessment to improve student learning
- Independent research, reading and reflection
- Outside conferences and workshops, such as The National Educational Computing Conference, the Assessment Training Institute Annual Conference or The National Association of Independent School’s National Conference.
- Graduate courses
- Blauvelt Professional Study Advancement Awards- opportunity for faculty to study, reflect and design curriculum grounded in developing students moral and intellectual habits
- PAMKA Faculty Trust Grants - a unique opportunity for study and personal renewal outside a traditional academic setting funded by the MKA Parents’ Association
MKA’s professional development program provides:
- Energy for MKA teachers, who often find themselves ahead of the curve when speaking with colleagues from other schools
- Support for MKA curricular and pedagogical foci through true, generative collegiality
- Support for MKA’s one-school commitment
- Enticement for prospective teachers who are interested in continuing to learn and to grow in their professional practice
- Leadership opportunities for faculty though participation in the Curriculum Mapping Leadership, Laptop Leadership, and Ethics Leadership Groups
Click here to read more about MKA's Guiding Principles for the Faculty Professional Growth Process.