Professional Development at MKA
MKA faculty members are exceptionally accomplished–and learners at heart. An integral part of the school’s professional growth culture, the professional development program is a hallmark of the community. MKA’s rich array of professional development offerings engage teachers in examining current research on learning and teaching, learning new instructional strategies, increasing knowledge in their discipline, exploring new uses of technology, collaborating to develop ideas, and planning how to move students forward in their learning. In addition, meaningful professional development accompanies any significant curricular change.
Dedicated to their own learning as well as their students’, MKA faculty are committed to a continuous process of inquiry always seeking to answer, “How can I most significantly improve teaching and learning in my classroom?” Faculty take ownership of and are supported in individual and professional growth as they participate in professional development options that spark their interests and best meet their needs.
MKA allocates significant funding to support faculty members’ professional learning. Approximately 80% of faculty voluntarily engage in MKA-funded summer professional development, and all faculty participate in 11 in-service days each school year.
The Professional Growth Process (PGP) engages every faculty member in a continuous process of inquiry, reflection, and adjustment of practice informed by feedback from peer observations, student questionnaires, and analysis of a body of students’ work to uncover noteworthy trends. Faculty reflect on this feedback and confer with colleagues to identify adjustments that will improve teaching and learning in their classrooms.
On-site Professional Development Workshops provide opportunities for faculty to inquire, explore, collaborate, and experiment with new ideas. Grounded in current educational and scientific research, MKA workshops provide time, space, and inspiration for faculty to examine current practice and adjust learning experiences for their students.
Faculty members travel locally and globally to attend conferences and workshops with renowned experts. They explore emerging research in teaching and learning, as well as within their academic disciplines, to bring back and share new ideas with their colleagues.
Faculty-Student Bonds: Students enjoy close relationships with extremely caring and highly qualified faculty members, who are committed to the intellectual, academic, social, emotional, and ethical development of each child. Student and alumni surveys as well as senior exit interviews consistently reveal that relationships with their teachers are one of the most transformative aspects of students’ MKA experience.
Faculty Accessibility: Even beyond the classroom, faculty members welcome students’ questions and act as guides for learning. Middle and Upper School teachers are available during Common Work Periods, lunch periods, and after school. More than teachers, faculty members are students’ advisors and often act as their mentors and coaches.
One School, Three Faculties: Each campus faculty is dedicated to teaching students at the appropriate developmental level. Faculty members’ keen awareness of what students need to grow as both scholars and people provides one of the most important foundations for student-centered classrooms.