At Pace Academy, we encourage our students to THINK BIG—and that same directive applies to our faculty.
When hiring expert teachers, impressive credentials are only one piece of the puzzle. We look for individuals who embody our motto, “To have the courage to strive for excellence.” We want classroom leaders who understand that learning is a lifelong endeavor and who model that aspirational attitude for their students.
To support our faculty and staff’s continued growth, we offer a number of professional development programs within our school community and connect employees with resources beyond.
Our programs include…
In 2013, Pace and Norfolk Academy became the first independent schools to partner with researchers at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) to pilot MyTeachingPartnerTM (MTP), an evidence-based system of professional development support for teachers.
MTP uses peer-to-peer coaching to focus on the student-teacher interactions that matter most when it comes to learning and development. MTP is individualized, allowing teachers to concentrate on their own classroom practices and tailor the experiences to their professional growth.
As the benchmark for quality, the program uses The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), which centers on the processes that take place in classrooms: student-teacher interactions (academic and social), relationships and the implementation of the curriculum. Since 2013, more than 60 faculty members in our Lower, Middle and Upper Schools have participated in MTP.
Reflective Partners is a professional development approach that asks teachers to engage in purposeful reflection about their instructional practices; collaborate with colleagues; intentionally plan lessons; observe their own teaching by way of recording their lessons regularly; and use a common language (CLASS) to frame reflection, observation and discussion.
Targeted Professional Development Sessions
Studies show that collaborative learning leads to deeper learning—for students and adults. So, through targeted professional development sessions, our teachers dive into curriculum theory and practice, sharing stories of successes and failures to shape their classroom strategies.