Professional Development in the Eton School Community

Professional Development in the Eton School Community
Kris Gaskins, Head of School

Did you know that the administration, faculty, and staff at Eton School participate in on-going professional development opportunities? This year, teachers have attended workshops hosted by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) that included the following topics: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK-12 Frameworks; Empowering Classrooms: Integrating Social Emotional Learning and Student Wellness into Academics; and Racial Literacy and Antiracist Teaching. Every fall, the faulty attends the annual NWAIS Fall Educators’ Conference, where a broad range of professional development topics is covered. Several of our teachers also took advantage of other training programs including Wired for Reading and Handwriting without Tears.

The American Montessori Society (AMS) offers live and on-demand webinars covering a wide variety of topics that can be watched individually or as a group. A couple of years ago the Montessori teachers viewed Conducting Effective Parent-Teacher Conferences and then had time to discuss the information. There is also a regional Montessori group, the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association (PNMA) that hosts two to three workshops or speakers each year. When possible, the Montessori teachers love going to the national Montessori convention put on by AMS. This spring, the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA) hosted a regional conference in Tacoma: Montessori Guidance for Adapting to the Global-Digital Culture. A couple of our teachers took advantage of that learning opportunity.

Administrators also attend conferences and workshops to keep current with best practices in managing non-profit independent schools. Topics are presented to challenge thinking, to broaden perspectives and to ensure a growth mindset. The keynote speaker for the business managers annual NWAIS conference last year spoke about the popular topic of Mindfulness and Communication.

The Support Staff also attend learning opportunities often through the Department of Child, Youth, and Family (formerly Department of Early Learning). Topics have included Art Appreciation; STEM in Early Childhood Communities; and Building Community through Circle Time. Support Staff is also encouraged to attend assistant training workshops each year given by Montessori Educational Institute of the Pacific Northwest (MEIPN).

Each August, we offer on-site training required by our various licensing bodies. We also try to include something fun. During the 2018 August in-service, Master Hufana, who teaches a form of Martial Arts to our Middle School students, came and did a session with our entire staff. It was a lot of fun and helped build comradery and community.

Professional Development is a vibrant part of the school community and is made possible in part through the generous donations of parents. Enabling teachers and school personnel to stretch and grow allows the many children in our care to stretch and grow. It allows us to live our Mission Statement which ends with the statement, “We dedicate ourselves to lifelong learning.”

  • Eton School's Mission Statement
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Professional Development