Each year, Mary Collins School, a K-8 Conversion Charter School in Petaluma, hosts a professional development Symposium for our teachers, parents, and community which includes a day of professional development, a parent night, and a public forum that hosts teachers from all over the greater Bay Area. The event has been a consistent success; in fact, this year marks our 13th Annual Symposium.
We are a staff that takes our professional development seriously. Our staff spends a lot of time, both in grade alike and whole school, engaging in conversation about the way kids learn with specific attention to constructivist teaching and learning. These discussions are fueled not only by the professional books that we read and the conferences we attend, but even more significantly, by our Symposium presenters.
Here’s how the Symposium works. The Symposium is “owned and operated by” teachers at Mary Collins School! Through our own love of teaching and learning, we attend conferences, read professional books and research of well-known scholars who can help us continue to learn and grow. During this kind of exposure to new and engaging ideas and research, teachers met and often invite two scholars from these national conferences to present at our forum. Once presenters accept our invitation, we delve into our own professional book club reading articles and/or books written by the presenters, listen to pod casts produced by presenters and/or any other media that is appropriate to become familiar with the presenters.
Interconnected to our Symposium is our Parent Education Night component. This is an evening event that provides our parent community a chance to learn about the topics that the Mary Collins School staff will be immersed in the following day. It is an opportunity for parents to become a little more familiar with teaching and learning at our school.
2003: Tim Brandy/Ken and Yetta Goodman
2004: Cathy Fosnot/Jerry Harste
2005: Jerry Lieberman/Sandra Wilde
2006: Cathy Fosnot/Kathryn Mitchell Pierce
2007: Kathryn Mitchell Pierce/Tim Brandy
2008: Vivian Vasquez/Magdalene Lampert
2009: Carole Edlesky/ Magdelene Lampert
2010: Mitzi Lewison
2011: Stephen Krashen
2012: Jo Boaler/Peggy Albers
2013: Vivian Vasquez/Patrick Callahan