“As we share the opportunity to grow professionally as life-long-learners, it is an opportunity for you to reflect on the hearts you have touched and the minds you have shaped because without your commitment and dedication, the future would not be as bright. I thank you for touching the future, I thank you for developing the future of our Church and above all I thank you for your great commitment to Catholic education within the Diocese of Brooklyn”
– Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools
“Education is ongoing. As an instructional leader you have to continue to develop your skill set, educating yourself for the benefit of your students. This is the basis for professional development.”
-Anthony Biscione, Senior Deputy Superintendent of Schools
Here is a summary of some of the many professional development events that have occurred within the Diocese of Brooklyn during the 2014-2015 academic year:
Early Childhood Extravaganza
The annual Early Childhood Extravaganza, held on November 21, 2014, is especially geared towards early childhood teachers, providing workshops for child development for our youngest learners. Developmentally appropriate practices within the early childhood classroom, as well as innovative methods for teaching children ages 3-8, are explored during this professional development opportunity.
Celebration of Catholic Education
The annual Celebration of Catholic Education, which took place on January 16, 2015, at Terrace on the Park, brought together over 700 participants to celebrate, collaborate and learn. Workshops covering a wide variety of subjects and grade levels were offered for teachers.
“The presenters were extremely knowledgeable and it’s always good to get together with the teachers from other schools. We join to celebrate Catholic education and we learn something at the same time,” said Mary Gambino, English Language Arts teacher at Saint Elizabeth Catholic Academy. Teacher workshops included topics such as: New York State K through 12 Social Studies, Cross Discipline Critical Thinking Skills, Terranova’s Inview Scores in Grades 3-8 to Support Academic Success, How to Write a Unit of Study and more.
“One of the key lessons I’m taking away after today is about consistency. We need to be consistent in everything that we teach the children from early childhood and on. We also need to make sure we communicate with each other across grade levels to maintain that consistency for students,” said Johnnie Trott, Kindergarten teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Academy in Cambria Heights.
Special thanks to the many supporters that helped to make the event possible: Applebees; Buncee; Catapult Learning; Catholic Telemedia Network; Club Getaway; Direct Promotions; Flynn & O’Hara Uniforms; Great Escapes Adventures; Ideal Uniforms; Lakeshore Learning Materials; Learning A-Z; LDI Color Toolbox; Lifetouch Photography; Loyola Press; Next Generation Fundraising; NYLearns; Our Sunday Visitor; Pauline Books & Media; Pearson; RCL Benziger; Sadlier, W.H., Inc.; Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, Inc.; Superkids by Rowland Reading Foundation; Strategic Measurement and Evaluation, Inc.; Tech4Learning Inc. and Triumph Learning.
Winter Convocation for Principals
The Winter Convocation for Principals, held on February 27, 2015, at the St. Luke Pastoral Center in Whitestone, allowed principals the opportunity to develop their knowledge regarding topics more specific to their own professional situations—such as instructional supervision. Every professional development opportunity is different, but the goal is achieved when participants learn and take that new knowledge back into the field.
This Convocation did not consist of workshops or breakout sessions, but rather the day consisted of round table deanery-wide discussions between principals. Questions were posed regarding academic programs and instructional strategies. The succeeding discussions allowed principals to both share best practices with each other, and to provide feedback for the Diocese to offer other relevant professional development workshops throughout the year.
Spring Convocation for Academy Directors
With 42 Catholic academies within the Diocese to date, the leadership of the Directors who govern them is equally as important as the leadership of teachers and principals. (Click here to understand the role of academy Directors).
On March 14, 2015, academy Directors gathered in the D’Angelo Center at St. John’s University for Spring Convocation. In addition to content regarding curriculum and educational standards which principals and teachers are always learning more about, academy Directors study a broader subject area. Their ongoing professional development includes topics such as the board nominations process, advocacy work, academy and parish alignments, parental involvement, home academy associations, tuition committees, marketing and development to name a few.
St. John Neumann Professional Development Day
On March 26, 2015, the Catholic school principals gathered at Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy for St. John Neumann Principals’ Professional Development Day, a day named after the patron saint of Catholic education and dedicated to the continued education of principals. The theme for the day was “Working with the Academic Needs of all God’s Children.”
The Office of The Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services will continue to provide professional development for the continued education of teachers, principals, and Directors. They would like to express sincere gratitude to all of those who have helped organize these events this year, to all of those who have presented, to all of their gracious hosts, and to all of the vendors who help make the events possible. Read about more about our events here.