Throughout the school year, we hold various Institute Days where classes are closed, and our faculty and staff come in for a full day. What is the purpose of our Institute Days? For the faculty and staff, it’s additional time for everyone to discuss school-wide events, work on conference reports, freshen up our environments, and plan and prepare curriculum for the upcoming months, but Institute Days also serve to reconnect as a community professionally and personally.
Often during Institute Days, we have professional development for everyone. In the past, we've had talks about food allergies, gender, childhood development, and social media—to name a few topics. These discussions not only serve as a springboard for more in-depth conversations but also to keep teachers abreast of current topics in order to better serve the children.
Institute Days also give time for intra-level connections. Coworkers who may not have an opportunity to interact during the school day have time to chat and build relationships on these days. They discuss new ideas and bounce them off one another, seek guidance or advice. All of this affords everyone time to see things from different points of view or another classroom level. It’s all about growth and maintaining perspective.
However, in between all the serious bits, we also make room for some good old-fashioned fun. Today, our teachers competed in a fast and furious game of Hot Potato (or rather, Hot Donut!) They also had a highly contested relay race—and let it be known that our very pregnant teachers are not afraid to out-run their competition. We also take moments to celebrate and acknowledge our amazing staff, from birthday cake to compliments during circle time.
When the children return on Monday, the teachers and staff will eagerly receive them happy to share new ideas and thoughts. And little will the children know that only a few days prior, their teachers were involved in a cut-throat game of Hot Potato.
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A blog by various Alcuin staff members.