As someone who is both a new teacher at St. Anne's-Belfield School and new to teaching, I am extremely grateful for the support and feedback I receive from April. While it is easy to feel as if you are under the microscope the second a visitor walks into your classroom, April's presence during her visits has not and is not meant to provoke this kind of reaction. From the start, I knew that these types of visits are not assessments or formal evaluations of my teaching abilities. Rather, they are a way for April to simply see what I do in the classroom and to share her thoughts on what she has observed.
Over the first three months, April visited my classes regularly and provided helpful suggestions for ways I might do things differently in the future. One of the most significant benefits of these meetings has been her ability to speak on the participation and engagement of certain individuals in my classes. I am fortunate to be starting off my teaching career in a school that cares so much about its faculty's professional development. When you have someone like April to help you along the way, improvement is an easy, positive, and well-supported process.
— Mary Sisson
Our Critical Friends Groups allow faculty members to work closely together and collaborate on a particular subject. Interactive activities provide us with an opportunity to work through issues, and discuss solutions. It's refreshing to learn and share ideas with faculty members in other departments and grade levels. April has selected some very thought-provoking articles, video clips, and speakers for the faculty. Most of the time, we continue to think about and discuss these topics for days after we worked in our critical friends groups, and I think that is really cool. It is keeping us on our toes and fresh!
Having a professional, like April, objectively observe your class and give you feedback is beneficial on so many levels. Feedback of any kind is helpful to both teachers and students. April's feedback provides teachers with concrete ideas on how to teach more effectively in the classroom. An added bonus is when you receive feedback on classroom management or helpful hints on how to interact with certain students in a different way.
— Marianne Starsia