Maspeth High School was built on the philosophy that a growth mindset is an essential component of education.
In the weeks preceding their first school day at our school, all newly hired teachers are provided with rigorous professional development. Over the course of three days, all new hires are taught the culture of our school in seminars led by existing school teachers and administrators. This intensive training is followed by two whole staff professional development days, in which new teachers and returning staff are unified through team building activities and a comprehensive review of goals and expectations for the year.
Throughout the year, our teachers are given the latitude to request to attend any professional development conference that they feel will help improve their practice. Our administrators also actively work with teachers to identify workshops which best fit their needs inside the classroom. Teachers are then expected to provide their peers with training based on their experiences at these conferences. This practice, which is highly encouraged, helps ensure that new and innovative pedagogy is shared throughout the staff.
During the city's Chancellor Conference Days teachers are given the opportunity to present what they have learned externally to their peers. Each Chancellor's Conference Day follows the same schedule in which the school's leadership team conducts a meeting in the morning, followed by a whole-staff seminar. The remainder of the day is designed to provide teachers with the option of attending the peer workshop which best fits their needs. These workshops are designed by teachers based on their own identified strengths within the classroom. At the conclusion of each Chancellor's Conference Day, the school's administrators solicit feedback from the staff and shares this information with the presenters.
During weekly grade level team meetings, teachers have developed professional development series in which they encourage the exchange of best practices and ideas. Each week, teachers sign up to present a professional development workshop in an area of expertise. These professional development workshops include implementation of Universal Design of Learning, increasing authentic questioning, meeting the social and emotional needs of LGBT students, and setting behavioral norms within your classroom, among others. These workshops have directly improved teacher pedagogy leading to an increase in studentcentered activities and higher levels of authentic engagement.