What does Professional Development look like at Mabin?

drum circle, PD

Mabin Professional Development

Ever wonder what we do on that Monday back after the Winter Break? Let me tell you a bit about what the Mabin staff did on Monday to get ready for the new term.

We started our day in a community circle. Ian taught us how to play a Samba on various instruments, including our voices, and the whole staff made music together. This sense of community and collaboration is an essential foundation to the work we do with your kids and all of you. We also used this initial time to catch up, reflect on the first term, share news, and improve some of our systems. Every time we meet as a staff, we take some time to reflect and learn together so that we can provide a better experience for our students and families.

SELF REGULATION – PD

After our community circle, we spent about an hour and a half learning together about Self-regulation and thinking about Student Behaviour. As models in progressive education, we wanted to be sure that we were up-to-date on the latest research and practice around child development and the brain, and so we engaged in a study of Dr. Stuart Shanker’s newest book, Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life. We discussed the book and considered its implications for our own approaches to Student Behaviour, and again, thought about how we can improve our systems so that we are understanding our students more deeply and working even more collaboratively to help them thrive.

After breaking bread together — because that is a very important part of building and sustaining community — we broke into a variety of groups to meet on various topics. Two of my meetings are about initiatives that I am very excited about:

  1. For All Parents: Mabin’s first (annual?) Parent2Parent Learning Conference! On Tuesday, February 13 from 6:30-8:30 pm, parents from our community will be offering sessions for other parents in our community on children’s mental health, children’s physical well-being, and other parenting issues. Look for more information in next week’s Choosing Times!
  2. For Parents/Caregivers of Children 0-5: Mabin’s first Saturday Morning Choosing Time! In February/March, we will open up our Kindergarten for 4 Saturdays for a Saturday Morning Family Time. Parents and Caregivers will be invited to bring children 0-5 to drop in and stay for playtime, tea, coffee, and snacks for the kids. Nancy Hohenkerk will be facilitating this opportunity from 10am12pm on February 3, 10, 24, and March 3 for families to connect during a family-style Choosing Time.

A day like Monday allows staff to talk together, meet together, and plan together so that we can be more present and available during the regular school day. The collaboration that is such an essential part of the Mabin experience is nurtured by protecting time and space to learn and be together as professionals. Thank you for supporting us in these efforts to continuously examine and improve the work we are doing together.