Winter break will be one day longer for students as Jan. 2 is a staff development day as teachers will be working in order to get ahead and prepare for the upcoming school week after the two week break.
“We are a PLC district, which means that we’re a professional learning community district and in order to have those really deep level conversations about content and professional practices, we really need that day,” assistant principal Stacey Whaling said. “The teachers do have conference periods, but there’s a lot of things that go into to those conference periods so it gives them the time to devote to that.”
In order for teachers to improve and continue learning, staff development days are the optimum time for teachers to change and tweak teaching styles.
“It’s beneficial in a couple of ways,” English teacher John Singleton said. “Typically two things happen in staff development and that is that individuals with new ideas about better ways to teach students come in and share and from that, teacher’s pick up new knowledge, new ideas, and tools that they can carry to their classrooms. That always ends up helping students because students get a better learning experience in the classroom when teachers bring better ideas.”
However, for students, staff development days are for relaxing and mentally preparing themselves for the work to come.
“It gives us time for a break and allows us to decompress from school,” freshman Taylor Nwamadi said.
Teachers also get a chance to catch up and get ahead in order to be fully prepared for the weeks to come.
“It gives them the chance to get ahead, which is great,” Whaling said. “But it also gives them a chance to really sit down with their teams and really have that really deep level of conversation which sometimes the time doesn’t allow during the regular work week.”
Staff development days are not only a day students look forward to and teachers benefit from the extra work day without the stress of students.
“The other thing that happens on professional development days, is that teachers get a chance to get together and discuss what’s been happening in their classrooms and with their students and have a time of good planning,” Singleton said. “Whenever teachers have a chance to plan together, then likewise better things end up happening for students.”