Eaglebrook Hosts Remote JBSA New Faculty Conference

Eaglebrook has hosted the Junior Boarding School Associations (JBSA), New Faculty Conference on the Eaglebrook campus each August since 2017. The goal of this conference is to provide a forum where the collective wisdom of the JBSA schools can be shared with new faculty and strengthen their work with middle school students. This year’s conference took place remotely. Those completely new to teaching and those working at a junior boarding school for the first time attended sessions on August 25 through August 27. Although presenters could not physically present with each other, the learning and networking continued. Learning sessions were held in the evenings through the week, and the keynote speakers presented on Thursday morning. 

On Tuesday, August 25 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., an advisor circle forum was held for faculty. Small groups of teachers explored different facets of advising at the middle school level. Faculty were able to explore their assumptions and share some of the ideas for how to support students and each other during this unusual year. Later in the evening, there was a virtual gathering for JBSA residential life directors. 
 
On Wednesday, August 26, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., the session titled “Foundational Elements of Effective Classroom Teaching” was presented by Dr. Paul Cyr-Mutty, Dean of Teaching and Learning at Eaglebrook School. Dr. Cyr-Mutty discussed how engaging and effective teaching has its roots in foundational skills and knowledge, including understanding how adolescents learn. He also discussed course and lesson planning; giving feedback and grading, record keeping, and behavior management. Additionally, Dr. Cyr-Mutty reviewed some best practices to help participants build a strong foundation for their work in the classroom. After Dr. Cyr-Mutty, Cam Taylor, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator at Eaglebrook School worked to define ‘intersectionality.’ Additionally, Cam discussed the importance of acknowledging one’s intersectionality in relation to identity. 
 
On Thursday, August 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the session titled, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Middle School Years” was presented by Metta Dael and Martha Neubert, both from Northfield Mount Hermon. The presenters worked to expand the faculty’s DEI toolkit in both pedagogical and social-emotional terms. Participants in the session learned about core DEI frameworks and definitions, considered their role in relation to their institution’s DEI work, discussed best practices for multicultural students/classrooms, heard from other participants about challenges and successes, and gained perspective about intentionally embracing DEI work, individually and institutionally. 
 
“The JBSA New Faculty Conference was held in a virtual environment this year. While the summer has been filled with preparation for opening days for all schools, several schools were still able to come together for this opportunity for networking and growth - Applewild, Bement, Eaglebrook, Fessenden, and Indian Mountain. Together we explored our strengths and how to utilize them as advisors in times of crisis, explored the foundational elements of the teaching pedagogy, discussed intersectionality, and took a deep dive into diversity, equity, and inclusion in the middle school years with Metta Dael and Martha Neubert of Northfield Mount Hermon” said M Rudder, Professional & Organizational Development Facilitator.  
 
Eaglebrook is looking forward to hosting the JBSA New Faculty conference next August. Learn more about Eaglebrook’s Center for Middle School Teaching and Learning. 
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    • The Eaglebrook campus was quiet as the JBSA New Faculty Conference took place remotely.

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