Faculty Growth and Development: What Clairbourn School Staff is Reading

Head of School Dr. Amy Patzlaff talks about faculty growth and development at the Back to School Faculty Meeting. Photo courtesy Clairbourn School

For the 2019-2020 school year and beyond, Clairbourn School has accelerated its focus on faculty growth and development. Parents will be able to notice the positive effects of this effort across all grades as the school year progresses. This includes funds for faculty development (thanks to the new Marks Family Professional Development Fund), new technical training and support for teachers provided by Knowing Technologies, creative language-learning solutions based on the TPRS classroom system (Teach Proficiency through Reading and Story-telling), and faculty reading assignments designed to create a school-wide embrace of educational and learning techniques heralded domestically and internationally.

In the Reading Assignment category, Assistant Head of School Kyron Millard, required all teachers to read over the summer one of two leading books on creating academic success, followed by group discussions at the Back To School Faculty Meeting. The first book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, is by world-renowned Stanford University Psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. This book links academic, sports, and personal success to the cultivation of a growth mindset (the conviction that talents and abilities can be developed).This is contrasted to the fixed mindset which operates from a standpoint of belief in personal limits for talents or abilities. The book concludes that organizations which teach and apply the growth mindset have a much higher potential to motivate students and reap results.

“An essential read for parents, teachers [and] coaches… as well as for those who would like to increase their own feelings of success and fulfillment.” – Library Journal

“One of the most influential books ever about motivation.” – Po Bronson, author of NurtureShock

“If you manage people or are a parent (which is a form of managing people), drop everything and read Mindset.” – Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start 2.0

The second book, Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age by Maya Thiagarajan, offers welcome insights for parents or teachers living in the middle of competing East vs. West education values. Instead of picking a side, the author skillfully shines a spotlight on the best of both systems and recommends a hybrid approach. As an educator and a mother who has taught in both American and Asian environments, Maya Thiagarajan has the background and life-experience to understand the goals, motivations, and values of both American and Asian parents while also clarifying the benefits and drawbacks of each approach to educating children. This well-researched book is also filled with practical advice designed to help parents and teachers establish new hybrid systems for students. Additionally, she explains how families can provide their children with life-balance skills and inner-resilience designed to complement their challenging educational experiences.

“Experts say there is a wide difference between eastern and western parenting style. To say one is better than the other, however, could be subject to debates and personal perception. Author Maya Thiagarajan explores both styles in her new parenting book Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age. She hopes it will serve as a good resource for parents who are searching for a blended approach, especially since global awareness is on the rise.” — ParentHerald.com

Clairbourn’s administrative staff were also assigned to read The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This book explains how organizations, who are skilled at crafting memorable moments of “elevation, insight, pride, and connection,” create the type of experiences that customers crave in their hearts. When selecting the book, Head of School Dr. Amy Patzlaff shared that administrators are in a wonderful position, as architects of the overall Clairbourn experience, to ensure that transformative and memorable experiences abound as a key ingredient of an excellent Clairbourn education. These concepts from the book will be helpful with the school’s current and future planning to design powerful moments for students and families.

“Chip and Dan are amazing and impactful story tellers. In The Power of Moments, they are able to use stories to display a powerful truth, that we can be more impactful as leaders and as people by recognizing and creating more “moments.” — Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic

Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit www.clairbourn.org.










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