Since 2010, St. Andrew’s has been sharing its expertise in the neurodevelopmental demands of teaching and learning with Teach For America corps members. This unique independent/public school partnership was featured in Independent School magazine and reflects St. Andrew’s commitment to being an independent school with a public purpose. This partnership was made possible through the generous support of the National Philanthropic Trust. St. Andrew’s is proud that through its partnership with TFA, it is helping to improve instruction for its students and also for students and teachers in Washington, DC area schools. The CTTL’s longest public partnership has been with Teach for America (DC Region). St. Andrew’s is also proud that Teach for America teachers who, after finishing their two-year corps experience, have chosen to continue their teaching careers at the school. St. Andrew’s and the CTTL deeply values this partnership to support the next generation of teachers and school leaders. The partnership includes:
- The Brain Science and Content Development Collaborative: In 2015, the CTTL and the Teach for America leadership team launched the Brain Science and Content Development Collaborative. This collaborative is intended to improve teachers’ understanding of and expertise in the neurodevelopmental demands of teaching and learning in their specific content areas. This collaborative will be offered in 5 different content areas: Math, English Language Arts, Science, Spanish, and Elementary. Experienced St. Andrew’s teachers who are leaders in the application of Mind, Brain, and Education science facilitate the “Brain Science and Content Development” collaborative. Participants will explore discipline specific, research-informed teaching and learning strategies regarding: memory, attention, intrinsic motivation, growth mindset, brain plasticity, personalized learning and differentiated assessment. This collaborative will offer both on-site and online idea sharing and mentoring and will provide participants a research informed lens in which to design their classes and work with each student.
- The Brain and Learning Summer Workshop: Read testimonials from Teach from America teachers who participated in the Summer 2010 and 2011 workshops.
- The Excellent School Visits Program: in which Teach For America teachers observe PS-12th grade classes at St. Andrew’s and exchange ideas with teachers related to best practices. This program provides St. Andrew’s teachers a chance to share their expertise about how all students best learn. The goal of this program is to provide ideas for next-day application.
- Mentoring Program: In 2012, St. Andrew’s and Teach for America launched the “Teacher to Teacher” mentor program. Veteran St. Andrew’s teachers are paired with second year Teach for America teachers to help enhance the learning environment, with a focus on content integration.
- Professional Development Workshops: Led by St. Andrew’s faculty, professional development workshops topics include: “Reading and Writing in English,” “The Neurodevelopmental Demands of Teaching and Learning,” and “Science by Design.”
- Foreign Language and Science Department Open Houses: This opportunity is for TFA teachers to spend the day observing educators in a specific discipline. As part of the “Open House” program, St. Andrew’s master teachers provide mini-lessons around topics such as differentiated instruction and assessment that TFA corps members take back to their classes the next day.