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Turning Educators into Lifelong Learners: Professional Development Day Recap at TAS

Turning Educators into Lifelong Learners: Professional Development Day Recap at TAS

By TAS Communications

On Friday, November 10, 2023, Taipei American School (TAS) hosted a dynamic Professional Development Day, offering our dedicated faculty and staff a unique opportunity for growth and collaboration. The day was filled with a diverse range of sessions and activities aimed at enhancing skills, fostering team spirit, and ensuring compliance with essential training requirements. 

The schedule kicked off with a grab-and-go breakfast in the Upper School Gym lobby at 7:30 AM, setting the tone for a day of learning and camaraderie. Deputy Head of School Dr. Liz Gale introduced the morning session on the WASC re-accreditation process, and welcomed Dr. Kendall Zoller, President of Sierra Training Associates, who led faculty in a rousing, mini workshop on the Adaptive Schools mindset. By focusing on the goal of developing a space where all students and adults are known, loved, safe, and successful, all participants had the opportunity to discuss their mindset for the work ahead.  

After a short review of where we are in the re-accreditation journey thus far with Dr. Gale, faculty split off into their Focus Groups and eight policy review groups, to spend the morning working together on gathering crucial evidence of the practices that TAS has worked to develop and implement over the last five years since our 2018 WASC re-accreditation. All across campus, faculty discussed the different indicators of success that TAS wishes to share with WASC and searched for evidence to support the growth and development of the school since 2018. 

The morning also featured crucial training sessions, including Basic CPR/First Aid Training in English for substitute faculty and staff along with General Safety & Health Education and Training in Mandarin. Bus Monitors participated in a specialized training session, designed for their team’s unique role in supporting our students each morning and afternoon. 

Dr. Kendall Zoller, in an English session titled "Adaptive School Essentials" at the West Campus Center, engaged Teaching Assistants and student-facing staff members, providing insights and strategies for effective teaching practices. 

Lunchtime was a chance for community connection and relaxation before the afternoon sessions, and it also featured sessions related to DEIJ work and affinity groups within the school.  

After lunch, time was provided for various departmental meetings and workshops, reinforcing the commitment to ongoing professional development at TAS. The schedule reflected TAS's dedication to providing a comprehensive and engaging Professional Development Day, ensuring that our educators are well-equipped to inspire and guide our students to success. 

Faculty across all divisions met for the third of the DEIJ workshops with Director of Inclusion and Well-being, E-chieh Lin, and dug into the concept of unconscious bias, and how we might begin to identify and unlearn them. Across the school, Taipei American School is committed to both learning and personal well-being, something which we encourage for our students and our employees. At 4:00 PM, employees attended a Physio & Health Exercise Workshop on "Low Back Pain - Typical Causes & Prevention Strategies and Exercises," presented by Dr. Jessica Lott. Finally, the day culminated with an Employee Bingo Party, hosted by the Sunshine Committee in the Upper School Information Commons, providing a delightful and interactive break for all employees. 

As TAS continues to evolve in the dynamic landscape of international education, such collaborative learning experiences remain integral to our commitment to excellence.