The Profession of Boarding School Teaching at St. Andrew's
The profession of boarding school teaching involves a sacred and personal trust between the faculty member and his/her students and parents. As a fully residential school, St. Andrew’s celebrates the art of teaching and mentoring by making the classroom and its full potential extend through the morning, afternoon, and evening. St. Andrew’s teachers honor each student with the gift of his/her attention, focus, expertise, patience, flexibility, and confidence.
St. Andrew’s has a teaching ethos that emphasizes the cultivation of curiosity, confidence, transformation, and inspiration. We begin by planning backwards, articulating the habits of mind, habits of heart, habits of community the school aspires to cultivate and honor. With our values and mission in mind, we think carefully about the specific ways teachers and students inspire one another to explore, practice, rehearse, and exhibit these habits and commitments.
We seek to ignite the following habits and approaches to learning in the life of our school community:
—an enduring desire for learning and appreciation of learning.
—a willingness to ask essential questions and pursue skeptical, independent inquiry.
—an appreciation of education as a source of faith and learning: wisdom, generosity, perspective, and hope.
—a spirit of leadership, agency, confidence, generosity, empathy, and compassion that will inspire our students to work relentlessly for the “growing good of the world.”
—a celebration of our ability to communicate and to provide opportunities for the judicious consideration of multiple points of view.
—a cultivation of individual passions, commitments, and quests for excellence.
—a cultivation of creativity and aesthetic judgment in all disciplines.
—an enactment and exploration of the art and potential of teamwork, collaboration, and problem solving.
—an appreciation of our shared responsibility and commitment to the values of honesty, integrity, justice, equality, peace, and respect for every person.
—an appreciation of and stewardship of the culture of the school, its campus, and the natural world.
—a reverent, open, trusting exploration of the qualities and characteristics of a diverse community.
Therefore, our faculty explore the following specific expressions of the art of education and the profession of teaching:
—We demonstrate passion and joy for teaching, learning, mentoring, and living in community with our students.
—We commit to the highest standards of teaching, learning, and assessment.
—We are knowledgeable and compelling about our subjects and exhibit mastery, intellectual agility, and the ability to explain subject matter in multiple ways.
—We embrace the opportunities to learn with colleagues and to seek professional development in all aspects of our work as boarding school educators. We work as teams; we collaborate; we problem solve and innovate together.
—We exhibit a growth mindset, both for our own professional development and for our belief in and expectation of student successes. We are, therefore, enterprising, curious, eager to learn, hardworking, and focused on the challenges in our teaching.
—We express, exhibit, and share passion, expertise, curiosity, and commitment to our areas of academic responsibilities and seek opportunities for interdisciplinary learning for our students and ourselves.
—We express patience, appreciation, respect, and reverence for the work of our colleagues within the school.
—We support, unequivocally, the professional development and success of our colleagues.
—We communicate thoughtfully, judiciously with colleagues. We are able to challenge constructively, be challenged, and change our viewpoints over approach as a result.
—We reject professional gossip, sarcasm, backbiting, and all forms of disrespect and divisiveness.
—We build and honor a culture of collaboration, respect, and diversity within our faculty.
—We honor all work within the community, paying particular attention to and appreciation for the work of the staff.
—We excel in the art and practice of boarding school education at its best: committing to advising, mentoring, coaching, participating meaningfully, consistently, and generously in evening and weekend group work.
—We commit to volunteering our time and energy and attention when either the school needs a helping hand or when the community confronts a crisis of any kind.
—We believe in each one of our students’ ability to learn, to find fulfillment, confidence, and independence in his/her professional development. We learn, grow, develop as educators through our work each day with our students.
—We commit to a sophisticated and careful study of and understanding of the ways adolescent minds, character, and values develop. We express an appreciation of the complexities of the adolescent years and a commitment to working with and understanding our students as they learn, grow, and navigate their paths.
—We study, honor, and embrace the opportunity and responsibility of teaching in a diverse community. We show openness and skill in matters of race, class, and identity, and by being empathetic as well as psychologically and pedagogically astute.
—We demonstrate professionalism, punctuality, and accountability in our grading practices and in our communication with students and parents.
—We hold ourselves accountable for student learning, student character, student leadership – in other words, we persist, innovate, provide multiple ways for students to express their growth, progress, and development.
—We work with students; we support students, with the ultimate goal of helping them to become independent and autonomous learners and citizens.