Our Stories

Professional Development in Responsive Classroom Training

January 7, 2022 by Ronit Greenstein (Faculty and Staff)

On Milton’s Professional Development day, educators completed day one of the four-day Responsive Classroom training. This training program helps teachers build student-centered learning spaces in which social-emotional growth is fostered along with academic growth. Our educators met in three groups, differentiated by the ages and stages of development of their students: Pre-K-2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-8. Middle school teachers focused on applying Responsive Classroom techniques to foster a joyful, safe, inclusive learning community that cultivates students’ investment and accountability in their academic learning. Core to this approach is understanding the range of development that students traverse in their adolescent years and to develop routines in lessons and advisory sessions that respond to the diverse needs and interests of our students. Middle School educators examined research on adolescent development and how incorporating routines, choice, and opportunities for physical movement throughout the day can nurture students’ learning and support our whole middle school community. The Early Childhood and Elementary School training provided teachers with tools and training for creating warm, welcoming, classroom environments and for effective classroom management. Educators in Grades Pre-K to 5 focused on Interactive Modeling, a technique for teaching children a skill, strategy, or procedure. After the children watch the teacher model a skill or routine, the class debriefs and shares observations together, and then the teacher asks a few students to model the behavior. The process repeats as classmates once again share their observations. Interactive Modeling gives students an active role, which increases student engagement, enhances their observation and communication skills, and helps them better remember what they learned. Milton educators will continue with this training in the spring, supporting our goal of having our staff fully trained in Responsive Classroom by fall 2022.