BRAINTREE, MA (February 8, 2019): Educators from Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston gathered this week at the Pastoral Center for two sessions on fostering a Responsive Classroom. The attendees included lead teachers, guidance counselors, principals, and assistant principals from PreK-Grade 6. Mary Goslin, the director of government programs and events at the Catholic Schools Office, arranged the professional development.
Goslin said, “Responsive Classroom aligns with the mission of Catholic schools by creating a culture where everyone is valued and feels like they are connected. Also important are the social emotional skills developed through uniform practices, common language and strong student support. We are thrilled to see schools embracing this program.”
The four-day workshop, which is provided at no cost to the educators, is funded by the Catholic Schools Office and taught by the Center for Responsive Schools. According to the Center for Responsive Schools, Responsive Classroom is “an evidence-based approach to teaching that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, effective management, and developmental awareness.” Additionally, “Independent research has found that the Responsive Classroom approach is associated with higher academic achievement, improved teacher-student interactions, and higher quality instruction.”
Through instruction, demonstration, small group exercises and more, attendees are learning to incorporate interactive structures and supports that are needed to promote respect, build student relationships, and encourage academic growth. Participants are learning how to respond to behaviors with clear, consistent and logical consequences, to establish a safe learning environment.
Dan Price, associate principal of elementary education at Lowell Catholic in Lowell, attended the session. He said, “The Responsive Classroom training provided us with proven classroom strategies that support students’ emotional, social, and academic development. Both of my teachers in attendance implemented new strategies the following school day, and their students responded joyfully and thoughtfully to these new ways to learn about themselves, others, and academics. I would recommend this training to all teachers and school leaders.”
Principal Maria Giggie of Saint Anthony School in Everett also attended the workshop. She said, “My most important takeaway, thus far, has been how Responsive Classroom connects students’ social/emotional competencies to academic learning. The strategies that have been presented on how to create a positive learning environment and establish effective classroom management skills are essential elements in helping students become active learners.”
Part two of the workshop — days three and four — will take place in March. The workshop, which was fully attended and had a waitlist, is one of many offered by the Catholic Schools Office to further the professional development of Catholic school faculty and staff. If you are interested in learning more about one of the approximately 75 professional development events the CSO is hosting during the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org.