What makes BCD such a successful and strong independent school? An intentional commitment to the quality of teacher-student relationships and respect for teacher autonomy.

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Our comprehensive and distinct program and commitment to excellence attracts, engages, and retains deeply dedicated educators who are inspiring, passionate about teaching, and enthusiastically invested in the success of each student and one another.

Strong teacher–student relationships encourage and advance student learning, notes regarded educator Rick Wormeli, and they also energize teachers and teaching. “We are more willing to invest in students when we feel connected to them,” he notes, and the quality of each teacher’s relationships with students sustains them and their work during the educational journey and the year ahead.

Skillful, compassionate, and creative, BCD’s faculty motivate, shape, and impact every student each day, and in meaningful ways that extend well beyond the classroom.  They cultivate awareness and originality, instill confidence, and model integrity and leadership – making the BCD experience one that prepares young people to experience lifelong success, know themselves, and become critical thinkers, creative individuals, and exemplary community members.

prelsResearch affirms that teachers are more motivated and effective, that programs are richer and more dynamic, that students are better supported and more successful across a broad range of disciplines, and that teachers enjoy their work more when teachers are provided greater autonomy.  The following hallmarks of teacher autonomy are evidenced at BCD, where teachers have the:

  • Aptitude and skills to design their own lessons
  • Capacity to create their own curricula in multiple subject areas
  • Encouragement to pursue their own professional development opportunities, relevant to their goals and experiences
  • Support to draw from, incorporate, and experiment with a range of proven and new pedagogical styles
  • Freedom to arrange their classrooms, labs, and studios as they wish
  • Encouragement from others to alter curriculum and/or lesson plans to best suit the needs of their students – never obligated to teach to the tests
  • Ability to choose which textbooks to use (or to decide when not to use textbooks)
  • Professional judgment to determine the best assessments and what grade to give a student
  • Support to reach for and set higher standards in their programs, pedagogy, and expectations for their students
  • Opportunity to coordinate, collaborate and participate in decision-making about all-school curriculum development and the connections that evolve intentionally over time

Teachers at BCD love their students.  They truly believe in each child and plan thoughtfully and with great intention so that each may realize their promise as academic learners, athletes, artists, citizens, and more.

To learn more about the dynamic team (those pictured above and many others) working at BCD this year, please consider joining me for a tour of the school (and the construction of the Kevin Hirt Library and Learning Commons and the Kim and James Taylor Music and Performance Room) from 8:15 – 9:30 AM next Friday, September 30. We’ll begin in the library in Albright Hall.

By |2016-11-03T15:14:07+00:00September 23rd, 2016|

About the Author:

Prior to joining BCD in 2008, Paul was Head of Lower School at Moses Brown School in Providence, RI, an independent coeducational day school, where he had been since 1999. He spent six years as Head of School of The School in Rose Valley in Rose Valley, PA, and before that in an elementary education teaching position at Germantown Friends School, an independent day school in Philadelphia, PA, and at a public school in Vermont. Paul, who lives in Stockbridge with his wife, Margaret, and their two children, is an avid music fan, plays guitar, and enjoys hiking, biking, and the many cultural offerings offered in the Berkshires.