Great Teaching Strand

What makes great teaching, and what does it look like in the classroom? Come find out! All sessions that form part of the strand are linked to the research evidence on the things that teachers know and do that have the biggest impact on learning. This stand is curated in partnership with Evidence Based Education.

Dimension 1, Transforming Knowledge into Impact: Growing Teacher Content Efficacy for Student Success

In the dynamic world of education, teacher understanding of the content is often overshadowed by a focus on pedagogical practices, though it is pivotal for transforming knowledge into impact for students. In this session we will explore the concept of teacher content efficacy through four lenses: the necessity for deep and fluent knowledge and flexible understanding, predicting student strategies and misconceptions, curricular sequencing, and planning for instructional practice. We will share the latest research, principles of practice, macro and micro level strategies for empowering teachers to master their content as a springboard for leveraging teacher content efficacy for effective curriculum planning and instruction to foster success for all learners.

Andrew Seidman

English and Psychology Teacher, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Maryland

Colleen Bernard

Ed.D Curriculum Specialist, Secondary Social Studies, Frederick County Public Schools

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

Dimension 2, Creating a Supportive Environment

In this session, David and Stuart will talk about how Great Teachers create a supportive environment for learning based on mutual respect, trust, warmth, empathy and care. They will talk about the roles played by learner motivation and high expectations, and offer insights and ideas for how teachers can promote and support these in their own classrooms.

David Paladin-Fernandez

6th/7th Grade Science Teacher, Jefferson-Houston K-8 School

Stuart Kime

Director of Education, Evidence Based Education

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

Dimension 4, Activating Hard Thinking - ‘Assessment to Maximise Student Learning’

As classroom teachers, we know that assessment is a critical component of great teaching, so how do we create a culture of assessment in every classroom that prioritizes and maximizes student learning? We will share our school’s assessment journey from our perspective as lower school teachers and content coordinators. How can we use best practices to create assessment systems within our school that give us better insight into student learning and achievement? And, how can we use high quality questioning and assessment practices in our individual classroom settings in practical and authentic ways?

Anne Pope

Kindergarten Teacher, Lower School Assessment Coordinator, Summit School, North Carolina

Jess Alfaro

Third Grade Teacher, Lower School Math Content Coordinator, Summit School, North Carolina

Dominique Patrick

Lower School Math Specialist, Lower School Math Content Coordinator, Summit School, North Carolina

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

“You Can Find Research that Says Anything”: Questing for Balance

When we share research-informed teaching advice with colleagues, some respond: “you can find research that shows anything.” The obvious implication: “no matter the research; your advice is wrong.”
How can we help colleagues past this (untrue) objection so they can embrace good teaching advice? This talk offers several strategies.
Specifically, we can show colleagues that 1) research has been done carefully and inventively, 2) MANY studies draw the same conclusion, and 3) researchers have studied students like ours.
These strategies (and others) create a collaborative dialogue, encourage openness, and help skeptical colleagues think optimistically about new classroom possibilities.

Andrew Watson

President, Translate the Brain

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.

Dimension 3, Maximising Opportunity to Learn: Manage the classroom or manage the children?

This session will focus on a proactive approach to managing the early childhood classroom. We will share ways to minimize transitions and access to resources, discuss establishing rules and expectations, and explore ways to prevent, anticipate and respond appropriately to what is happening in the classroom. This is a hands-on, interactive session.

Emily Hood

Primary Literacy Specialist, Frederick County Public Schools

Mary Geasey

Special Education Teacher, Frederick County Public Schools

Session location and time will be published via the Festival App in late September.