As we approach the task of educating students, it is with a keen awareness that “one-size-fits-all” does not work in real life. Students come to school with a wide variety of experiences, background knowledge, learning styles, and attitudes toward learning. The challenge facing the teaching professional is to learn as much as possible about each student and seek out strategies that will enable each one to learn to the best of his or her potential. This is no easy task. It is our belief at Desert Christian Schools that learning does not stop upon graduation, but continues throughout all of life. An important part of any instructional program must be focused on teacher professional growth.
As I write this letter our elementary staff just engaged in a professional growth day focused on the research and writings of Robert Marzano called “What Works in Schools.” Marzano outlines the steps schools can take to be highly effective in enhancing student achievement. The middle school staff wrapped up an in depth study of brain research and what that research tells us about how students learn. The high school staff participated in a two-day teacher’s convention provided by the Association of Christian Schools International. A wide variety of workshops were presented from the practical to the philosophical. In addition, our staff is highly engaged each year in assessing one of the aspects of our expected school-wide learning results (ESLRs) and strategizing for improved accomplishment of our expectations.
In the process of the integration of faith and learning, supported by the learning pillars of age-appropriate academics and the involved learner, we are committed to personal and professional growth that ultimately will result in the engagement of all students in the learning process and enhanced student learning at all levels.