Choate faculty work tirelessly year in and year out toward the education and enrichment of our students. They are dedicated professionals who truly love engaging and teaching our students and being a part of their transition into young adulthood. Our approach to curriculum has been recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools for setting a tone for leadership and excellence in teaching and learning – one that encourages ongoing professional development that will move our entire faculty forward, yet is still consistent with our School’s vision and core values. Among our highest priorities is offering faculty opportunities for professional development whereby they can gain a greater knowledge of their area of expertise and keep abreast of significant developments in education, particularly those involving advances in applied neuroscience and pedagogy as it relates to teaching adolescents, and teaching and living within a multicultural context.
Professional Development Snapshot
The following are some of the professional development opportunities our faculty participated in during the 2016-2017 year:
- Reflective Educators - monthly faculty-led sessions on teaching and learning
- Dialogues on Difference Series – faculty-led conversations on a variety of equity and inclusion topics
- Teaching Workshops - faculty-led workshops on teaching in a seventy minute block
- Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS): Mindfulness Workshop and Teachers Helping Teachers
- National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS): People of Color Conference and Diversity Leadership Institute
- The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) Annual Conference
- Online Education Symposium for Independent Schools (OESIS)
- Diversity Directions
- Rocky Mountain Educators Seminar
- Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE) Diversity Workshop
- White Privilege Conference
- American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
- Gilder-Lehrman Institutes
- Travel to Cuba, Nepal, Mexico, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, China, Spain, England, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Norway
- Graduate study
- At institutions such as Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, Harvard University, Yale University, and University of Connecticut
- In areas such as sustainability, history, writing, literature, mathematics, religion, psychology, and creative arts.
Teaching at Choate
Teaching at a boarding school is a lifestyle decision. It extends beyond teaching in the classroom to coaching on the playing fields, directing in the theater, advising in our residential houses, and all the varied and informal ways in which adults and adolescents interact. You should consider teaching at Choate only if you are prepared to commit to the full, and immensely rewarding, residential life experience of a boarding school community. Choate is dedicated to recruiting, retaining, and supporting an exceptional faculty who reflect the diversity of the student body and are dynamic educators deeply committed to the entire student experience.
Faculty and Curriculum
Choate provides students with transformative and meaningful experiences that instill lifelong habits of learning, leadership, and service, shaped by innovative and passionate educators. Teaching faculty at Choate are innovative, collaborative, and committed to our students' intellectual, social, emotional, and character development. Our faculty understands that each of our students has the potential for growth and works to encourage students to develop their own ideas and voices.
Choate is known for a rigorous academic program and the breadth and depth of our curriculum. Our course offerings include a strong foundation in core courses and are complemented by a rich array of electives, including honors courses in a wide variety of subject areas. A particular strength of Choate's curriculum is our Signature Programs, which offer opportunities for immersive study and research. Whatever their interests, Choate students find challenge and support in the academic program and the faculty who teach and mentor them.
A leader in curricular innovation, Choate works continuously to provide the best possible educational environment and experience for both students and educators. One of the first independent schools in the country to adopt a 1:1 iPad program, Choate is committed to using technology thoughtfully to enhance teaching and learning both in and out of the classroom. Whether leveraging the flipped classroom model, teaching online courses, or participating in multi-school collaborative efforts to explore educational issues both locally and globally, faculty members at Choate actively engage in curricular initiatives to maximize student engagement and improve learning. The Lanphier Center, a state-of-the-art math and computer science building, opened in 2015. This building houses two i.d. Lab spaces for a variety of multidisciplinary courses that feature hands-on, experiential learning with a strong foundation in design thinking. Choate draws on a rich tradition of excellence while it seeks to prepare students to thrive in an ever-changing world.
Great teachers are great role models both in and out of the classroom. Choate expects its faculty to embrace the ethos of a growth mindset throughout their careers by actively developing their abilities as teachers and mentors at a residential school. Choate has a robust program for faculty development, during the school year and in the summer. Workshops, conferences, professional development programs, and other activities are a part of the school year program to help faculty grow professionally and personally. Summer study grants are available for faculty in support in their development of teaching content and methodology as well as how to work effectively with adolescents. Believing that good teachers are also life-long learners, the School awards over $150,000 annually for professional development, study and travel grants, and curriculum development.
Whether experienced or first-year teachers, new Choate faculty are assigned a mentor to help them through their first year. Mentors are experienced Choate faculty who are invaluable resources in adjusting to working at Choate, but who are also interested in engaging new faculty in ideas about teaching and learning through a collaborative effort. Each academic year begins with a new faculty orientation program in late August, followed by regular meetings throughout the year to discuss teaching and learning and to share experiences in an environment that promotes professional growth and self-reflection.