Teacher Renewal Summer Institute

While schools across the city and state are winding down, the Academy for the Love of Learning is gearing up for its 7th annual Teacher Renewal Summer Institute!

Nearly 40 teachers have signed up for our signature three-day workshop this year, filling it to capacity. Most of these educators have been through Academy programming before, but we’re also honored that several participants will be coming through our doors for the first time.

The Academy’s Teacher Renewal work was conceived and designed in the early 1990’s by Academy founder and president Aaron Stern. It is based on his years of research and work in education, including serving as Dean of the Lincoln Center Teacher Summer Institute in Nashville. Teachers, Aaron discovered, are the “hidden curriculum” of the classroom. To inspire their students as learners, teachers must find ways to remain alive as learners themselves—no easy task in a system that can pull them every which way.

This year’s Institute, which will be designed and facilitated by Aaron with Academy facilitators Lisa Faithorn, Seth Biderman and Barbara Deswood, offers a radical departure from conventional “sit-and-get” professional development. The first day, teachers are given ample time and space—rare commodities in any profession—to reflect on the challenges, learnings and joys of the previous year. Rather than snow them with Powerpoints on day two, we invite them into an exploration of themselves as learners. What do they already know? What are they curious about? What can help them stay alive as learners even as they hold the learning of so many children? Outside theories and ideas are gradually introduced here. Day three looks toward application in the summer and fall: What new capacities, strengths and ideas can they bring to their classrooms next year?

To ensure that all teachers are financially able to access the program, the Academy fundraises to cover program costs, and since Santa Fe Public schools has approved this program as professional development, teachers from the local district even receive a stipend from SFPS for their participation.

If you’d like to learn more about the Teacher Renewal Summer Institute, or any of our work with teaching in and out of schools, please contact Seth Biderman, Manager of the Institute for Teaching.