Bosque Faculty Programs
The Sofia Center designs and leads the professional development program on its home ground at Bosque School. All programs serve to build and nurture a professional learning community that values inquiry, shared expertise, a growth mindset, a commitment to current best practices, authentic valuing of diverse voices, and a belief in the transformative possibility of teaching. We strive to offer professional learning opportunities that strike a meaningful balance of intellectual inquiry, skill and content development, inspiration, and heart.
Faculty and Staff August Launch: Summer Reading and Orientation
The Sofia Center launches the school year each August with an inspirational evening focused on the shared summer reading. We gather for delicious food, vibrant conversation, and reconnection after the summer. Summer reading selections have included, among others, a curated selection of essays on diversity and equity, Ron Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence, Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, Carol Dweck’s Mindset, Benaji and Greenwald’s Blindspot, and Emily Bazelon’s Sticks and Stones.
The summer reading event kicks off a four-day orientation that has the structure and feel of a small conference. In addition to time to work in divisions, departments, and teams, faculty and staff members participate in a variety of workshops, discussion groups, and design sessions focused on teaching and learning. The week is typically framed by a particular structure or topic, such as design thinking for educators or diversity and equity in the classroom.
Professional Development Days
Throughout the school year, the Sofia Center leads three professional development days with Bosque faculty and staff. Designed to support our collective learning goals, these days take several forms and often include multiple workshops and seminars, keynote speakers, and time for shared reading, inquiry, and discussion. Since opening its doors in 2013, the Sofia Center has invited educators from the larger community and from within the school to offer over 40 workshops and seminars for Bosque faculty and staff.
Workshops and Seminars Led by Guest Educators at Bosque Professional Development Events
|Rivers Run Through Us||Valerie Martinez|
|The Classroom as a Restorative Community||Valerie Martinez|
|From the Acequia to the Front Porch||Levi Romero|
|Doing Diversity Effectively||Susana Rinderle|
|Project ECHO||Dr. Karla Thornton|
|Breaking the Conventions of Memoir||Greg Martin|
|Memoir as a Reckoning||Greg Martin|
|Teaching the Muse||Hakim Bellamy|
|The Nurtured Heart Approach||Danielle Cossett|
|Creativity is (not) just connecting things (with apologies to Steve Jobs)||Dr. Rex Jung|
|New Mexico Kids Are Counting on Us||Dr. Veronica Garcia|
|An Introduction to Illustrative Mathematics and the Spectrum of Modeling Tasks||Dr. Kristin Umland|
|Increasing the Effectiveness of Your Online Research Experience||Eric Ziecker|
|The Art of Giving and Receiving: A Workshop on Story||Vivian Nesbit|
|St. John’s College Seminar on Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”||Dr. David Carl|
|Mindfulness Meditation for True Stress Reduction||Michelle DuVal|
|Get Wise about Saving for Retirement: How to Use Bosque’s Online Retirement Planner||Dr. Dan Otter|
|Building Better Writers with Google Drive||Eamonn O’Brien|
|What Are Complex Systems, and How Do They Relate to Science?||Dr. Stephanie Forrest|
|Plot and Story Architecture: A Master Class||Greg Martin|
|The Library of Babel: A St. John’s Seminar||Dr. David Carl|
|Project-based Learning in the Digital Age||Eamonn O’Brien|
|Turning Oneself into a Character||Greg Martin|
|Critical Race Theory in the Classroom||Shields Sundberg|
|The Delicate Art of Cross-Cultural Communication: Navigating Race and Difference in the Classroom||Dr. Finnie Coleman|
|Creating Safe and Welcoming Environments for LGBTQ+ Youth||Jenn Jevertson|
|Revolution Radio: Protest Music from South Africa to the South Bronx||Shields Sundberg|
|Drama As a Healing Art: Strategies That Work in All Disciplines||Karen Jones Meadows|
|Beyond Blue and Pink: Transgender 101||Jess Clark|
Workshops and Seminars Led by Bosque Faculty and Staff at Bosque Professional Development Events
|Student Involvement with Mimio (Collaboration and Instant Feedback) and Webcasts (Mini Excursions into Flipping the Classroom)||TJ Middleton|
|Integrating Social Justice and Cultural Competence Into Your Curriculum||Tamisha Williams|
|Assistive Technology Tools at Bosque School||Clint Montgomery|
|The Teacher’s Dilemma: Helping Students Use Words with Integrity||Geetha Holdsworth|
|People of Color Conference 2012: Energizing Our Future–Sharing out and Looking Inward||Juaquin Moya and Dr. Kelena Reid|
|Learning and The Teenage Brain||Carly Andrews and Charlie Stanley|
|Talking about Ferguson with Students: Lessons from the People of Color Conference||Tamisha Williams, Dr. Kelena Reid, and Dr. Nina Leacock|
|What is Standards-based Assessment?: The Basics||Tara O’Brien|
|Nia: Health through Movement||Kate Davis|
|Beyond Being "Welcoming": Creating an Environment in Which People Can Show Up As Their Full Selves||Tamisha Williams|
|Legos, Little Bits, and Learning: Digital Design & Making||Curt Bland and Matt Fike|
|Differentiation: The What, Why, and How||Kari Daniels|
|Google Classroom||Cathy Bailey|
|How to Create and Use Digital Portfolios||René Palomares|
We believe that well-designed opportunities to reflect on our collective work yield collegial connection, creative problem-solving, and maps for future action. The Sofia Center works with departments throughout the school to design and facilitate their full-day, off-site retreats. These include annual summer retreats for the Bosque School leadership team, annual winter retreats for the combined Bosque/UNM staff of the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program, and working with various academic department leaders to design retreats for their teams.
tune-up, noun. [toon-uhp]
1 : a general adjustment to insure operation at peak efficiency
2 : a preliminary trial : a warm-up or preparatory activity
Offering food for thought and a great way to launch the day, early-morning Tune-Ups are open to all Bosque faculty and staff. Topics ranged from the inspirational to the practical, and the Tune-Ups offer a place to spotlight faculty and staff expertise, report back from conferences, and share best practices. Fill up your coffee cup, grab a bagel, and connect with colleagues! 7:15-7:50 in the Sofia Center. Dates announced by semester.
Professional Learning Groups
Professional Learning Groups provide a collective learning experience for Bosque faculty and contribute significantly to building a strong professional learning community. Each year Bosque faculty members explore and study a range of teaching and learning topics through a series of monthly meetings. Professional Learning Group topics evolve through conversation with faculty members and in alignment with institutional learning goals. They include a range of formats, from book study to project design to peer observation.
Professional Learning Group examples include:
Innovation in Action
The Power of Story: Using Podcasts, Interviews, and the Written Word to Inform Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Work
Making Learning Visible: The Power of Group Learning and Documentation in Classrooms and Communitie
Diversity + Equity Essential Texts
The Think Tank invites Bosque faculty and staff to three invigorating days of collective inquiry and innovative thinking. Daily life in schools doesn’t leave sufficient time to delve deeply into our craft and investigate new and compelling ideas. Instead of grabbing small blocks of time here and there, the Think Tank offers the time, setting, and resources to investigate complex topics and ideas with the attention and energy they merit.
Over the course of three days, participants have time for reading, discussion, group work, and individual reflection. The Think Tank is designed to offer sufficient structure without restricting on-the-spot innovation. The Sofia Center provide a wide range of resources for each group, although in general the investigation and learning of the groups is self-directed. In other words, the Think Tank doesn’t follow a typical workshop structure; instead, the Think Tank provides the time for collaborative study, exploration, and learning. On day three, all groups to share the results of their investigations and learning, as well as their plans for implementation. The Think Tank takes place off campus in a beautiful setting, complete with great food, the chance to be outdoors, and one evening dinner that includes spouses and significant others.
The Think Tank is offered every two to three summers. Past Think Tank Projects include:
– Sense of Place
– Diversity and Equity
– Place + Global Citizenship
– Student Wellness Curriculum Design
– Developing Best Assessment Practice
To be a good teacher, you have to be a good learner. The Sofia Center’s excellent programming keeps me on my toes in both roles. I attend not only Sofia programming aimed exclusively for Bosque teachers — the week in which we reconvene as a faculty in the Fall, and the quarterly professional development days — but also the public programming — the Reflect : Innovate : Act series, the conferences, and special events. The Sofia approach is thoughtful, grounded, renewing. It directs me back to being my best self in the classroom. I do better work because of it.
– Nina Leacock, PhD, Bosque English Teacher & Upper School Dean of Academics