On Friday, October 27, more than 75 teachers from across North Texas gathered on campus for the 2017 St. Mark’s Teacher Institute. Participants spent the day attending workshops hosted by St. Mark’s English and humanities teachers, sharing their instructional techniques and proven methods with courses such as “Teaching Character Through Leadership,” “21st Century Information-Seeking Skills,” and “Through Eyes That See: Gatsby Reconsidered.” Teachers also witnessed these practices in action, observing St. Mark’s faculty in the classroom.
“The wonderful classes that I sat in reenergized and inspired me to change up some lessons I’m developing for the next few weeks,” said Mandy Martin, an English teacher from Arlington High School. “The campus was lovely, and every young man was beyond courteous.”
One of the day’s highlights was keynote speaker Jim Burke, a nationally-recognized leader in English and language arts education. He is the bestselling author of numerous books, including the classroom staple The English Teacher’s Companion. He currently teachers Senior English at Burlingame High School, where he has worked since 1992.
Jim Burke spent the day on campus, attending classes with the other Institute participants and leading a workshop covering The Daily Record, an online lesson plan tool he created. In the afternoon, he delivered his keynote lesson, Improving Academic Reading and Writing by Design.
“Jim Burke was entertaining, engaging, and informative. As a young teacher, it’s inspiring to see such a prolific educator talk about ways to improve instruction based on his experiences and experiments in his own classroom,” said Audrey Lane, St. Mark’s Teaching Fellow. “His passion for education, along with the inspiring workshops conducted by the St. Mark's faculty members, revitalized many of my plans for the rest of the trimester.”
The St. Mark’s Teacher Institute was founded in 1991 with a grant from The O’Donnell Foundation, and has also been generously supported by the Hudson Foundation, to provide increased professional development opportunities for teachers throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. The program is directed by two members of the St. Mark’s faculty – Lynne Weber Schwartz, Trustee Master Teacher, and Rebecca Jenkins, humanities teacher.