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Teachers – and parents – who prioritize lifelong learning become models for students in how they approach education. Is education about achieving high test scores or earning a certain degree? Or is it a process of growth, discovery and understanding that extends far beyond your last days of schooling or university?

If teachers equip students with the tools to learn how to learn, they prepare them for an interconnected world, show them how to problem solve and cultivate curiosity inside and outside of the classroom. They help themselves as well, leading to less career burnout and increasing their understanding of the subjects they teach and how to better convey that to students.

To accomplish all this, schools first have to teach the teachers.

It starts with establishing a workplace that values continuous improvement. At Corbett Prep, teachers regularly meet in divisions and as an entire school to discuss best practices, review current educational research and look for ways to build upon past successes. Teachers study, implement, refine and then start the cycle over again. Corbett’s dedication to the professional development of its teachers is paramount because research shows consistently that teacher quality is the most important factor influencing student achievement. 

The school has created a coaching culture that celebrates successes while accepting that there always is room for improvement. Faculty and staff learn to listen to feedback without defensiveness and respond thoughtfully, a skill that when passed on to their classes helps students become open to constructive criticism and develop a growth mindset.

Read more about the growth mindset and professional development at Corbett Prep in the August 2022 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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