George School Teachers Invited Back to Class

English Teacher Spencer Fetrow opened three classes, one of which focused on teaching dramatic structure in stories. (Photo by Hadley Cohen ’19)

Teachers opened their classrooms to their peers earlier this month to encourage each other and share different instruction techniques.

The classroom visits were organized by the Facilitation of Communication and Skills (FOCUS) faculty committee. FOCUS was organized in the fall of 2012 to facilitate cross-departmental communication and foster academic skills. The group takes a collegial approach to increased educational opportunities, according to one of the founders of the program, English teacher Kim McGlynn. She said this is an opportunity for teachers to visit one another and share lessons and teaching methods.

Three different classes were open for teachers in the areas of math, Spanish, and English.

English Teacher Spencer Fetrow opened three classes, one of which focused on teaching dramatic structure in stories. He said he likes the idea of teachers learning from each other and seeing how everybody does it differently.

“It also makes me more sympathetic to students. I get to see what they are experiencing that I do not,” he said. “I appreciate the ability to empathize with students and stepping back into the classroom from a different angle.”

Spanish teacher Ileabeth Ayala opened her Spanish classes to colleagues so they could observe her style of language immersion. “I really appreciate teacher-to-teacher learning. I think it is always good when people can collaborate.”

Kim said the FOCUS team has one goal above all—a commitment to the art and practice of teaching. “By coordinating our efforts and striving for unity in diversity among colleagues, this committee seeks to fully embrace the core George School value of ‘transformative teaching and learning’ for faculty as well as for students.”