Few schools are as committed to the craft of teaching as Bay. Credentials, qualifications, and even experience are ultimately a small part of what makes for effective pedagogy, and Bay provides many avenues to help our faculty remain engaged with their own learning.
Equally, administrators and non-teaching staff are provided with opportunities to build their knowledge as well as step outside of their “lane” and into all aspects of the life of the school.
A Bay education is student-centered and multidisciplinary. As you’ll hear many of our faculty members say, they serve as guides, ushering students through a collaborative process of building problem-solving skills and knowledge. Though we seek faculty members with this type of experience, we know that putting it into practice requires continual effort, and we dedicate resources to ensure our teachers’ success within this unique structure.
Following the introduction of a new member of the staffulty (Bay’s term for “staff and faculty” members), the school provides insight into our strengths as a community and the importance we place on learning from each other. In the first week, new staffulty members are provided with ways to get acclimated. Prior to the start of school, they are brought into Bay’s values, community, and strategic priorities through the multi-day New Staffulty Institute. This is followed by the all-staffulty Institute, when we spend time focusing on strategic initiatives, such as equity and assessment. And we continually revisit these priorities, knowing that the work is never done. All new hires are also assigned a mentor, someone who has been at Bay for a few years who can answer questions, help you get to know the place, and support you in your first year.
Every faculty member joins a course team. Core courses in all disciplines are taught by a team of teachers. We intentionally schedule common preparation time each week so that teachers can meet to refine their curriculum and share the teaching and learning happening in their classrooms. Course teams serve as a steady source of inspiration and feedback.
Faculty help drive pedagogical priorities. Bay teachers enjoy agency and freedom in the design of their courses. As they identify areas for growth in their teaching, they can seek professional development opportunities that will be supported by the school. They also are always welcome to bring ideas to our leadership teams for further development and sharing with all staffulty.
Feeling stuck? Need an outside opinion? Another unique aspect of teaching at Bay is instructional coaching. Experienced faculty members make themselves available to help colleagues advance their practice. You can ask to be evaluated or just work with someone as a sounding board for new ideas. This opt-in process is confidential.
We offer opportunities every year for our staffulty members to attend workshops that will grow their knowledge or help the school achieve its larger aims. Among our priorities is educating ourselves on how to further equity and belonging; for example, all white-identified staffulty are encouraged to attend the White Privilege Conference and to bring their learning back to share with colleagues. We also send a group of staffulty and students to the People of Color Conference every year.
The collegiality of Bay staffulty shows itself in an enthusiastic willingness to share what we learn through in-house workshops and to help lead on strategic priorities.