In preparation for the 2016-2017 school year, teachers at GEMS World Academy Chicago spent two weeks in the role of learners.
The entire faculty participated in a series of professional-development activities designed to ready them for the challenges of the new school year. The sessions included curriculum planning, during which teachers mapped out the units of inquiry they’ll be exploring with their students, along with big-picture discussions of issues like gender/sexuality in school and the ongoing use of social media.
This year’s professional development sessions performed the added role of bringing together veteran faculty members with the school's new teachers and its new head of school, Kim Wargo.
“The training provided time for faculty to build relationships based on shared values and understanding of our purpose,” Wargo said. “I think the time spent together was critical to building a strong faculty community and culture.”
GEMS just began its third school year. In its first two years of operations, the school established a reputation in Chicago for its rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum — GEMS is the only private school in Illinois accredited as an IB World School for its Primary Years Program — global focus and innovative use of technology.