BSM Blog: A First Year Filled with Goodness
This is my first year at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, and what a year it has been. Being a new teacher in any setting can be a bit challenging, but it didn’t take long to understand why the reviews of BSM are so positive.
The faculty here are outstanding people. They’re professionals as well, but the faculty and staff of BSM are good people. They care about their students, they care about one another, and I’ve witnessed this in interactions in my department, in the hallways, in full staff meetings and other settings. I’ve seen the goodness of the professionals of BSM, and I’ve seen the effect that their goodness has had on their students, whether that shows up in their coursework, interpersonal interactions, or in moments when students think no one is watching. The goodness of the faculty and staff rubs off, and it’s noticeable in the students of BSM.
Another facet of the life here at BSM that I have been most appreciative of is the professional development program at BSM. Though teachers are encouraged to find professional development opportunities on their own to meet their re-licensure hours, BSM takes another step in helping their teachers develop. Most Fridays, all BSM teachers are required to meet in professional learning communities during one of their preparation periods. During this prep period, teachers have an opportunity to work towards completing their licensure hours by connecting with one another. One of the most important skills developed in this space is learning how to find complexity in conflict and sharing that search with students.
To have the skills to lead a dialogue about complexity rather than conflict around issues like immigration, the death penalty, and other issues that can cause pain and misunderstanding, is essential to being a teacher today. The BSM administration makes a strong effort to help young faculty and staff like myself, who are new, lead these conversations. Because of this, we can help our students step out of conflict when it comes to the hard issues, and step into complexity and dialogues that create understanding instead.
Overall, I have most appreciated my time at BSM, being surrounded by good teachers who bring out the good in their students as well as the efforts BSM makes to help its teachers develop as professionals in a complex and messy world. As my time at BSM continues next year, I again look forward to learning beside my students and fellow faculty and staff at this awesome institution that is Benilde-St. Margaret’s!