Beech Hill School teachers and staff have launched the school year as “Agents of Agency.” Each year, Superintendent/Principal Nichole Pothier designs a theme that unifies the year-long work and efforts of their school community. Members infuse the theme into multiple aspects of school life, including morning meetings, team challenges, special activities, and more.
This year, the Beech Hill School team spent their first few professional development days revisiting their school’s mission and how best to organize and leverage their existing systems into a Multi-layered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework. PBIS, RtI, special services, thinking classrooms, and culture and climate were some of the breakout session topics.
Agency is the capacity of individuals to have the power and resources to fulfill their potential. Teachers with agency act purposefully and constructively to direct their professional growth and contribute to the growth of their colleagues, and on those first few days back, teachers planned and facilitated some of the professional development.
Beech Hill School teachers and staff are focused on ensuring that the academic, behavioral and social-emotional needs of each student are met in the most inclusive and equitable learning environment. Student agency relates to the student having an active role in their learning through voice, and often choice, in the process. Nichole Pothier explains how critical agency is since it enables people to play a part in their self-development, adaptation, and self-renewal with changing times.
Yearly school-wide themes not only create partnership at Beech Hill School, they also add excitement and fun to their days. Teachers, staff, and students are already excited about being “Agents of Agency,” because there are lots of ways to incorporate it into learning, daily happenings, and student events. Cues, evidence, I Spy, mystery genre, riddles, super sleuthing, scavenger hunts, geocaching, team missions, Breakout Edu challenges, problem solving, critical thinking—the possibilities are endless!