Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Georgia Professional Development Spotlight: GISA Presentations
Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Rome, GA
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Professional Development Spotlight: GISA Presentations

Rebekah Kinney | October 10, 2019 | 628 views

The Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) annual conference will take place on Monday, Nov. 4 at the Tallulah Falls school in Tallulah Falls, Ga. and five members of the Darlington faculty will be presenting at the conference. Discover what they are sharing with the other faculty members in independent schools in North Georgia below:

Chris Eberhart (Math Teacher,Grades 6-8; Athletic Coordinator, Pre-K to 8; Director of Student Activities)

Gamification in the Classroom: Engaging Every Student

Session Description: Do you like playing games with your students? Do you like reinforcing good behavior, procedures, and work ethic? Do you think classroom reward systems help with behavior modification? If so, Gamification could be for you. The purpose of Gamification is to add game design elements like reward systems, rankings, random events, storytelling, player-driven decision making, teamwork, problem-solving, or all whole host of other gaming ideas to motivate students to continue to improve and engage with their whole class. Teachers will leave the presentation with multiple ways to turn their learning environment into a full-fledged gaming experience that will engage all of their students to give their very best all year long.

Ashley Evans (Spanish Teacher, Grades 2-5)

Teaching Language Through Comprehensible Input

Session Description: Are you interested in teaching through Comprehensible Input (CI) but aren't sure how or where to begin? This presentation will go over CI and TPRS and how to implement these strategies in the elementary and middle school language classrooms. I will show examples of what it looks like (including circling and movie talks), walk teachers through a lesson and share a ton of resources!

Rebekah Kinney (Professional Development Coordinator): 

Digital Individual Student Portfolios

Session Description: The purpose of the Individual Student Portfolio (ISP) at Darlington School is to: 

  • Develop a school culture that celebrates personal growth not only based on grades but also on characteristics found in the Portrait of a Darlington School Graduate. 
  • Follow the progress of students as they advance through Darlington 
  • Help students emphasize and appreciate their individual achievement rather than always comparing themselves with their peer group. 
  • Assist students with setting personal goals that can be tracked throughout the year to show growth in and out of the classroom. 
  • Help students find and measure success in a group or team, on projects in class, and in athletics and fine arts. 
  • Focus on reflection. 

Participants will learn the process used to create the Individual Student Portfolio at Darlington School and view submission examples. Tips will be provided regarding how to develop student portfolios faculty and students will want to use.

Professional Learning Communities that Work

Session Description: A professional learning community, or PLC, is a group of educators that meets regularly, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. Darlington School has developed a PLC plan to allow our faculty members to focus on teaching excellence. These communities work collaboratively to complete visits to the classroom (DarVisits) while focusing on specific instructional strategies. Participants will learn how to form productive PLC's that will make an impact at any school.

Katie Merritt (Media Arts Teacher, Upper School; Residential Duty Staff) 

Creating an In-House Portrait Studio

Session Description: Create and implement an in-house portrait studio within a photography or yearbook class. Teach your students how to be the photographers and save your school money by not using a professional photography company. Build your program by selling digital and printed images to families and teams.


Jennifer Sikes (AP English Literature; English 1)

Design Thinking and the Writing Process

Session Description: Design Thinking and the Writing Process will teach participants how to use the design thinking process to teach writers to become more aware of audience and more willing to revise. This process asks students to think of themselves as designers and their writing as a prototype that must be revised. Participants will have time to look more closely at one of their own writing assignments to determine how best to include the design thinking process in the assignment.