Defining the WSG Way of Teaching and Learning
December is full of Christmas cheer at WSG! WSG’s hallways are transformed with decorations, there is planning for our Christmas program, and you can hear Christmas carols in our hallway during classroom transitions. Christmas is also a beautiful reminder of our awesome responsibility to provide excellent and joyful learning opportunities for our girls. You may think to yourself, “Ms. Wetzel, what on Earth does Christmas have to do with WSG’s pedagogy?” I am here to tell you that Christmas has everything to do with our school’s pedagogy! Christmas is a celebration of the incarnation, when God became human. The incarnation shows us that God is present in our lives and in the world! At WSG, we embrace an incarnational view of the world. We believe that God’s love is present everywhere and in everyone! The incarnation informs how we approach school culture, discipline and academic learning. Our students are taught to acknowledge God’s presence in all people. Our teachers embrace an incarnational worldview when they use restorative practices in the classroom or develop lesson plans that cater to the unique needs of our students. Because Christ’s love is at work in everyone and everywhere, all learning at WSG from math to reading to science to religion helps to bring forth the fullness of Christ’s light in our students and our school. Christmas has everything to do with our pedagogy and is a perfect time to share with you how WSG came to formalize it.
In 2018, we began a collaborative process to define the WSG way of teaching and learning through the development of a pedagogy statement. It was important to define our pedagogy because we knew there was something special about how WSG engages students in the learning process. We wanted the statement to both capture the essence of our teaching practices and be aspirational. Remember all learning is a reflection of Christ’s presence in our school so it was important for us to celebrate our strengths and identify areas for continued growth.
We identified 9 essential traits of our teaching methods: faith-based, individualized, culturally responsive, experiential, inquiry based, flexible grouping, differentiated assessments, positive behavior systems and data-driven decision making. You can read the complete pedagogy statement as well as our recognize statements here:
,Pedagogy Traits and Recognize Statements
Here is the timeline of our project:
We are incredibly proud of the work our staff engaged in throughout this adaptive process. At each step, we incorporated feedback from all of our staff and made adjustments until we arrived at a statement that truly captures what we believe about teaching and learning at WSG.