With students enjoying a three-day weekend, Gilbert’s teachers were in their buildings and hard at work during Monday’s Staff Development Day.

Collaboration. Reflection. Brainstorming. Creativity. More than 100 teachers had the day to do all of the above and so much more in an effort to enhance the educational opportunities for our students.

“Professional development days are important for us to remember what our ‘why’ is, and our why is our students,” Carrie Clark, Gilbert’s Director of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, said. “With anything in life, reflection is very important, and so we have to ask: Are we on the right path? Is this where we want our students to be? Teachers have to have time to sit and think about the important work they do to move forward.”

Educators worked side-by-side to discuss the essential standards in their classrooms throughout the morning session. In each class, running the gamut from general science to physics, each student needs to learn and develop a specific set of skills that enables him or her to not only thrive, but advance. Deciphering priorities that allows students to reach those goals is a key part of essential standards.

Teachers worked in grade level or department groups and occasionally across buildings throughout the morning.

In the afternoon, teachers worked more independently to build specific goals for themselves and their classes.

Staff development days are essential to the growth of our district, both for our staff members and students who reap the benefits from the work. It’s what helps makes Gilbert, well, Gilbert. Thank you teachers for doing the work and being dedicated to always putting your students first. It does not go unnoticed.