Cultivating Excellence: The Center's Role in Professional Development
The Teaching Center at BGA serves as the nucleus for on-campus professional development among the faculty, embodying a commitment to excellence in education. Through a comprehensive set of responsibilities and initiatives, the center creates a dynamic environment that nurtures a culture of inquiry-based instruction to improve student learning outcomes.
At the heart of the Teaching Center's initiatives is the establishment of a teaching lab in Spring 2024, which will provide a space for faculty to engage in critical reflection on their lessons. This innovative approach will allow educators to think collaboratively about their teaching practices, emphasizing strengths and identifying areas for growth. The center will also facilitate observations, detached from the evaluation process, focusing on accentuating strengths and providing constructive feedback, fostering an atmosphere of continuous improvement.
In addition to individual teacher development, the center will foster collaboration among faculty through the creation and monitoring of interdisciplinary teams. These teams will engage in conversations and observations to enhance collective teacher efficacy and promote a collaborative approach to education. By organizing events on campus related to internal professional development, the Teaching Center will further amplify its role as a catalyst for growth and learning.
Igniting Curiosity: The Center's Contribution to an Inquiry-Based Culture
Aligned with the school's academic mission and vision, the Teaching Center stands as a testament to the school's dedication to continuous improvement, innovation, and fostering an environment where both educators and students thrive.
Dawson Gray '02, Director of the Teaching Center
Dawson Gray '02 is the Director of the Teaching Center. Dawson joined the BGA faculty in 2008 as a math teacher and later served nine years as the chair of the math department. A 2002 BGA graduate, Dawson completed a double major in piano performance and math at Vanderbilt University, and then he earned a Masters in Secondary Education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. In addition to his work at BGA, Dawson spent 14 summers teaching courses with Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth, where he worked with students entering grades 4-12.
Dave Lassell is a band teacher in his fifth year at BGA and his 19th year of teaching. Dave really enjoys working with beginning band students and showing all students the value in striving to produce music at a high level. His favorite musician is the saxophonist Michael Brecker.
Spartacus Crawford is a math teacher in his second year at BGA and seventh year of teaching overall. Spartacus teaches Algebra I and Pre-Calculus, and he is also involved with both the middle- and upper-school tennis programs. He credits his former teacher Yuko Prefume with showing him how to care for students at a high level while still upholding high standards. Students in Mr. Crawford’s class can expect to collaborate with each other while sharing their thoughts and work with the whole class.
Monica Frazier is the Lower School Spanish teacher and in her 18th year of teaching, 11 of which have been at BGA. Monica also serves as the Lower School’s Director of After School Programs and the Coordinator of the division’s inclusion and belonging work. Mrs. Frazier loves teaching about Spanish cultural traditions like Dia de los Muertos, and her students can expect a lot of singing, music, and fun.