Montclair District Participates in PD Day

Montclair District Participates in PD Day
Posted on 02/25/2016

Dr. Adolf Brown explains to the audience

At left, Dr. Adolf Brown explains to the audience that students shouldn't be judged on their external appearance. "You don't know what they carry emotionally inside the 'backpack within their backpack'.

On Tues., Feb. 16, Montclair Public Schools' personnel participated in a day of Professional Development, coordinated in collaboration between the district administration and the Montclair Education Association.

Superintendent Ronald E. Bolandi opened the morning praising the audience. "I've been in your classrooms and your buildings and you are the gem of this district. You make me look good. You make the district look good and it is a pleasure to work with a staff that is so dedicated."

The Keynote speaker was Dr. Adolf Brown, whose rousing "Real Talk" presentation focused on insights into people, his vision to help educators and parents improve cultural competence and identifying ways to reach every type of learner.

He came into the auditorium giving the audience one perception, and left them leaving with another, along with a very clear message: "The moment we judge is the moment we lose the opportunity to learn something," he said. "You have to look at your students and see what they can become, not what they are on the outside. The immediate judgments you make should not sum up their entire existence."

Brown challenged teachers to "Look in the mirror. Look at yourself before looking at your students. What are you bringing to the table? What are you bringing to every student?"

The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Brown received a standing ovation, not just for his delivery of the program, but for his understanding of the challenges not just in Montclair but in education. "You don't just have a job," he said. "You have a mission."

Following the morning assembly, staff broke out into workshops led by more than 40 of the district's own colleague and NJEA facilitators.

Staff in all areas and departments throughout the district was offered more than 40 specialized workshops from which to choose on topics ranging from classroom management to security to technology.

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