Program Highlights

Program Highlight: Mills Teacher Scholars Summer Institute 2017

Program Highlights

In June, sixteen teachers, coaches, and school and district leaders from five East Bay districts participated in the 2017 Mills Teacher Scholars Summer Institute. Over the course of this three-day workshop, participants deepened their understanding of the conditions necessary to support meaningful professional learning and developed action plans to facilitate teacher-led, collaborative inquiry at their sites.

Participants of the Summer Institute felt overwhelmingly positive about their experience and were inspired to begin the hard work of nurturing a collaborative professional learning culture at their sites:

  • I appreciated learning about “learning” spaces – how to be a speaker and a listener and contribute to the Big Picture Goal – and becoming familiar with ways to build collegial and student trust.
  • I am often looking at the big picture and I see clearly how zoning in on focal students will make great changes for all students.
  • Reminded me that my department meetings should be teacher learning spaces.
  • I learned that the most important step for our site will be to build the conditions for teacher learning/culture of inquiry.
  • I feel a deeper grounding in respecting and supporting teachers where they are at – not judging or wishing they were different – but leading with empathy and a genuine desire to support.

Highlights of the workshop included:

Participants reflected alone and together about the Mills Teacher Scholars professional learning framework and how it connects to the current reality of teacher learning at their sites.


Mills Teacher Scholars staff facilitated discussions in site-based groups as participants developed a vision and goals for specific professional learning spaces at their sites.


Participants created action plans for supporting their colleagues in using collaborative inquiry when they return to their sites in the fall.


They presented their action plans to others for feedback and discussion.


Thank you to all of our participants for your passionate dedication to improving teacher professional learning on behalf of your students!