New Beginnings for New Faculty

Orientation isn’t just for new students at Masters; incoming faculty members also participate in activities and workshops designed to get them acclimated to the School.
Meet Our New Faculty

Enter New Faculty Institute, aka NFI, a five-day program in late August that introduces new faculty to all aspects of the Masters community, from exploring the School’s mission and Harkness pedagogy to learning classroom technology and even discovering favorite lunchtime meals.

For new upper school Spanish teacher Allison Eggleston, NFI was “the warmest welcome I have ever gotten as an educator. The emphasis on community building was something I felt immediately.”

Those were encouraging words for this year’s NFI’s leaders, Jason Hult, dean of teaching and learning, and Miriam Emery, upper school English teacher and pedagogical coach, who welcomed nine new teachers and many new staff members to the 2023-2024 academic year.

Emery discussed The Masters School’s mission and how it is reflected in different departments, classrooms, divisions and disciplines. “The goal is to show that our mission is not just something we say and then we’re done with it, but it is infused in everything we do,” she said. “That's why we start with that, as it comes up a lot throughout the week.”

Hult added: “We want our new faculty to be bold in taking risks, to try new things, and to be daring as our mission mandates. To do that, they need to have a supportive cohort. That's part of why we spend as much time as we do in the New Faculty Institute establishing a sense of collegiality and connection.” 

“Between discussions of boarding life and Harkness, it would have been easy to feel overwhelmed by all of this new information,” Eggleston continued. “However, all of the faculty leaders of NFI also provided multiple opportunities to practice this new information in very hands-on, practical ways.”

Throughout the NFI week, new faculty engaged in workshops focused on Harkness learning, healthy boundaries, grading, and equity and inclusion in the classroom.

Hult said, “It was inspiring to work with Selas Douglas, associate head of school for inclusive excellence, and Esperanza Borrero, dean for inclusive excellence, and hear how they are launching the Center for Inclusive Excellence and inviting new faculty members to join in that work. I think new faculty were inspired by the possibilities that the Center offers.”

Middle school math teacher Binh Vu came away from the sessions energized and impressed with the Masters community, sharing “I am looking forward to working with the amazing and talented group of students in my classroom. I am excited to exude my passion for numbers, and I hope they will be driven and inspired by my narrative and perspective.”

New teachers weren’t the only ones on campus in August. Returning teachers also had the opportunity to work together during Professional Development (PD) Labs, where faculty collaborate on teaching and curriculum projects. 

Lynn Salehi, associate head of middle school, oversaw the PD Labs for the 50 faculty members who participated and was pleased with the turnout. She shared feedback from one teacher who said it was a “great opportunity to do meaningful work, find time to meet with colleagues, and find unexpected cross-pollination.”