Strategic Summit: Faculty Formation Committee examines the qualities of an Ignatian educator

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth and final  installment in a series about the school’s Strategic Summit initiative. The Strategic Summit is focused on five areas of the school and seeks to understand how that area can improve. This week’s article concerns the Faculty Formation charter.

Following the Strategic Summit meetings last spring, five separate committees were tasked with examining a certain aspect of SLUH and making improvements to this area. One of the five charters that emerged was the Faculty Formation charter, co-chaired by Math Department chair Julie Moeser and theology teacher Brian Gilmore. 

According to Gilmore, the committee is focused on the question, what does it mean to be an Ignatian educator at St. Louis U High? 

The Faculty Formation charter, made up of eight faculty and staff members, has been meeting monthly for the past four months. While the charter is not implementing any of the changes that they are making during this school year, faculty and staff can expect to see the changes coming within the next few years, including a loose version of the new mentorship program which is set to go into effect in August 2022.

“The biggest thing that we've been looking at is a more formal mentoring program for new teachers when they are hired,” said Gilmore. “It is broken into two tiers: a new hire who has a lot of teaching experience, versus a new hire who might be new to teaching.”

The goal of the mentoring program is to help the new teachers and faculty members get better-acclimated to life at SLUH.

“Our main goal is to make the experience of the faculty member better-known, supported, and more solidified so that everyone knows what to expect as a faculty member,” said Moser.

While the revisions being made to the Faculty Formation aspect of SLUH are certainly significant in the eyes of members of the faculty and staff, students’ lives will not be changed too much by this piece of the Summit, but the small changes that students do see will be positive.

“To make new hires feel adjusted to this place and ready to be the best educator they can certainly has a positive impact on the student,” said Gilmore. “It will just make the classroom experience much more enjoyable and informative for those students.”

Moeser and Gilmore both feel that the Summit was a call to action to thoroughly examine the faculty life aspect of SLUH and formalize an approach towards making it better.

“We’re looking at the student experience on one hand,” said Moeser. “But the other piece of the school is, of course, the faculty experience, so we do not want to leave out that important part of, how are the faculty growing, changing, and improving from year to year?”

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