Professional Development

All adults, no matter their program or department, are educators at Spence and as such, we strive to be self-aware, committed to equity and curious and knowledgeable about the diversity in our School. 

Since 2009, Spence has worked with Pacific Education Group (PEG) to offer an annual all-employee training. The training offers tools for engaging in a multicultural educational environment and is foundational to the Spence employee experience. Faculty, staff, and administration have ongoing supportive conversations throughout the year to strengthen our program and departmental initiatives.

In addition to the work done with PEG, the School provides ongoing equity professional development for equity literacy. Faculty and staff participate in our Colleagues of Color Affinity (CoC) and the White Anti-Racist Affinity (WARA) groups, which offer affinity spaces for personal and professional reflection and learning. Faculty meetings and professional days also offer opportunities for continuing our growth. Recent speakers include Peggy McIntosh, Derald Wing Sue, The Perception Institute, Chris Emdin, Claude Steele, Howard Stevenson, and InciteChange! facilitators, all of whom have helped deepen our knowledge and practice skills.

Spence employees themselves take initiative to learn more, and sign up for opportunities including but not limited to the following:
  • National Summit for Courageous Conversations
  • NYSAIS Diversity Conferences (NY State Association of Independent Schools)
  • GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) 
  • NYSAIS Diversity Regional Meetings 
  • SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity)
  • Border Crossers, the White Privilege Conference
  • PoCC (People of Color Conference) 
  • Gender Spectrum Trainings

Spence has a deep and ongoing commitment to this professional opportunity for every adult at the School. For me, the personal transformation as a veteran teacher has been one of increasing awareness of myself and my race, and striving for greater equity in my classroom. In the 20 plus years I’ve taught at Spence I’ve witnessed a community that has become more open to the complexities of race and equity, more understanding that we will forever be a work-in-progress in this work, and more willing to engage in it deeply.