By Lynn Cuffari, Curriculum Trak Sales
Editor’s Note: Lynn Cuffari is a recent addition to the Curriculum Trak team. Previously, she implemented Curriculum Trak as the principal of St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson, Az. We are excited to share her perspective on our recent conference in Orlando, Fl. You can still make plans to join us at our next conference in January. Click here for more details.
It’s always enlightening to sit “on the other side of the desk.” As a high school principal, I would often empathize with parents because in addition to my administrative career, my first job in schools was that of a mom. And oh yes, I had been on that side of the desk a couple more times than I wanted to as my own precious son worked his way through various challenges of his educational journey!
I recalled this inter-connectedness at Curriculum Trak’s recent conference at Foundation Academy in Winter Garden, Florida. For the first time in many years, my role at the workshop was as a presenter rather than a participant. I joined the Curriculum Trak team in August. Up to that point, I had been a CT client, but when my husband’s career precipitated a move, I retired my principalship and sought an opportunity to work with a company that I had grown to appreciate both for its product and for its service to clients.
Over the past few months, I have been embraced by the core group of leaders who manage Curriculum Trak from its ongoing development, to its implementation, to its ability to assist educators in aligning curriculum to standards. I am also increasingly inspired by the many professionals who use Curriculum Trak in their schools. At the Florida conference, participants came from places spanning from Wisconsin to North Carolina to Florida to Haiti and to Paraguay. They came from Protestant and Catholic schools. They came from schools with diverse demographics and enrollments ranging from 80 students to well over 1,000.
Conference topics included networking in the CT community and articulating best practices as well as sessions – basic and advanced – on the software’s intuitive features. Attendees also had time to simply talk to each other, both through a spirited panel Q&A and informal peer-to-peer discussions.
In all honesty, the transition from my Catholic school and diocese into a larger ecumenical community of faith-based schools has pushed me a little out of my comfort zone. But what I have quickly realized as I begin to participate in CT demonstrations is that no matter what our denomination, we all share a philosophy to form our students based on deeply rooted Christian traditions and the best in academic instructional practices.
At Curriculum Trak, I have learned the importance of sharing the “why” along with the “what.” Much of our marketing includes a discussion of how to articulate curriculum, presenting that curriculum in a clear and intentional manner, and leaving a rich legacy of resources for those who will come after us (you can find additional resources for this here). By the end of our two-day conference, I was thrilled to witness that “why” with the establishment of a unified learning community. Bound by a common mission, we presenters joined forces over opened laptops with teachers and administrators to work on creating and developing units and lessons in alignment with our theological and academic standards.
At times, we are called to participate; other times we are called to lead. We may sit on one side of the desk or the other, but in the end, we share the journey…and for that, it’s nice to have a (curriculum) map!