TMI’s Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Jill Cross, had the opportunity to share her passion earlier this month with the NAIS Member Voices podcast host and Member Engagement Coordinator, Scott Donaldson.
“My passion is working with teachers and empowering them to lead the best that they can with their students,” Jill told Scott during the interview. She talked about her path of studying humanities and creative writing for her undergraduate degrees and how a part-time assistant role at a private school led her to teach and eventually her current position at TMI. As the Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, she focuses on internal and external professional development for faculty, curriculum work–from mapping and cross-curricular integration to assisting with lesson plans and resources–and leading several academic committees.
One of her major initiatives right now is curriculum mapping; a multi-year process that will support cross-curricular collaboration and provide a bird’s-eye view of what is happening with teaching and learning, not just during the course or the entire year, but throughout a student’s entire time at TMI.
“The way I see my role,” she said, “is just being a cheerleader and a support for teachers to empower them to do the best that they can at their job.”
Her master’s degree in museum studies gives her a unique perspective from which to view her current work at TMI, helping faculty bring experiential learning into the classroom and finding new ways to help teachers build connections for the students. Her years of teaching in both public and private schools also give her the experience and first-hand knowledge to understand what our faculty face on a day-to-day basis. Though she enjoyed her time teaching, she realized her passion was working with teachers after she worked as a Curriculum Integration Specialist while setting up a museum magnet school.
Jill is constantly searching for ways to be connected with her peers in education, stay on top of the latest trends and research, and do her part in making TMI an exceptional educational community. Last year, she joined a challenge with a group of teachers from around the country to blog every day for the entire year. Though she missed a few days…what she noticed was that it helped her to reflect upon the small victories that happen every single day.
She is passionate about her work and the teachers she supports; learning from them as much as they learn from her. “They’re mentors [to me] in ways that they don’t necessarily know.”
To listen to the full 30-minute interview, use the link above or download it from the NAIS Member Voices podcast. And, be sure to listen all the way to the end to find out what she’s reading right now and to discover a fun fact that might surprise you!
Director of Community Relations, TMI