Center for Teaching and Learning

Believing that teachers must always be learners, too, Kingswood Oxford established the 
Center for Teaching and Learning in September 2012. It is dedicated to developing, improving, and enriching the quality of teaching at KO.

Led by Asha Appel, a veteran KO English teacher who is also the Director of Teaching and Learning, the CTL supports and empowers teachers as they, in turn, nurture and educate KO's community of learners.

"Teachers are hungry to communicate with one another, and they are energized and refreshed when they're learning, just as their students are," says Appel.

The CTL is located on the ground floor of the Seaverns Building, in the Sorensen Room, on whose cheerful blue walls the words of the KO mission statement and core values are painted. Couches and comfortable chairs encourage reading and conversation among faculty, while shelves are filled with journals and books about best teaching practices.

On any given day, the room is alive with conversation and collaboration, as teachers share ideas and resources about effective teaching practices and arrange times to observe one another in action in the classroom. In addition, the CTL is the go-to place for faculty regarding workshops designed to inspire teacher initiative and collaboration.

The Center for Teaching and Learning is at once a soothing oasis and a stimulating incubator -- a place where teachers can relax and decompress and get inspired and excited. The CTL provides these key resources and enrichment opportunities:

Lunch Bunch

Every few weeks, a faculty member volunteers to coordinate a lunchtime discussion in the CTL on a teaching approach, strategy, or issue. Recent topics have included "The Flipped Classroom," "How Do Introverts Participate?," and "Coach as Teacher and Teacher as Coach: Symbiosis Between the Field and Classroom." Click here for more

Talk Amongst Ourselves

A weekly e-newsletter filled with links to professionally valuable web sites, journal articles, webcasts, YouTube videos, TEDtalks, and podcasts, is sent to all faculty and staff. Recent topics have included preparing students to be innovative; defining successful learning; and building character in the classroom, to name just a few.

The CTL Forum

A blog inside the password-protected Faculty/Staff portal through which colleagues can conduct virtual conversations or debates on issues about best practices, educational theory, and student development.  

Project Year Teacher Program

An intentional professional development program for seasoned faculty that provides opportunities for ongoing reflection, refinement, and growth as educators.

New to KO

Trained Faculty Coaches work with faculty new to the KO community to provide guidance and support in the classroom. Those faculty in their first two years at KO also meet regularly as a group with Asha Appel, Director of Teaching and Learning, for professional development seminars in which they hone their craft, collaborate on classroom lesson plans, and reflect on their shared experiences.


Great teachers of adolescents teach because they love to learn. By teaching and learning from each other, we:

  • model for the students authentic learning, intentional improvement, and consistent innovation
  • recognize and therefore appreciate each other’s strengths and contributions
  • collaborate in order to problem solve and thrive
  • nourish our own need for learning and therefore rejuvenate

This is not evaluation for ongoing employment at KO; rather, this is evaluation for ongoing professional development, which is an expectation of being employed at KO. The program includes class observations, annual goal setting, Student Surveys, and year-end reflection for all teachers.

Asha Appel
Director of Teaching and Learning

Question for Asha?
Click here!

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