IBSC Ideas Lab

Professional Conversations for Directors of Professional Development in Boys’ Schools 

IBSC ideas labStarting September 26, 2023


IBSC Ideas Lab invites directors of professional development and staff learning in member schools to connect virtually using Zoom. Limited to 14 participants plus the facilitator, this IBSC Ideas Lab includes three one-hour sessions for participants to discuss relevant topics.

Designed as an interactive exchange among colleagues, IBSC Ideas Lab engages dedicated educators who learn and grow together. Before each session, participants engage with relevant resources to provide a foundation for discussions. Together we surface fresh ideas and build mutual support structures and enduring professional friendships.

Available exclusively to IBSC member schools, first-time participants who can commit to joining all three sessions get preference in registration to support the success of each small group. No more than two participants from one school may register for an Ideas Lab.

Who Should Attend?

Directors of professional development and staff learning in boys’ schools


IBSC Ideas Lab attendees participate in three scheduled one-hour calls using Zoom. Derek Porter, research coordinator for the Center for the Study of Boys and history and music teacher at St. Christopher’s School (United States), facilitates each session.

Conversation Topics

Conversation 1 
Designing Worthwhile PD Programs for Boys’ Schools 
Tuesday, September 26, 4:00 PM EDT, 9:00 PM BST, 10:00 PM SAST 
Wednesday, September 27, 6:00 AM AEST, 9:00 AM NZDT 
Check the event time in your time zone.

How do you discern which development opportunities are best for the staff and faculty at your school? How do you design professional development opportunities that align with your school’s strategic plan? Getting buy-in from school leadership for professional development programs is essential. How do you present your ideas to administrators? Amid the busy school environment, how do you find time for and prioritize professional development of staff? Share best practice and tips from programs that you’ve seen work in your context. Do you value in-house programs over conferences and outside speakers? Or does a balance work better? What principles do you apply when planning PD for the school year?

Conversation 2
Growing and Developing Teachers in Boys’ Schools
Tuesday, October 3, 4:00 PM EDT, 9:00 PM BST, 10:00 PM SAST 
Wednesday, October 4, 7:00 AM AEDT, 9:00 AM NZDT 
Check the event time in your time zone. 

How do you ensure staff growth to facilitate their career aspirations? How do you foster academic risk-taking in staff, encouraging them to try new things? How do you allow for “staff voice” and input regarding faculty needs when developing your PD programs? How do you engage those staff members who, for whatever reason, do not avail themselves of the available PD opportunities? Similarly, how do you overcome staff resistance to professional development? How do you personalize PD offerings to meet the needs of many when people are in different places of growth? How do you think about equity when spending your professional development budget? How do you make sure all your staff and faculty have equal opportunities for growth and learning?

Conversation 3
Turning Pedagogy and Research into Practice
Tuesday, October 10, 4:00 PM EDT, 9:00 PM BST, 10:00 PM SAST 
Wednesday, October 11, 7:00 AM AEDT, 9:00 AM NZDT 
Check the event time in your time zone.

How do you discern which research and pedagogy work best for your school staff to learn? How and where do you find useful literature and resources about educating boys to inform the practice of your staff and faculty? Do you collaborate with other boys’ schools to design meaningful professional development? How do you keep up to date with so much changing, both in terms of pedagogy and pastoral issues in boys’ schools? How do you develop a particular culture of pedagogy and practice in your school to reach whole-school adoption without inhibiting personal insight and practice? How do you help teachers balance the “tried and tested” pedagogies with academic innovation?


IBSC member rate: US $150

Refund Policy

IBSC will refund 90% of registration fees if a written request is received two weeks prior to the class. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after this time. Schools seeking to register an alternate to replace a participant unable to attend should contact IBSC@theibsc.org.

Please note: Participants will receive detailed call information and meeting invitations after registration closes.



Derek PorterDerek Porter

Derek S. Porter earned an Ed.D. in educational policy, planning, and leadership from the College of William & Mary. He began his time at St. Christopher’s School (United States) in Richmond as a middle school global thinking teacher. Over the last decade, he has built upon his work with students by serving as a faculty research coordinator with the Center for the Study of Boys. Through these experiences he discovered a passion for teacher excellence through professional learning models, making it the focus of his dissertation and subsequent works. Prior to teaching Porter earned an M.A. from Yale University, where he partnered with Bridgeport Public Schools’ MAAX Program. He received his B.A. in social studies secondary education with a concentration in political science from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Porter is an award-winning educator, a published thought leader, and a poet seeking to tell the stories of our educational landscape with beauty and fidelity.