Our Educators

As members of the Bellarmine community, our Ignatian educators share in the 478-year educational apostolate of the Society of Jesus. As Ignatian educators, their work and way of life aim to be characterized by a love for God shown in our love for humanity. Their care for students and their professional expertise are illumined by spiritual insight, garnered from personal and communal experiences of prayer, worship, and service in accord with the example of Jesus Christ. As Ignatian educators and lifelong learners, they are committed to high professional standards of education and Gospel values.

Bellarmine's faculty is passionate about the subject matters they teach, as evidenced by 69% who have earned advanced degrees, including several faculty members holding a doctorate degree. Additionally, the faculty is devoted to employing one of the hallmarks of Jesuit education, cura personalis - care for the individual. With an average class size of 25 students, faculty members get to know their students personally and become invested in seeing them do well. This regular and ongoing interaction and concern results in students who thrive academically and spiritually.

Ignatian Educators, Companions in Ministry *

Our faculty seek to embody the following characteristics and practices which describe what it means to be Ignatian educators striving for excellence—the magis at the core of desiring to be of greater service to our students.

Supporting and Encouraging the Faith Community

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Respond to Christ’s call to be women and men for and with others
  • Value their work as a vocation to the ministry of teaching and work to promote a faith that does justice
  • Seek God in all people, events, and experiences
  • Recognize that as a Catholic school, we share in the Church’s mission
  • Embrace and put into action, with students and colleagues, Ignatian concepts such as cura personalis, magis, ad majorem Dei gloriam, contemplation in action, spiritual discernment, etc.
  • Incorporate Church teachings and Ignatian foundational documents into one’s personal educational formation
  • Genuinely and consistently cultivate their own spiritual development and seek opportunities to engage in the Ignatian and spiritual life of the school
  • Provide visible and meaningful participation in and/or support of the school’s campus ministry and Christian service programs
  • Encourage students to participate in the school’s campus ministry and Christian Service programs
  • Seek ways to partner with parents/guardians in achieving the school’s educational mission

Developing as a Professional Educator

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Reflect on teaching practice and plan professional development accordingly
  • Establish professional goals, share those goals with appropriate school personnel, pursue opportunities to grow professionally, and assess the achievement of stated goals
  • Effectively and consistently collaborate within department, school, and broader professional community
  • Remain receptive to feedback of colleagues, mentors, and supervisors in support of their teaching practice and student learning
  • Contribute to the learning of other educators at Bellarmine and beyond
  • Embrace the Ignatian characteristic of presuming goodwill and employ discernment in dealing with all members of the school community
  • Participate in learning communities to explore applications of technology

Engaging and Supporting Students

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Connect students’ prior knowledge, life experience, and interests with learning goals
  • Employ variety in instructional strategies appropriate to the subject matter being taught in order to enhance student understanding
  • Make appropriate adaptations to instructional strategy in order to support students’ diverse learning styles and abilities using technology and other available resources
  • Facilitate learning experiences that promote autonomy, interaction, and options
  • Engage students in creative higher-order thinking skills, problem solving, and critical thinking through best teaching practices to help them gain the skills to become life-long learners
  • Keep abreast of teaching best practices, adolescent psychology, and brain research related to learning

Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Effectively manage physical space and resources, including technology, space, and furniture, in order to maximize student engagement
  • Establish a climate that promotes fairness and respect for all people, including treating students equally and encouraging them to listen to one another
  • Promote social development and group responsibility

Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of subject matter content and student development and demonstrate an awareness of Church teaching, the Christian tradition, as well as the National and State standards for the subject.
  • Orient the curriculum toward education for justice
  • Interrelate ideas and information within and across subject matter areas
  • Use materials, resources, and technologies to make subject matter accessible to students and to enhance student learning

Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Draw on and value students’ backgrounds, interests, learning styles, and specials needs or accommodations
  • Select course materials and learning experiences which foster special concern for the poor, leading to service in love and justice
  • Plan lessons that engage students’ attention by using class time effectively, demonstrating appropriate pacing and transitions, and connecting new learning to what students know and need to learn

Assessing Student Learning

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Provide students with multiple and varied opportunities to  display their knowledge and understanding creatively
  • Use technology to provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching
  • Guide all students in assessing their own learning and promote growth by learning from mistakes
  • Use the results of student assessment to guide future instruction and review assessment data with colleagues to appropriately guide teaching

Engaging Students Outside the Classroom

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Seek opportunities to help develop the whole person outside the classroom by coaching, moderating, or otherwise being actively involved in co-curricular activities
  • Provide visible support for students in their co-curricular endeavors
  • Demonstrate cura personalis by taking opportunities to affirm or admonish student behavior outside of the classroom
  • Make students aware of and promote the importance of cultivating the whole person through mental, physical, and spiritual health and well-being

Promoting Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

Excellent Ignatian educators:

  • Understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices
  • Advocate, model, and teach safe, responsible, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including social networking interactions, respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources

* Ignatian Educators, Companions in Ministry was drafted by Bellarmine and employs the standards put forth by the Jesuit Secondary Education Association (JSEA) as well as the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.