April’s Faculty Newsletter
Each of these articles is weighty and fascinating in its own way, about the meaning of high school, the nature of educational reform and the psychology behind the college scandal. Also, the wide range of professional growth experiences that faculty have done recently continues to be impressive to see.
Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine, “High School Doesn’t Have to Be Boring,” New York Times
This piece, based on a seminal new book (In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School), argues that classroom teachers should take a page from the exuberant dedication that extracurriculars can inspire.
The truly powerful core classes that we found—and at every school there were some—echoed what we saw in extracurriculars. Rather than touring students through the textbook, teachers invited students to participate in the authentic work of the field.
Michael Brosnan, “The Evolution Is the Revolution,” Well-Schooled
This piece (featured on a new storytelling site for educators) was inspired by the recent passing of legendary educator Pearl Rock Kane, former director of the Klingenstein Program at Teacher’s College. In it, the author distills Kane’s ideas from years of Independent School articles and applies them to educational reform today.
What struck me in re-reading Pearl’s article is that she was describing a kind of leadership I see in more and more schools. Her insight on intraorganizational alliances was particularly timely. Pearl felt that the independent school leaders of the 1990s were too insular. “To be on the forefront of education,” she wrote, “independent school leaders will need to encourage pooling resources to share knowledge of successful practices and to investigate problems and concerns of common interest.”
Caitlin Flanagan, “They Had It Coming,” The Atlantic
This is perhaps the best article that has been written about the college admissions scandal.
The new job meant that I had signed myself up to be locked in a small office, appointment after appointment, with hugely powerful parents and their mortified children as I delivered news so grimly received that I began to think of myself less as an administrator than as an oncologist.
California Teacher Development Collaborative, a variety of local workshops
If you’re looking for a shot in the arm but don’t want to travel far, the CATDC is holding local summer seminars on a variety of topics, including “Leading and Facilitating Positive Change,” “Sexuality Education Summit” and “Design and Making: Tools, Applications and Strategies to Foster Student-Led Creativity and Innovation.”
Faculty Professional Growth Conferences
- This month Global Studies Coordinator Ingrid Herskind participated in the Global Education Benchmark Group’s annual Global Educators Conference in Atlanta.
- This month Assistant Librarian Reggie Ursettie flew to Boston for the Association of Independent School Librarians annual conference, Revolutionary Possibilities.
- Visual Arts Department Chair Tim Bradley finished a four-part yearlong program for department chairs in Los Angeles last month through the California Teachers Development Collaborative.
- Spanish teacher Cari Banning finished a five-part yearlong series of workshops last month on Best Practices in Assessment for the World Language Class at the Stanford World Language Project in Palo Alto.
- Director of Student Technology Services Sylvie Andrews went to Palm Springs in March for the Spring CUE Conference focusing on technological and educational innovation.
- Dean of Studies Sarah Cooper participated in the Private Schools with Public Purpose annual conference in New York City last month.
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