As educators glance toward a post-COVID time, this month’s articles focus on the humanity of schools, now and post-pandemic. Please continue to get in touch if you have participated in professional growth workshops, including free webinars or conversations, that haven’t yet been featured in this newsletter. We’d love to include it!
Henry Seton, “A Daily Ritual That Builds Trust and Community Among K-12 Students,” Edutopia
A humanities teacher starts each class with one of his students dedicating the day’s learning to someone who has inspired them. (If anyone decides to do this, please share how it goes!)
For those of us teaching remotely, the daily dedication can help infuse the online space with genuine humanity. You can even make a collage out of the students’ dedicatees to use as digital wallpaper for virtual class meetings or your course homepage.
This month, NAIS came out with a fascinating list of predictions, on everything from curricular relevance to “staff churn” to increased interaction.
As campuses begin to reopen, more priority will be put on human connection; finding time to be together; diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice; and social-emotional learning. The result will be more balance, appropriate pacing, time to breathe, appreciation for each other, and joy.
Jal Mehta, “Make Schools More Human,” New York Times
In this widely circulated article, a Harvard education professor argues that, after the pandemic, we must make schools more “human-centered” while also “Marie Kondo-ing” the curriculum.
There has been considerable attention to the health crisis, and some to the economic crisis. But there hasn’t been a serious commitment to the corresponding educational crisis. We need to rebuild and reimagine schools. We now have a chance to do both.
Upcoming Online Workshop
Learning & the Brain, February 20: In the past you needed to travel to cities such as San Francisco, Boston or New York to see a Learning & the Brain conference. This February, it’s easy to attend a one-day workshop online. The topic is The Science of Teaching During a Pandemic: Creating Motivated, Focused, Active, Autonomous Learners. Prep faculty members and administrators who have attended in the past have found presenters’ expertise impressive.
Faculty & Staff Professional Growth
- U.S. history teacher Megan Bowman is beginning an AP Mentoring Program offered by the College Board.
- Global Studies Coordinator Ingrid Herskind completed The Environmental Impact of Colonization: From Palestine to the US/Mexico Border workshop series she started in October with the Xicanx Institute for Teaching and Organizing.
- Assistant Head for Academic Life Sarah Cooper attended the California Teacher Development Collaborative’s Community Conversation: Women “Balancing” it All During the Pandemic.