An article about “languishing” this month seemed to fly around the Internet a couple of weeks ago. Also, if you are feeling that you want to do some formal professional growth this summer and haven’t found the right opportunity yet, feel free to get in touch with your department chair, Reid, or Sarah.
Dave Stuart Jr., “Here’s the Thing: We Could Do Something Else”
Reflecting on friends who are leaving teaching after this difficult year, the author suggests that we accept the fact that we could be good at another profession, and then decide if we want to continue devoting ourselves to this one.
There is still the inarguable reality that we really don't know all that our work achieves. There is still a timeless nobility to saying, “I'm going to be a teacher to these students today.” There is still absurd power packed into tiny moments.
Adam Grant, “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing,” New York Times
Amid the “emotional long-haul” of the pandemic, some people are finding comfort in naming the sense of “not functioning at full capacity.”
Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either.
Larry Ferlazzo, “Thirteen Things That Should Happen in Schools Now But Probably Won’t,” Washington Post
This public school education blogger urges reflection on topics including summer school, personalized instruction and student mental health as we head into 2021-2022.
Does a return to “normal” mean a return to the same good and not-so-good aspects of our educational system? Or might it mean that many school leaders will have learned lessons from this experience to increase the “good” and reduce the “not-so-good”?
Upcoming Online Workshop
Summer Leadership Seminar, Challenge Success, June 10 or July 27
In the past faculty and staff have enjoyed the focus on the “well-balanced student, faculty & staff well-being, rethinking assessment” and other topics at Challenge Success workshops. “Throughout the day, we will explore research-based strategies that improve student well-being and promote academic engagement. For the first time, we are introducing a Teacher Track within the Seminar. Teachers will network and share ideas with other teacher leaders to focus on innovative strategies they can use in their classrooms, while school and district leaders will work together on similar initiatives at the school level.”
Faculty Professional Growth
- In March, drawing and painting teacher Melissa Manfull made her own brushes at the Maloof Foundation event Make Your Mark: The Art of the Handmade Brush and also attended a Watercolor Workshop offered by Case for Making.
- 10th Grade Dean Ricardo Rodríguez finished the three-month California Teacher Development Collaborative program Supporting Healthy Identity Development: The Why and How of Racial Affinity Groups.
- Also in March, Assistant Curricular Coordinator Reid Fritz attended the webinar A Healthier Approach to College Admissions, cohosted by Challenge Success and the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
- Reid Fritz and Assistant Head for Academic Life Sarah Cooper participated in the Community Conversation: From #BLM Back to Status Quo: What Next? put on by the California Teacher Development Collaborative in April.
The articles below, in conjunction with the hyperdoc of links that Reid recently sent out, offer reams of reassurance and ideas as we start hybrid learning at the end of the month. Here we go!
“Maintaining Boundaries in Times of Change,” Cultures of Dignity
Many thanks to Cari Banning for sending this timely article, which encourages naming and communicating the boundaries each of us needs right now.
For many of us, the circumstances around our physical boundaries are now shifting. Young people are returning to in-person school and after school activities. Many people are beginning to see family members they haven’t seen in a year. Understandably that brings up a lot of mixed emotions.
Larry Ferlazzo, “‘Give Yourself Grace’ as You Teach Concurrently (Hybrid)”, Education Week
This article is sixth in an invaluable eight-part series that collects advice about hybrid teaching from two dozen teachers who’ve been doing it. Even skimming, you’ll find something you can use for inspiration.
If you have any anxiety stemming from moving from a virtual classroom to a hybrid classroom, here is my advice I hope you can carry with you: Be the metaphorical bridge between in-person and virtual students to continue with the classroom community that you have already created. Keep doing what you have been doing all along.
Upcoming Online Workshop
Multicultural Leadership Institute 2021, June 28-30, Wildwood School Outreach Center
Two faculty members have already signed up for this online institute, a perennial summer offering by Wildwood that’s limited to 45 participants. “This three-day institute is designed for educators to create and sustain authentically multicultural schools through reflection, understanding, and planning.” If you’re interested in joining Prep’s team of attendees, please get in touch with Sarah.
Faculty & Staff Professional Growth
- Assistant Head of School for Academic Life Sarah Cooper, Assistant Curricular Coordinator Reid Fritz, and math teacher Maddie Martin represented Prep at the Southern California Diversity Recruiting Fair, hosted online by Harvard-Westlake in February.
- Also in February, math teachers Joel Ishii and Maddie Martin and Mandarin Chinese teacher Grace Qing took part in the Community Conversation: APISA Educators as Co-Conspirators in the Black Lives Matter Movement, organized by the California Teacher Development Collaborative.
- Assistant Director of Communications Cami Ryder and Director of Communications Nicole Trevor participated in Capstone Communication’s Engagement Equation Workshop last month.
- Erin Thomassen, Makerspace Coordinator, completed the Machine Learning and AI Certification Course from Code Academy this month.
Jennifer Gonzalez’s top tech tools of the year, a reflection on teaching in 30-degree weather, and a recent presentation by two Prep English faculty are just some of the pieces of this month’s newsletter. Take a look!
Jennifer Gonzalez, “6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2021,” Cult of Pedagogy
This yearly “best of” compendium offers new tools that could be game changers: Mote, AllSides, Google Lens, Bulb, EmbraceRace, and Prezi Video. If you really love Jennifer Gonzalez’s take on these technologies, you might want to purchase her Teacher’s Guide to Tech 2021, probably the most comprehensive guide out there.
It’s hard to imagine a time in recent history when we had more distractions, more challenges, more stuff to think about that is way more important than technology. But as someone reminded me earlier today, the show must go on.
Richard Schwartz, “Reflections on Teaching When Your Classroom Is 30 Degrees,” Chalkbeat
This brief personal story about teaching in New Jersey this winter is one to remember.
My admirable colleagues include the maintenance man who works to keep the school as warm as possible, the custodians who disinfect it, the secretaries who do their work behind plexiglass, and the administrators who have faced immense pressure since March 13.
Sally Weale, “Call for 'summer of play' to help English pupils recover from Covid-19 stress,” The Guardian
Amid calls to “catch up” students through summer school, child development experts are saying that play is actually what they need.
“It is now more important than ever that the government stands by its commitment to children’s mental health. While there is an understandable focus on children catching up academically, we know that children cannot learn effectively when they are struggling emotionally.”
Online Summer Workshop
The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning is offering its Academy 2021 online over four consecutive days this July, with four hours of workshops each day. Glenn Whitman, dean of studies and director of the CTTL, and Dr. Ian Kelleher, science teacher and head of research for the CTTL, co-authored the excellent Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education, and this workshop garners high reviews from participants.
Faculty Professional Growth Presentations
- English teacher Dr. Lanna Mills and English Department Chair Dr. Tyke O’Brien presented to colleagues from other independent schools at the Global Education Benchmark Group Summit this month. They spoke about “Alternatives to Traditional Texts in the Humanities Classroom: Teaching Classica Africana in Greco-Roman Studies and Reading Global Folklore, Two Models from Flintridge Preparatory School” during this daylong conference on teaching global writers.
Faculty & Staff Professional Growth
- Spanish teacher Cari Banning, World Languages Department Chair Fabian Bejarano, Assistant Curricular Coordinator Reid Fritz, and French teacher Lauren Van Arsdall learned about hybrid teaching from educators who have lived it in the California Teacher Development Collaborative’s Teaching Strategies for Hybrid & Hyflex Learning During Uncertain Times: Creating Broad Frameworks-That-Do-It-All seminar this month.
- Reid Fritz also completed online coursework in February through One Schoolhouse On-Demand on interviewing and hiring.
- Grace Qing, Mandarin Chinese teacher, attended a series of lectures on American Chinese Teaching Design Concept and Application offered by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press in January.
- Assistant Director of Communications Cami Ryder joined her alma mater, Swarthmore, for one of its Racial Justice SwatTalks on Unlearning Our Learning: Challenges, Change, and Future Directions for Equity and Justice in Education.
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