It’s an unusual time, and here are a few resources to help us understand it. Please reach out to each other, to our students, and to the community in these times that ask for more connection than ever! Suggestions are always welcome for this newsletter, too.
Larry Ferlazzo, “Top New Resources to Help Teachers Cope with School Closures,” Edublogs
Indefatigable teacher advocate Larry Ferlazzo has been adding each day to a thoughtful list of curated resources. One tweet on the page last week read: “I have sent announcements on Google Classroom, but what has really made all the difference in the world has been sending the same private message to each student: ‘I just want to make sure you are doing okay—are you safe and healthy?’”
Cory Collins, “Teaching Through Coronavirus: What Educators Need Right Now,” Teaching Tolerance
More than 2,000 educators responded when Teaching Tolerance asked what we need right now. Beyond the typical resource list, this one is organized into categories such as Emotional Support, COVID-19 and Social Justice, and Resources for Caretakers.
Independent School Management, “Coronavirus (COVID-19)”
On ISM’s site you can find recently recorded webinars on all kinds of topics, from Q&A to virtual admissions events, as well as upcoming online events.
Upcoming Professional Growth
SEL for Educators in Uncertain Times, California Teacher Development Collaborative, potential future workshop
This excellent workshop has already filled for the week of March 30 because of overwhelming popularity. However, if you are interested, please register for the wait list, and there might be a chance of another offering soon. Mathematics Department Chair Lesley Fox just attended one of the sessions and loved it.
Recent Faculty Professional GrowthHead Librarian Meryl Eldridge, Physics Teacher Reid Fritz, Executive Arts Director Rob Lewis, and Dean of Studies Sarah Cooper enjoyed Zooming and learning together during the California Teacher Development Collaborative’s Leading Through Challenge (Online) workshop this month.
Opportunity to Submit a Conference Proposal
In this occasional category, we list upcoming conferences that are looking for presenters. Applying can be a fantastic way to clarify ideas about your teaching and getting accepted means you can share those ideas with other interested educators! Please pass along opportunities you hear about, too.
Proposal submissions are open through May 8 for the NAIS People of Color Conference, the flagship of the National Association of Independent Schools’ commitment to equity and justice in teaching and learning. The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership and professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. PoCC equips educators at every level, from teachers to trustees, with knowledge, skills, and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in their schools, as well as the attending academic, social-emotional, and workplace performance outcomes for students and adults alike.
This month we look at articles about civic education and legacy admissions, as well as two upcoming professional growth opportunities on diversity, equity and inclusion. Suggestions on any topic for future newsletters are always welcome!
Mark Walsh, “Chief Justice Warns That ‘Civic Education’ Has Fallen by The Wayside,” Education Week
This year-end report by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, highlighting the imperative for civics education, has found a lot of traction on education sites and blogs.
Roberts also mentioned efforts by retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to form iCivics, which provides educational resources about civics, including video games.
Ronald J. Daniels, “Why We Ended Legacy Admissions at Johns Hopkins,” The Atlantic
The president of Johns Hopkins University explains why he sees abolishing legacy admissions as a way for universities to “to fulfill their democratic promise.”
In the intensely competitive process of admission to America’s selective universities, the advantage afforded legacy students is no small matter. One study that looked at admissions to elite colleges in 1997 estimated that legacy status afforded applicants an admissions boost equivalent to an added 160 points on the SAT.
Phoebe Knight, “No, I’m Actually Not Worried About What I’ll ‘Do’ With My Arts Degree,” Globe & Mail
This quick read from a British newspaper gives some answers to the question of what students might do with their humanities degrees.
It is the stigmatization of the liberal arts, and what that means for students today, that bothers me.
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Invisible Diversity: Supporting Our Asian American and Pacific Islander Students, Southern California People of Color in Independent Schools (SoCal POCIS), Sequoyah School, Pasadena, March 12, 7-8:30 pm
Drew Ishii, chair of the mathematics department at Sage Hill and a SoCal POCIS board member, will “explore the complex and authentic aspects of what it means to be AAPI in America and extend that to better understand our students.” Prep is a member of SoCal POCIS, and its events are available to all our faculty and staff. Please RSVP through the Google Form, linked above, if you plan to attend.
“Supporting Healthy Identity Development in a School Community: The Why and How of Racial Identity Groups,” California Teacher Development Collaborative, April 30, Wilshire Boulevard Temple
This new workshop by the CATDC will be co-led by Elizabeth Denevi, who will be presenting at Prep’s inservice day on April 13. Denevi is the associate director for East Ed, a nonprofit that works with schools nationally to increase equity, promote diversity pedagogy and implement strategic processes for growth and development. “Purposefully and thoughtfully designed racial affinity groups enhance cross-cultural communication and provide a space for reflection, dialogue, and support. At their best, racial affinity groups are a powerful tool in creating an inclusive and thriving learning environment. This workshop is aimed at educators who are seeking to learn more about implementing and leading affinity spaces, including diversity practitioners, deans of students, division directors, and others.”
Recent Faculty & Staff Professional Growth
- Dean of Studies Sarah Cooper attended the California Teacher Development Collaborative’s Getting Better with AGE: Appreciation, Growth, and Evaluation Cycles, a one-day workshop in Los Angeles this month.
- Dean of Student Life Barrett Jamison, Dean of Students Midge Kimble and Dean of Faculty Vanessa Walker-Oakes flew to San Francisco this month to attend a Learning and the Brain conference on Educating Anxious Brains: Creating Calm, Connected, Mindful, and Trauma-Sensitive Schools.
- English Department Chair Tyke O’Brien recently completed The Video Essay, an online course through Teacher’s Workshop.
- Assistant Director of Communications Camila Ryder and Director of Communications Nicole Trevor went to Atlanta last month for the annual CASE-NAIS conference for advancement professionals, where they learned about demographic trends and also visited the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Take a look at this month’s newsletter for unusual perspectives on tech, textbooks and more. Also check out a new category, opportunities for conference proposals! Suggestions on any topic for future newsletters are always welcome.
Also, a reminder that applications are due on Feb. 12 for Prep’s Curricular Innovation Grant program, which offers a $2,500 summer grant for curricular work. Details are in your email, and please feel free to ask any questions.
Greg Epstein, “Will the Future of Work Be Ethical?” Tech Crunch
This long-form article about the “ethics of technology” – and whether it is the responsibility of highly educated elites to use their knowledge for social improvement – makes for interesting reading, especially in light of our STEAM initiative. Thanks to Joel Ishii for sending along this piece.
Will the future of work be a dystopia in which thoughtful young people like Gupta tell themselves they want to save the world, but end up ruling the world instead? Or can the students now attending elite private schools and universities and conferences at MIT use their deftness with the master’s tools to dismantle their own house?
Dana Goldstein, “Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories,” New York Times
This fascinating interactive article, outlining content differences in the same textbooks in Texas and California, has made its way with lightning speed around the civics and history teaching communities this month.
‘At the end of the day, it’s a political process,’ said Jesús F. de la Teja, an emeritus professor of history at Texas State University who has worked for the state of Texas and for publishers in reviewing standards and textbooks.
Perri Klass, “When Heavy Periods Disrupt a Teenager’s Life,” New York Times
A doctor and professor of journalism and pediatrics at NYU reports on a December review in JAMA Pediatrics, providing a lot of helpful new information in a short space. Thanks to Raj Wahi for this suggestion.
But because doctors were not necessarily trained to think this way, they don’t always assess this particular vital sign, and some patients may find that doctors dismiss their concerns.
8th Annual Deeper Learning Conference, San Diego, CA, March 25-27, 2020
Sponsored by High Tech High in San Diego, “Deeper Learning 2020 is the 8th annual gathering of powerful educators focused on creating more equitable outcomes by engaging students in deeper learning. DL2020 encourages and supports these educators to be leaders of change, disruptors of inequity and innovators of pedagogy.” Our opening faculty-staff meetings this year mentioned Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine’s In Search of Deeper Learning, whose concepts come to life at this conference. Early registration runs through February 8.
Recent Faculty Professional Growth
- Global Studies Coordinator Ingrid Herskind attended a Risk Management Training workshop, sponsored by the Global Education Benchmark Group, in Los Angeles this month.
- Three faculty are engaged in ongoing workshops with the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC), each meeting for four days over the course of the school year:
- Spanish teacher and 11th Grade Dean Katie Canton is part of Developing Your Leadership Capacity, which focuses on “leadership styles, school culture, communication, diversity and innovation, self-care, networking, and relationship-driven feedback models.”
- Math Department Chair Lesley Fox is taking Mindfulness in the K-12 Classroom, “intended for K-12 teachers and curricular leaders who want to learn about and develop their practice of integrating mindfulness throughout their curriculum.”
- History teacher Kurt Hofer is participating in the History/Social Science Teacher Professional Learning Community, which encourages teachers to “work together on their own pedagogy and curriculum.”
Opportunities to Submit Conference Proposals
In this occasional new category, we will list upcoming conferences that are looking for presenters. Please pass along opportunities you hear about, too!
Private Schools with Public Purpose, deadline February 14
“Polytechnic School in Pasadena is thrilled to be hosting the 13th annual Private Schools with Public Purpose conference on Sept. 24-26, 2020. Planning is well underway, and we are looking forward to having you join us on campus. The theme for PSPP 2020 is Partnerships Today and Beyond. If you would like to share with conference attendees the work that is taking place on your campus or in your community, we encourage you to submit a workshop proposal.”
STL in STL – The Summit for Transformative Learning, rolling deadline February 15
Spanish teacher Cari Banning presented at this conference last year on “The Power of Standards-Based Grading”!
STL in STL runs from May 31 – June 2 in St. Louis. “The Conference Planning Committee seeks proposals that will be informative and relevant, encourage opportunities for learner engagement, and/or demonstrate application to the work of the participants. Proposals are being sought for topics within the following tracks: Best Practices in Pedagogy and Assessment, Deeper Learning for 21st Century Students, Global, Cultural, and Racial Literacy, It's Elementary, Neuroscience: Teachers as Learning Scientists, and Social Emotional Learning.”
Choose groups to clone to: