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.”
As we head into the break, some people like to dream about the summer to come. If that’s you, please take a look at this long list of opportunities! We’ll return to the usual articles format in January.
To stay local, consider applying for Prep’s Curricular Innovation Grant program, which offers a $2,500 summer grant for curricular work. Details are in your email, and applications are due Feb. 12.
Summer 2020 Professional Growth Opportunities
- The Global Education Benchmark Group is offering a fascinating array of summer symposia, including “Climate Change, Conservation and Economic Development” in Panama and “Understanding China Today” in China.
- Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire hosts more than 400 teachers per year in its Exeter for Educators workshops, with institutes covering writing, astronomy, math, diversity, biology and the humanities. If you’re interested, take a look now, as the workshops fill very quickly once they open. Eric Hallett attended one of the math institutes last summer.
- On this coast is the Exeter Humanities Institute West, at the Bishop’s School in La Jolla. Abel Fuentes attended last year.
- Wildwood School in Los Angeles offers two interesting summer institutes, the Multicultural Leadership Institute and the Systems Thinking Schools Summer Workshop.
- Also in Los Angeles, the Community Works Institute holds a workshop on Place-Based Service Learning and Sustainability for K-16. Josh Perlman attended last summer.
- A highly regarded pedagogical seminar is the Center for Transformational Teaching and Learning’s The Science of Teaching and School Leadership Academy 2020, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Maryland.
- The motto of the E.E. Ford Summer Teachers’ Colloquium in Santa Fe is “Relearn. Rejuvenate. Recharge.” Classes span disciplines from math to theater to literature and beyond. Tyke O’Brien took a writing class there last summer.
- Independent School Management offers two dozen practical and inspiring workshops at its Summer Institute in Philadelphia. In recent years, faculty including Fabian Bejarano, Lesley Fox, Barrett Jamison and Sarah Cooper have found the experience valuable.
- The Summit for Transformative Learning in St. Louis—STL in STL—focuses on all kinds of educational research and trends, including neuroscience, social emotional learning, assessment strategies and global, cultural and racial literacy. Cari Banning attended and presented here in 2019.
- If you have other ideas, please get in touch!
Recent Faculty & Staff Professional Growth
- Science teacher Michelle Gee and math teacher Madeline Martin just returned from the National Association for Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference in Seattle.
- Global Studies Coordinator Ingrid Herskind recently completed an online course through National Geographic, Mapping as a Visualization and Communication Tool in Your Classroom.
This month’s pieces encourage us to watch each other teach, explore digital annotation tools and be aware of trends in college costs. Please also check out the upcoming SXSW EDU conference in Austin and colleagues’ many recent professional growth experiences.
Jennifer Gonzalez, “Open Your Door: Why We Need to See Each Other Teach,” Cult of Pedagogy
This classic and down-to-earth article about teachers spending time in each other’s classrooms might make you want to pop next door for a visit right now!
When I go over to someone’s house and it’s spotlessly clean, I feel kind of jealous and insecure. But crumbs on the counter and shoes in the hallway? On a gut level, I’m more comfortable. In this place, my psyche tells me, I won’t be judged. The same goes for your teaching: If you let someone else see you screw up, they will probably be more comfortable having you observe them. What happens next is you both start to take more risks, try new things. You cultivate a spirit of experimentation and learning together, rather than struggling to out-perfect each other.
“Top Tech Tools for Digital Annotation,” Common Sense Education
Many of us across disciplines have expressed a desire for seamless online annotation of texts. This list of 18 includes VoiceThread, Diigo, Genius, Scrible and more. If you end up using and liking one of them, please let us know.
You'll be giving students a voice as they develop close-reading skills, provide analysis and opinion, become fact-finding web detectives, engage in peer review, and practice essential research techniques. And with these tools, teachers can highlight important points, promote critical thinking through video, inspire inquiry, observe student confusion, personalize grading, and streamline the paperless classroom.
Alia Wong, “Six-Figure Price Tags Are Coming to Colleges,” The Atlantic
Some might think that tuition costs are rising largely because of expanded amenities for students, but personnel costs are a main factor driving higher prices at some private colleges.
The gap between sticker and net price is growing at colleges across the country. Data published by the College Board suggest that a typical student at a private, nonprofit, bachelor-granting institution in the United States pays roughly $10,000 less than the average sticker price, which was about $37,000 in the past school year. Much of the sticker-net gap is a result of tuition discounts.
SXSW EDU 2020 Conference, Austin, Texas, March 9-12, 2020
This exciting and highly regarded conference is guaranteed to offer food for thought, with “a diverse array of speakers, sessions, workshops, learning experiences, policy discussions and film screenings programmed to foster learning and discovery for all education stakeholders.” Thematic tracks include K-12 education, leadership, equity, global education, the science of learning, SEL & wellness, student agency and more.
Professional Growth Presentations
- Head Librarian Meryl Eldridge and Librarian Claire LaPolt presented on some of their favorite titles at a bibliotherapy panel at the Southern California Librarian of Independent Schools Fall Meeting, which focused on Social and Emotional Learning, in October in Santa Monica.
Fall Faculty & Staff Professional Growth
- Dean of Studies Sarah Cooper recently attended Overcoming Obstacles to Recruiting Minority Teachers, Administrators and Coaches through NemNet Minority Recruitment in San Francisco.
- Head Librarian Meryl Eldridge learned more about Navigating Those Tricky Conversations in Oakland through the California Teacher Development Collaborative this month.
- Math teacher Joel Ishii worked with Stanford education professor Jo Boaler at the YouCubed Mindset Mathematics Workshop in Palo Alto in October.
- In San Diego in October, Dean of Student Life Barrett Jamison attended a workshop sponsored by Independent School Management: “Summer Program: An Asset to Your School.”
- In October, Celeste McMillin, Student Community Action Council advisor, flew to New Orleans for the Council on Spiritual and Ethical Education’s Service Learning Event.
- English teacher Genevieve Morgan kept up with the latest in educational technology at the CUE Fall Conference in Sacramento in October.
- This month Director of College Counseling Gloria Ventura headed to Washington, D.C., for the annual College Board Forum.
- Associate Director of College Counseling Brooke Yoshino attended the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s annual conference in September in Louisville, Kentucky.
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