Conversations in Education

From teacher book groups to conversations in the faculty lounge, Prep faculty and administrators think all the time about how we support our students. In this space each month we’ll provide links, resources and inspiration about teaching at Prep and education in general.

From teacher book groups to conversations in the faculty lounge, Prep faculty read and talk a lot about education. Each month we highlight a few memorable pieces or videos. Our goal is to make the process of parenting, learning and living a little saner, to put things a little more in perspective. These articles will be chosen by Prep teachers and administrators.  If you want to share your ideas, feel free to comment on an individual post or contact Dean of Studies Sarah Cooper.


3 Articles to Help You Understand Your Student’s Brain – and Your Own

Just in the last year, an impressive 52% of faculty participated in professional growth opportunities sponsored by the school. The range of professional development programs is particularly interesting because of the variety of options that faculty choose.

Why do our faculty pursue professional development with such fervor? They may want to explore a new topic or approach to teaching or dive deep into a creative opportunity. They may feel energized by learning and want to pass on that enthusiasm to their students.

They connect with each other, as well. Just before school started in August, Prep’s teachers were galvanized by their colleagues’ professional growth. Altogether, fifteen faculty members presented in small groups about the intensive workshops they attended this summer. For a full list of their summer travels, please go here.

Here are a few articles recommended by faculty related to the workshops they attended, with broad applications to all students and their parents. 

1. “Teaching to All the (Paleo) Brains in the Room”

This piece from the National Association of Independent Schools, suggested by history teacher Megan Bowman after attending a Southern Association of Independent Schools institute, can help all of us learn better. “We are all artists” and “We use executive function skills all the time to adapt to our environment” are just two of the article’s takeaways.

2. “After a Cancer Diagnosis, Lessons in Priorities”

This more intense article profiles David Menasche, an English teacher who wrote a book called The Priority List: A Teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest Lessons, after discovering he had brain cancer. Biology teacher Michelle Lee heard about Menasche while attending the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Institute at the Nueva School, and she has already shared SEL activities from the institute with 7th and 9th grade advisors.

3. “Brain Development and Adolescent Growth Spurts”

When is this topic not relevant with middle and high school students? A number of faculty, including English teacher Megan Burton and science teacher Reid Fritz, attended summer workshops on how the mind and brain relate to education. This summer’s Prep faculty book group choice, Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education by Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher, also dove into how the brain works. Read this piece to help you better understand your teenager! 

As always, please feel free to get in touch with any ideas or comments, either in the comments section below or by contacting Dean of Studies Sarah Cooper

Posted by rfeliciano on Monday September, 17, 2018 at 11:54AM


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Flintridge Preparatory School
4543 Crown Avenue La Cañada Flintridge CA 91011
Tel: 818-790-1178
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Located near Pasadena and Los Angeles in La Cañada, CA, Flintridge Prep is a private independent, coed day school for grades 7-12.
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