Thoughts & Fragments of a 1st Grade Teacher Mom: A Timeline Leading Up to Meet the Teacher

Authored by Mary McCall McArthur August 1: Check email. Read Back to School Faculty Agenda. Make childcare and meal prep plans for days I’ll work in my room after PD time. August 2: Check email. Read they’re looking for breakout sessions. I might have something that can help? August 4: Thanks to childcare, by 7:30Continue reading “Thoughts & Fragments of a 1st Grade Teacher Mom: A Timeline Leading Up to Meet the Teacher”

We are back and we have themes!: September 2022 we delve deep into “Best Intentions”

Our esSAy is back for the 22-23 school year, and we are fresh-faced.  Welcome (from left to right) to Hollie Marjanovic (US), Kim Sewell (ECC), Michelle Portera (LS), Rachel Scott (LS), and Brad P–. ..I mean Buck Cooper (MS). (I promise to replace this image with the real Buck ASAP!) We are also fresh-themed.  AndContinue reading “We are back and we have themes!: September 2022 we delve deep into “Best Intentions””

If this school year was a mixed tape: Top hits of 2021-2022

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, itContinue reading “If this school year was a mixed tape: Top hits of 2021-2022”

Final Episode of Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide: Discipline & Restorative Practices

If you really stop and think about it, teaching middle school is a pretty impossible proposition. Imagine convincing a room of 15-20 youth going through all the physical and emotional and social turmoil of puberty that complying with your plan for the next 75 minutes involving rigorous academic study is the way to go. AndContinue reading “Final Episode of Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide: Discipline & Restorative Practices”

Starting Fresh: Building Community with Admin & Faculty at Foundations (Episode 5)

So many of the issues and misunderstandings that arise between faculty and admin result from long histories, things that happened in the past in an institution, habits of interaction, and a lack of adaptability or willingness to change.  Well what if you had a blank slate? A fresh start? All smooth sailing? We are goingContinue reading “Starting Fresh: Building Community with Admin & Faculty at Foundations (Episode 5)”

“A Day in the Life”: Episode 4 in Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to teach art to first graders or Spanish to seniors? Ever curious how a head of school spends their day?  In this week’s episode, we share stories and lived realities from three distinct vantage points: Nancy Rivas (Co -Chair of the Department of World and Classical Languages), JessicaContinue reading ““A Day in the Life”: Episode 4 in Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide”

Episode 3 Drops on “Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide”: Unpacking Teacher Support with Rachel Scott, Michelle Portera, and Shea Egger

We’re back, and we’ve got an incredible, honest episode unpacking teacher support featuring two thought-provoking lower school guests: Michelle Portera (first grade teacher) and Shea Egger (lower school head).  Spoiler alert, I almost named this episode with various combinations of the following nouns: authenticity, vulnerability, trust and connection.   Check out snippets from host Rachel Scott’sContinue reading “Episode 3 Drops on “Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide”: Unpacking Teacher Support with Rachel Scott, Michelle Portera, and Shea Egger”

Shark Tank Meets HISTORY Class?!

As far as engaging learning activity tricks go, I’ve got to admit . . . . I have a soft spot for Shark Tank.  Simulating this “reality-TV-meets-business-board-room” has all the stuff I love about a great teaching/learning setup: collaboration, performance, speaking/listening, competition, role play, application, and authentic audience.  Typically, though, I see Shark Tank utilizedContinue reading “Shark Tank Meets HISTORY Class?!”

Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide (Ep 2): On Greatness

This week’s episode in our season of bridging the faculty/admin divide: Greatness.  What do faculty think make a good administrator? What do administrators think make a great faculty member?  And is there a way we can  all miraculously inch that direction together?  I was lucky to be joined by three incredibly great humans to discussContinue reading “Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide (Ep 2): On Greatness”

(Season 4) Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide Presents Episode 1: Unpacking Graduation Requirements with Colin Dunnigan

Last month I blogged about the theme of this spring’s set of podcasts: bridging the faculty/admin divide. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart, and it’s one that has produced a host of complex topics of conversational focus, thanks to the faculty planning and hosting. In this inaugural episode of our fourth season,Continue reading “(Season 4) Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide Presents Episode 1: Unpacking Graduation Requirements with Colin Dunnigan”

No Villains Here: Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide

Authored by Julie Rust “I’m also trying to remember to just be kind. To each other. To our students. To our administrators. Side point: there’s a toxic sentiment in schools that places teachers and administrators squarely against each other. I don’t like that. Our administrators are dealing with *stuff* too, and sometimes it’s hard toContinue reading “No Villains Here: Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide”

Statistics Meets Academic Conference

Students in David Bramlett’s statistics class put their learning on display this week through collaborative poster sessions this week. The project was a powerful way to put their semester’s learning to use, and presenting to small groups (rather than a formal speech to an entire class) was hugely preferred by the students. Of course, asContinue reading “Statistics Meets Academic Conference”

The Athletics-Academics Connection, and Why Preparing for Finals is a Lot Like Practicing for the Big Game

This post was contributed by Hollie Marjanovic. What better person to present on the topic of stress in a “high stakes” situation than Russell Marsalis, who coached in (and won) his first basketball state championship last March?!  Coach Marsalis did a fantastic job of explaining that every game you play is just a game–whether it isContinue reading “The Athletics-Academics Connection, and Why Preparing for Finals is a Lot Like Practicing for the Big Game”

Why Teaching Two Year Olds is a Whole Lot Like Teaching Anyone: A Foundations Highlight

I have a theory that we as humans need tribes.  As much as we all subscribe to the great unifying collectivity of our species, the notion of “we’re all in this together” can simply be too big for our small selves to contain.  We need groups the size of “I can hold you in myContinue reading “Why Teaching Two Year Olds is a Whole Lot Like Teaching Anyone: A Foundations Highlight”

Final Episode of the Season: Parent Teacher Conference, Lower School Edition, Academic Performance

In this final episode drop in our Parent Teacher Conference season, we feature a conversation about the oh-so-fraught topic of academic performance, facilitated by Rachel Scott, our new Lower School Technology Integration Specialist.  Tune in to get some perspective-shifting wisdom from Rachel Rice (mom of five young saints spanning Foundations to fifth grade), real talkContinue reading “Final Episode of the Season: Parent Teacher Conference, Lower School Edition, Academic Performance”

(Ep. 3) Parent Teacher Conference, Early Childhood Edition: Fostering Independence at Home & School

Fostering independence in three, four, and five year olds may sound like a paradox, but in this episode of Parent Teacher Conference, Kim Sewell (PK4 faculty member and mom of three not-so-tiny young adults) and Leslie Hambrick (parent to Jimbo, kindergarten, and Charlie, PK4) discuss the successes and challenges they have had both at homeContinue reading “(Ep. 3) Parent Teacher Conference, Early Childhood Edition: Fostering Independence at Home & School”

Inspire & Innovate’s “Parent Teacher Conference” Episode 2 Launch: The Power of a Story

 This episode of “Parent Teacher Conference” takes us to the Upper School, where Emmi Sprayberry (chair of our arts department) facilitates a conversation with Raymond Huang, current senior; Tangela Chambers, mother to two upper school students (a senior and sophomore); and Dawn Denham, senior seminar English teacher.   High school is full of challenges…and for manyContinue reading “Inspire & Innovate’s “Parent Teacher Conference” Episode 2 Launch: The Power of a Story”

Launch of Next Podcast Series: “Parent Teacher Conference” (Episode 1, Middle School & Positive Classroom Environments)

Well, we just made it through parent teacher conference season here at St. Andrew’s. From all accounts, they were generative and collaborative conversations in which it was clear that parents, teachers, and admin are all part of the same team dedicated to supporting youth in their growth and abilities. In the spirit of those dialogues,Continue reading “Launch of Next Podcast Series: “Parent Teacher Conference” (Episode 1, Middle School & Positive Classroom Environments)”

It Takes a Village: Resources on North Campus to Support Your Learning Goals

I don’t know about you, but when I used to teach middle and high school English, I felt the visceral weight of all that I wanted students to accomplish as a result of my class: vocabulary, speaking/listening, comprehension, literary devices, love for reading/writing, basic knowledge of literary canon, openness to diverse perspectives, writing, multimodal design,Continue reading “It Takes a Village: Resources on North Campus to Support Your Learning Goals”

Let’s Be Real: What Teachers Need

I’ve heard it again and again from faculty. Different words, sure. Different tones, different rifts on the same melody. But the gist is the same: “Julie, I know you mean well, but I don’t have time to read those emails you send out.” “This year is somehow much more stressful than last year.” “Anytime youContinue reading “Let’s Be Real: What Teachers Need”