5 Big Ideas for Teaching & Learning During this Election Season

Idea 1: Take some time to reflect on your role in helping students navigate these times. PD Café: Reflect on your role as a faculty member in challenging class conversations with these professional development questions/activities from the Fall 2016 issue of Teaching Tolerance . Teach 2016: This feature from the Fall 2016 issue of TeachingContinue reading “5 Big Ideas for Teaching & Learning During this Election Season”

i2 Resources for You: Wellness Edition

“We are rescued by love when someone bequeaths dignity, worth, recognition, gratitude upon us, encouragement for us because of who we are and what we do. We simply cannot grasp this alone: that we are precious, and amazing, and of inestimable value, unless this truth is mirrored into our being by another person. We needContinue reading “i2 Resources for You: Wellness Edition”

i2 Resources for You: Innovation Edition

This year is going to be interesting. After looking at all the possibilities and combinations of plans, I built a mission statement. Resources are not unlimited. Time is in short supply. Making decisions requires clear and understandable guidelines. This year to be ready for what could happen the mission is for every workflow, resource, andContinue reading “i2 Resources for You: Innovation Edition”

i2 Resources for You: Inclusivity Edition

“Every student in our classroom has the ability to engage with the material and ideas we present.  Allowing  choices and student agency in how they demonstrate their knowledge and abilities might just blow your mind–in a good way.  Research has shown again and again that those with learning issues that might prevent them from beingContinue reading “i2 Resources for You: Inclusivity Edition”

i2 Resources for You: Diversity/Equity Edition

 “We as a faculty not only are teaching and preparing our students to be leaders in the world, but want them to know they are seen, valued, and heard in our classrooms. We want them to know that this is not just a safe space but it is also a brave space.”   -Sarah Spann,  DiversityContinue reading “i2 Resources for You: Diversity/Equity Edition”

Playful Experimentation: Middle School Faculty Take On Virtual Learning

I have three children, and, despite the fact that it has largely been debunked, I still find the literature on birth order fascinating.  And although middle children often get a bad rap, I have found that my cream-in-the-middle-of-the-oreo son has reaped all sorts of benefits from entering the world between two very opinionated sisters.  HeContinue reading “Playful Experimentation: Middle School Faculty Take On Virtual Learning”

Keeping it Real: Upper School Faculty Make Strides in Virtual Teaching & Learning

In my past life, the one in which people called me Dr. Rust and visited my office hours and I was always grading-grading-grading, I would often lament the fact that my undergraduates in Jackson, MS were just so dang polite.  It wasn’t the repeated “Ma’ams” that made me feel ancient or the way people rushedContinue reading “Keeping it Real: Upper School Faculty Make Strides in Virtual Teaching & Learning”

Remembering Schooltopia: Fostering Inclusive Fifth Graders through Project-Based Learning & Collaboration

Lately I’ve been having a lot of school dreams.  The plot lines are usually illogical and impossible to follow, but they have one thing in common: I am surrounded by lots of people with no need to concern myself with six feet of social distance.  Perhaps this means we are all ready for a tripContinue reading “Remembering Schooltopia: Fostering Inclusive Fifth Graders through Project-Based Learning & Collaboration”

NOT ANOTHER LIST OF IDEAS!: Information Overload in the Era of COVID-19

In a historical moment when everything is shifting rapidly, it feels good to say that one thing has remained the same: I love free stuff.  And probably the most beautiful thing to come out of this terrible crisis is to see gatekeeper after gatekeeper of content (from audio books to premium workout videos) raise theirContinue reading “NOT ANOTHER LIST OF IDEAS!: Information Overload in the Era of COVID-19”

What can we do now? We teach.

We have all been blown about by a myriad of feelings these past few weeks.  I have had moments of “Hurray! No more driving to soccer practice!” alongside moments of deep grieving as my children shed tears about long-awaited events floating into oblivion like dandelion fuzz dispelled by the wind.  Some moments the feelings intersected,Continue reading “What can we do now? We teach.”

Graphic Design, (Re)Designed: How it all went down

Back in late October, we blogged about Emmi Sprayberry’s community-engaged reimagining of Graphic Design.  At that time, we emphasized the steps Emmi took to plan for such a course, and we ended the blog with students in the early stages of working in small groups to come up with products they hoped would impress (1)Continue reading “Graphic Design, (Re)Designed: How it all went down”

Making the Move from Teacher Innovation to Student Innovation: Face-to-Face Interviews Bringing Science to Life

Several weeks ago, I got a very welcome email from Perry Goldsbury, 7th grade science teacher.  In it, he wrote: I wanted to share a quick story of student innovation with you . . . Currently in 7th grade science, the students are working on a presentation related to a nervous system disorder. One ofContinue reading “Making the Move from Teacher Innovation to Student Innovation: Face-to-Face Interviews Bringing Science to Life”

The (Vintage) Innovation Exhibition

I first ran across the concept of “Vintage Innovation” in an email promoting John Spencer’s new book on the subject: The idea is simple and yet, at the same time, counter-cultural. Vintage innovation rejects simple binaries and the notion that innovation always looks shiny and digital and instead asserts that “sometimes the best way toContinue reading “The (Vintage) Innovation Exhibition”

Students on the Move: Using Station Rotations to Foster Collaboration, Autonomy, and Experiential Learning

Emily Philpott, Associate Director of Global Studies, Upper School Science & History Faculty I have realized this year just how much I use stations as an instructional practice in all of my classes. While the implementation and structure depend on the desired learning outcomes and course discipline (I teach both history and science), the generalContinue reading “Students on the Move: Using Station Rotations to Foster Collaboration, Autonomy, and Experiential Learning”

Bracelet-Making, “Talkie Walkies,” and Fishing as Revolution: How Free Choice Fridays Disrupt Our Notions of Schooling

It’s 2:25pm Friday afternoon.  You are twelve years old. You’ve spent the week running from class to class, trying to bring the right supplies to each place, going to sports practices, doing the homework, engaging in whatever it is the teacher has dreamed up.  You breathe a sigh of relief. TGIFCF (Thank God it’s FreeContinue reading “Bracelet-Making, “Talkie Walkies,” and Fishing as Revolution: How Free Choice Fridays Disrupt Our Notions of Schooling”

People Speaking to People

This post was contributed by Dr. Matt Luter. At our first faculty idea-share of the year in August, I shared with some of you how much I have been influenced recently by the writing of John Warner. His two recent books, Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities and The Writer’sContinue reading “People Speaking to People”

Ode to Conferences

I know I don’t represent everyone on this, but I have always found teaching conferences, gatherings populated with and led by feet-on-the-ground practitioners, life-changing. I’ll never forget my first NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Conference. I was 21 years old, in the midst of that most difficult first year of teaching, and IContinue reading “Ode to Conferences”

‘Tis the Season: Embracing the Ebb and Flow of Innovation & Inspiration

Sometimes I just wake up uninspired.  I might not have slept well the night before.  I might have had a weird conversation in which I felt misunderstood, underappreciated.  Often I’m just overwhelmed with a million different things pulling on my minutes and hours, things that even though I know aren’t my priority just have toContinue reading “‘Tis the Season: Embracing the Ebb and Flow of Innovation & Inspiration”

Homework: Bringing Purpose to the Practice

During last week’s Late Wednesday, faculty at the middle school began a conversation about homework, led by our incredible MS Learning Facilitator, Lynda Morse. (Click here for a link to the slideshow.)  Rather than fixate on the question of quantity (a well-worn topic by all accounts) we began with the notion of quality.  How intentionalContinue reading “Homework: Bringing Purpose to the Practice”