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”

Graphic Design, (Re)Designed: The Case for Community Engagement

When Emmi Sprayberry sits down to plan her classes, she probably does what a lot of us do.  She thinks about her course objectives and maps out a tentative timeline of activities that build toward those objectives.  But for her, that is just the beginning. Her next step involves phone calls, emails, and meetings withContinue reading “Graphic Design, (Re)Designed: The Case for Community Engagement”

Love & Mandarin: Scripting and Staging for Chinese Valentine’s Day

When sitting in Grace Pei’s Mandarin 5, you better be ready for all-Mandarin, all-the-time. Near the end of my observation of her class, students worked collaboratively on a script (in the target language of course), and I just had to ask to be invited to the big performance of a well-known Chinese Valentine’s Day story.Continue reading “Love & Mandarin: Scripting and Staging for Chinese Valentine’s Day”

“Yeah, but when will I actually use this in the real world?”: Making Relevance Visible, One Angle at a Time

If you have taught even a day, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of the the sometimes-sincere, sometimes-snarky question: “When will we actually use this in real life?”  Math teachers probably have heard this more than most, and we are lucky to have faculty in our math department at St. Andrew’s that are readyContinue reading ““Yeah, but when will I actually use this in the real world?”: Making Relevance Visible, One Angle at a Time”

Two Flavors of Flipped: From 5th to 12th Grade

Several weeks ago, I had the honor of visiting our extraordinary lab-stuffed upper school science department, and in the process, I learned a lot, including: rollie pollies prefer rough surfaces; lab report writing takes explicit instruction and precision; and, take heart all of us who were traumatized by labs when we were in school: thereContinue reading “Two Flavors of Flipped: From 5th to 12th Grade”

Wall O’ Teacher Awesomeness

So I’m a relative newbie as an employee at St. Andrew’s. And in this new teaching and learning gig, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of popping into an incredible variety of classrooms. I cannot say this with enough emphasis: “OUR FACULTY ARE AMAZING.” Oh hey, that’s you. Anyway, I know the word “awesome” is prettyContinue reading “Wall O’ Teacher Awesomeness”

St. Andrew’s 2019 Faculty Summer Share Out

North Campus Edition A long-enduring adage claims that many teachers choose the vocation of teaching namely because they get to take the summers off. Last Wednesday’s power-packed Faculty Summer Share Out, however, indicates that such a sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth. Last Wednesday at the North Campus, sixteen faculty presented resources, ideas, andContinue reading “St. Andrew’s 2019 Faculty Summer Share Out”

What I Mean When I Say “Innovation”

WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer,When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,Till rising and gliding out I wander’d offContinue reading “What I Mean When I Say “Innovation””