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””

May Day, 4th Grade Crossing, and Teaching Assistant Nostalgia

A fully dressed maypole is a stunning sight, even during rehearsals. It’s Friday, known around here as “May Day,” and the fourth grade has just completed their final dress rehearsal before this evening.  I’m standing to the left of the field next to the 70 empty fold out chairs, getting a little sad all ofContinue reading “May Day, 4th Grade Crossing, and Teaching Assistant Nostalgia”

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”

Gaudeamus Igitur: It’s Gonna be… Nay, It IS May!

Authored by Marty Kelly (The following is adapted from a speech given to the Jackson Area Association of Independent Schools) (Also, I’m really sorry if you are tired of the “It’s gonna be May” meme, but I’m even sorrier if you don’t understand it because that means you missed out on the glory that wasContinue reading “Gaudeamus Igitur: It’s Gonna be… Nay, It IS May!”

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”

When the Grass is Greener: A Case for Better Teacher Compensation

Authored by Dean Julius Pick up a copy of any local or state newspaper across the country in the past two years, and you’re likely to find an article discussing teacher shortages, national staffing challenges, or “The Great Resignation.” This isn’t endemic to education. Fields across the country are finding it hard to fill allContinue reading “When the Grass is Greener: A Case for Better Teacher Compensation”

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”

Social Media for Elementary Students? Well… Sort of, but not really.

Authored by Rachel Scott I am sure you are thinking, “No way! No how!” but just hear me out. I am not talking about real social media such as instagram, facebook, snapchat, etc. (I truly am not that crazy.), but a safe, secure environment for students to share ideas and work, collaborate with their peers,Continue reading “Social Media for Elementary Students? Well… Sort of, but not really.”

Bravo Ad Infinitum: Spotlight on Ray McFarland

Authored by Marty Kelly Though my colleague and friend now, Ray McFarland was once my high school advisor who let my graduating class of seniors have a lock-in at the then brand new CPA. Talk about cool. He was also the actor that my family and I loved to watch at New Stage Theatre inContinue reading “Bravo Ad Infinitum: Spotlight on Ray McFarland”

(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”

The Corner of “Practically Perfect in Every Way” and Practically Prepared to Binge Watch All Day

Authored by Marty Kelly So I’ve got some great news. I finished that book I told y’all about that was giving me fits of guilt. That David Gemmell book about Aeneas before Aeneas was really Aeneas. It was okay. Bad news: I noticed a number of typos. Sigh.  Other bad news I didn’t talk aboutContinue reading “The Corner of “Practically Perfect in Every Way” and Practically Prepared to Binge Watch All Day”