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Faculty Newsletter

December Faculty Newsletter: Dreaming About Summer Professional Growth

Winter break can be the perfect time to imagine what you want to do and where you want to go this summer. Many programs have application deadlines between January and March. Here’s a starting list of options across disciplines. 

Park City Math Institute Summer Session 

“The PCMI Summer Session is an intensive program that includes several parallel sets of activities aimed at different groups of participants across the entire mathematics community. These activities include a program for mathematics researchers, eight mini-courses for graduate students on topics related to harmonic analysis, two lecture series for undergraduate students, a program for faculty from predominantly undergraduate institutions, a workshop on equity and mathematics education for undergraduate faculty, and a professional development program for K–12 school teachers. All of PCMI’s groups meet simultaneously, pursuing individual courses of study and a meaningful amount of interaction both scientifically and socially.” 

NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School Teachers

These competitive, intensive workshops cover everything from religion to literature to history: “Each year, NEH offers tuition-free opportunities for school, college, and university educators to study a variety of humanities topics. Stipends of $1,200-$3,300 help cover expenses for these one- to four-week programs.

Stanley H. King Counseling Institute for Independent Secondary Schools

A number of our deans, and last summer the college counselors, have attended this excellent institute: “The Stanley H. King Counseling Institute offers a model of teaching counseling and listening skills to teachers, advisors, administrators, and other school personnel. Our goal is not to train professional counselors, but to help teachers strengthen and deepen their relationships with students. Participants learn to help students with the range of developmental issues, as well as to recognize serious psychological difficulty and seek appropriate help.”

Wildwood Multicultural Leadership Institute

“This five-day institute is designed for educators to create and sustain authentically multicultural schools through reflection, understanding, planning, and implementation. Our Multicultural Leadership Institute provides responsive professional development by leveraging current research and practice, along with Wildwood School's institutional experiences. The setting is intimate, and intentionally small, limited to 40 participants. The Institute supports individuals and cohorts committed to developing a shared vision of institutional and cultural change within their schools. Participants will consider, generate, and refine strategies to foster authentically inclusive and equitable practices.”

Exploratorium Summer Institute for Teachers

“Join us each summer for three weeks of nonstop science exploration. Since 1984, the Exploratorium Teacher Institute has offered a summer professional development program for middle and high school science teachers. Our institutes support the content and pedagogy described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). During the institutes, teachers work with each other and with staff scientists and educators to learn more about science teaching. They will introduce you to the museum’s exhibits, the foundation of our teaching programs, and will also lead activities and model pedagogical skills that will help relay science concepts to your students. Together, we will carry out hands-on investigations of natural phenomena and highlight how they relate to human perception, physical science, life science, earth science, and mathematics.”

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Teacher Seminars

These seminars cover topics relevant to English as well as history teachers: “The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History offers rigorous Teacher Seminars for K–12 educators. Held at colleges and historic sites across the US and abroad, the weeklong workshops include daily programs with leading American historians, visits to local historic sites, and hands-on work with primary sources.” 

Teaching the Humanities Through Art: Smithsonian Summer Institutes for Teachers

“Attend one of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s week-long institutes in the nation’s capital. Join educators from across the country for an exciting exploration of the connections among American art, social studies, history, and English/language arts.”

Posted by rfeliciano on Friday December 15, 2017 at 11:03AM
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November Faculty Newsletter: Take a Look at Tech from All Angles

Notetaking, reading comprehension, and access to screens are just some of the issues these articles investigate.

Belle Beth Cooper, "How to Finally Stop Taking Useless Notes at Work,” Fast Company

These suggestions can work for students as well as adults: don’t highlight, handwrite your notes, use a bullet journal, write a to-do list, and even draw your notes. 

For starters, don’t use a laptop to take notes, no matter where you are. A series of studies pitted laptop note takers against students taking longhand notes and found the laptop approach fared worst in terms of information recall. 

Patricia A. Alexander and Lauren M. Singer, “A new study shows that students learn way more effectively from print textbooks than screens,” Business Insider

Often students will “glide” through shorter online texts, at the expense of deep comprehension.

Our work has revealed a significant discrepancy. Students said they preferred and performed better when reading on screens. But their actual performance tended to suffer. 

Natasha Singer and Danielle Ivory, “How Silicon Valley Plans to Conquer the Classroom,” New York Times

Are tech companies getting too close to public school districts? This in-depth report implies yes.

Silicon Valley is going all out to own America’s school computer-and-software market, projected to reach $21 billion in sales by 2020. An industry has grown up around courting public-school decision makers, and tech companies are using a sophisticated playbook to reach them.

Workshop: CUE National Conference, Palm Springs, March 14-17, 2018

This enormous conference about all things tech gets rave reviews from participants,
including Sylvie and Genevieve. According to the site, CUE inspires “innovative learners by fostering community, personalizing learning, infusing technology, developing leadership, and advocating educational opportunities for all.” 

Posted by rfeliciano on Tuesday November 28, 2017
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October Faculty Newsletter: Keeping Your Mojo Lit

All of these articles talk about taking care of ourselves mentally and even physically, so that we can be open to change and innovation. 

Sarah McKibben, “10 Ways to Get Your Mojo Back,” Education Update, ASCD

The title says it all, and this article says it well.

For new teachers, the October blues can hit especially hard. "I remember feeling so overwhelmed, like nothing I did was ever enough…I could have worked at school 24 hours a day and still had piles [of paper] on my desk." Her mentors pulled her through the slump. 

Paul Jun, “7 Pieces of Wisdom That Will Change the Way You Work,” 99U

In this piece, the author quotes from seven different creators, including Kurt Vonnegut and Martha Graham, to find inspiration in our daily work. 

In July 2012, I set off to write a short book to sell online. It took me eight months to write and ship it. I patiently waited for the results—praise, recognition, and opportunities. To my surprise, nothing happened, and I felt mortified. There were no downloads, no reviews, and no revenue—just crickets. 

Leah Shaffer, “Why ‘Unlearning’ Old Habits Is an Essential Step for Innovation,” Mind/Shift

Thinking about changing our teaching practices can be a matter of changing identity as much as changing pedagogy. 

What stands in the way of implementing change is the inability to see things beyond what they’ve always been in the past. In order to figure out if something needs to be unlearned to make room for change, Biller asks four questions.

Workshops: Consortium of Equity Conferences, throughout the year 

You may know about SDLC and POCC, but what about the Creating Change conference or the Social Justice Training Institute? This list of half a dozen conferences, some affiliated with NAIS, covers an interesting range of topics.


Posted by rfeliciano on Monday October 30, 2017 at 01:23PM
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Flintridge Preparatory School
4543 Crown Avenue La Cañada Flintridge CA 91011
Tel: 818-790-1178
Fax: 818-952-6247
Located near Pasadena and Los Angeles in La Cañada, CA, Flintridge Prep is a private independent, coed day school for grades 7-12.
  • NAIS
  • FAST
  • CSEE
  • Independent Curriculum Group
  • Independent Curriculum Group
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