As you may know, I often reference how lucky I am to work with an incredible faculty. Being a pragmatist, I decided to take advantage of their talents and insights by inviting some of my colleagues to guest blog for me. My first guest blogger is Ms. Elise Krogman, first-year Science Teacher. I know you will appreciate her insights as I did.
The last time I wrote a blog post, it was 2013, and I was backpacking for almost two months across Europe. Now, I find myself sitting down to write a guest blog post for the Dean of Academics at St. Augustine Prep (The Prep) about my first year teaching here. While the two experiences could not seem more different, in reality they are actually quite similar. In both situations, I was travelling by myself to a land unknown, and relying on the help and kindness of strangers to guide me through the upcoming months of my life. What I didn’t realize was how familiar these places would feel after what felt like no time at all, and how these strangers would come to be some of my closest friends and role models.
I have certainly learned a lot at the Prep this year… Continue reading “High school boys are not afraid to tell you that they don’t like your haircut.”
This morning I participated in a Twitter chat (#satchat – every Saturday at 7:30 AM). The topic was “Innovation in the Classroom.” It is a great topic, and it was a great conversation. I am thankful to be able to learn from so many other inspiring educators. If you have never tried a Twitter chat, I encourage you to try it. If you need help on how to, just ask me (@DeanofAcademics or Mr.Burke@hermits.com). I would be happy to help get you started.
As I was reading the comments in the chat, I remembered a breakfast conversation that I had over 5 years ago. I was in my second year of administration and was lucky to have the ear and voice of an experienced Head of School sitting across the table. My breakfast companion had been in education for over 40 years and was then the Head of School at a similar all-boys independent school. In the moment, I did not realize how fortunate I was to have been able to pick his brain for an hour. I could have asked so many more poignant questions than I did. Still, I took a lot away from our meeting, and there is one particular comment that I will never forget. I asked a generic question about effective teacher observations, but his response was profound: Continue reading Duck! The Pendulum is Swinging Again
I can’t wait for our in-service; I always learn so much! (Said no teacher… ever.)
Planning professional development (PD) days that suit ALL of our teachers is difficult. As the husband of an elementary school art teacher, an amazing elementary school art teacher, I hear often about the lack of relevance offered to her during in-service days. My wife loves her students and works hard to inspire them each day. Unfortunately though, as an art teacher she rarely grows as an educator during all-school PD days. Why? Because they’re geared toward “important” subjects like science and math? Because they focus on tested areas of the curriculum? For a variety of reasons she, like many other teachers, is expected to sit through sessions that offer very little to help her grow as an educator. For teachers, all teachers, there has to be a better way. Continue reading 4 out of 5 Educators Choose Root Canal Over PD