Thursday Sessions [Block 3, 1:15 - 2:15 PM]
JoJo: When a Project Becomes a Passion
Luke Hladek, Wheeling Country Day School (WV)
In 2014, Wheeling Country Day School's fifth grade science class researched, designed, and engineered a weather balloon project in order to see and hear the stratosphere. Tragically, one of the students passed away just before launching and immediately this already impressive task took on immeasurable weight. They renamed the project JoJo I, after the boy, and launched their first balloon the day of his funeral. The results were unimaginable, and this project has become an instant staple at our school.
Reclaiming Healthy Intimacy
Daisy Pellant, Breck School (MN)
Healthy intimacy supports neurological, psychological, and sociological well-being. Yet it is one of the most misunderstood concepts, especially in schools, where our definition is limited to sexual behavior and we are too often traumatized by abuse. Healthy intimacy is developmentally and contextually appropriate, safe, and nurturing. Abuse occurs in an environment of vulnerability fueled by power imbalance, ignorance, shame, and secrecy. The challenge we face is to encourage healthy intimacy while protecting young people (and teaching them to protect themselves) against abuse.
The Blog as Change Agent
Kellye Crockett, The Barstow School (MO)
Find out how one admissions director's blog connected her school community in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Finding an authentic way to share that with the broader a school community is the trick.
The Feedback Feast: Building a Menu of Options for Nourishing, Actionable Feedback
Susan Fine, Global Online Academy (WA)
Whether giving feedback to students or colleagues or receiving it from them, we're often navigating feedback. Yet despite its prevalence, how comfortable are we with giving it? How much do we relish receiving it? How often it is digested and applied? Given the energy, efforts, and anxiety that surround feedback, it's worth our attention, especially because when it's working, it's invaluable.
What Can We Learn from the Finns?
Day Rosenberg, New Canaan Country School (CT)
Find out what one school group learned from a visit with officials of Finland's Ministry of Education, and a trip to Finnish schools that rank as the highest-performing schools in the world.
Where Are You (Really) From?
Liza Talusan, The Park School (MA)
Where are you from? Where are you really from? For different communities, this question has different meanings. But, at the essence, the question forces us to consider how we contribute to the conditions of who belongs and who does not.
Who's Afraid of Greyback Beetles?
Christian Talbot, Malvern Prep (PA)
In the 1930s, an infestation of greyback beetles threatened to decimate the sugarcane fields in Queensland, Australia. Knowing that in Hawaii the greyback beetle population was controlled by cane toads, the Australian government released 102 of the predators to solve their problem. What happened next offers an object lesson for independent schools about understanding and addressing our complex challenges.
Friday Sessions [Block 6, 1:15 - 2:15 PM]
Examining Millennial Leadership
Thomas Taylor, Breck School (MN)
This presentation will be an examination of the opportunities and challenges associated with both leading millennials AND being a millennial in a leadership position.
I Think I Figured Out How to Use Snapchat as an Educator!
Bill Selak, Hillbrook School (CA)
Snapchat might be the best app ever made for educators to share their story. Not blogs. Not Twitter. Not Instagram. Snapchat… maybe.
Modeling Collaboration Through Team Teaching
Matthew Bolton, 7 Hills School (OH)
Most educators agree that collaboration is a critical 21st-century skill, and that good teaching involves creating opportunities for students to learn from and with each other. But do we model this value as adults, or are we still each going it alone in our individual classrooms? I would argue that if we truly value collaboration, we should reflect this value in our classroom practice. How can we as adults teach together, learn from each other, and otherwise collaborate in ways that model for our students the life-long value of this skill?
The Online Learning Tornado that Blew Our School to Oz
Sarah Hofstra, Hybrid Learning Consortium at The Barstow School (MO)
Traditional independent schools — relational, strong communities on campus — can fear that what they value might be blown away in the perceived storm of online learning. Follow a Midwest school’s journey to launch online courses and the Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC). See the yellow brick road of challenges and successes the Barstow School has followed on its way to building and implementing online learning now in our collective of middle and upper schools in the HLC. Feel encouraged that your schools and faculty can be part of the online adventure –– and still be home.
Annette Fallon, Baltimore Lab School (MD)
Playborhoods are neighborhoods that promotes play and social interaction for kids and adults. The phrase was coined in a book by Mike Lanza, and this presenter connected the concept to her childhood in Venice, CA, her current home in Baltimore, and my current school community. This PechaKucha presentation offers tips on how to build your own Playborhood at work or in your own community.
Students Take Center Stage with TED-Ed Clubs
Nola-rae Cronan, Columbus School for Girls (OH)
Introducing and exploring the development of TED-Ed clubs in schools upper elementary through high school. TED-Ed clubs allow students to learn public speaking skills, design a persuasive speech, develop their own TED talk and connect with clubs all over the world. We’ll explore what clubs are, how to start one and what the students experience over the course of the club.
What's Your Name?
Katie Jamieson, Beauvoir School (DC)
The intricacies and patterns and magic of language quickly become apparent when children delve into authentic research on their own names. They uncover details of etymology, history, culture, and family. This presentation shares how name research can strengthen classroom communities as students learn about themselves and others through the lenses of language and family history.