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The Summer of Learning
by Shirley Blake, Director of Communications

If you are a “glass half full” kind of person, you likely spend a considerable amount of time these days trying to find the silver linings—identifying the good things about quarantine and looking at the upside of starting the school year virtually. One of these silver linings for our faculty has been the plethora of opportunities available this summer to expand their skillsets, broaden their knowledge and expertise, and pursue passions, all of which will benefit students in the virtual classroom. I recently asked the K-12 faculty to send me notes about their professional development experiences this past summer and I was inundated with replies. From creating interactive virtual learning spaces, to building community during social distancing, to equity, inclusion, and anti-racist training, the breadth and depth of our teachers’ curiosity is beyond impressive. Read on for a small sampling from across the school, and I hope these examples will help you to see that the glass is actually more than half full—it’s overflowing. 

“Members of several Upper School departments took week-long, online courses at the Global Online Academy (GOA), which were most valuable for the vast array of approaches to engaging students in online learning. The brief, thoughtful ideas for creating lessons, such as Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education "Lenses for Dialogue" and "See Think Me We," are adaptable by teachers at all levels in a range of disciplines and discussion spaces like advisory. These were materials that were shared throughout the Upper School, adding to our tool kit for in-person teaching when we return, as well as engaging students via Zoom.” —Susan Katz, Upper School English

"The best training I received was from the Global Online Academy. I really appreciated how thoughtfully they curated resources and created synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities for participants. Their expertise is phenomenal.” —Elaine Chao, Upper School Math and Science

MS Public Speaking and Debate teacher Robert Adanto attended the Journalism Education Association's Advisor Institute in order to enhance his digital portfolio. A documentary filmmaker who already knows his way around the Adobe Suite, Mr. Adanto cannot stop singing the Institute's praises. "During the four-day Institute, I participated in several virtual workshops led by experienced teachers like Julia Satterthwaite, who advises the print and web publications at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino.  Julia’s, ‘There's a Multi-Tool for That,’ introduced me to apps like Interlude, Steller, SoundCite JS, and others that I will be using in my Public Speaking class and in the Broadcast Journalism exploratory."

“I presented at the ‘Do Good 2020 Conference,’ sponsored by the National Network of Schools in Partnership and Mobile Serve.The three-day, virtual conference focused on the value of community engagement, partnership, and social impact programs in schools and the value of connecting the real world to what students study.  Particular attention was on the importance of empowering kids with agency and advocacy skills, and strategies of how to execute these programs in the world of COVID-19. New Middle School Service Learning Coordinator, Susie Lyons, attended the conference as well.” —Lisa Glick, Lower School Service Learning Coordinator

“I did the 3-week long ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) course called Summer Learning Academy. It helped me find best practices for enhancing our students' experience, especially with the challenges presented by online learning. I was most interested in helping our students build community and social/emotional development. I learned about so many ways to engage students—not only with visual art and what goes on during asynchronous learning, but also with each other. I hope to use the content from this course to enhance my teaching abilities and offer what I learn as tools for my colleagues as well.”  —Edy Levin, Lower School Art

"Highlights for me were Private School Village webinars and taking long walks around my neighborhood while listening to books: Stamped, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, So You Wanna Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo, White Fragility, by Robin Diangelo." —Tracy Stangel, 2nd Grade Teacher

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