12.5.15 Week End Update

SP21 Committee

Just before we broke for vacation, the "SP21 Committee" met to brainstorm where SPS should be in the year 2022. We asked ourselves "What should our curriculum include?" "How should we be delivering, or teaching this curriculum?" And, "What should the student (school-wide) experience be?"

We covered the walls of the CIT lab with ideas and possibilities, and then spent time in the afternoon thinking about what to do for next steps. By the end of the day we had developed several projects to pursue, based on our work of the day:

Michael Spencer will lead work with the entire faculty, returning to the School's Mission Statement and foundation documents, to get us all to have a more common vision and understanding of who we are, where we are headed and why we are headed these ways..
Ashley Zanca, Chip Campbell and Chris Chudzicki are leading efforts to talk across forms about the similar and different experiences within them. Kate Daniels and Theresa Ferns are considering ways of supporting faculty in our ever evolving roles, (without adding anything else without!) Alisa Barnard and Melissa Poole will continue to lead efforts around blended learning. Lawrence Smith, Melissa Poole and Julie Cepiel are going to tackle the job of mapping our curriculum to give us a better picture of what we are now doing (in fact.) And Theresa Ferns, Kate Daniels and Lawrence Smith will lead efforts to consider what a developmentally appropriate curriculum might look like, across all areas of the SPS curriculum, writ large. If you would like to get involved in one of these projects, please speak to the appropriate person.

Reminder of Canvas use - PLEASE READ

We have agreed, from the academic department heads, on the minimum expectations of the use of Canvas by ALL teachers. These expectations are outlined in both the "Standard Operating Procedures" and the Faculty Handbook. "At minimum, all teachers must post their syllabi and use the calendar function for major assessments on Canvas. Teachers are encouraged to use Canvas to its full functionality and can access support from the Academic Technologist as necessary." If you have further questions about this, please speak with one of the department heads or with Lawrence.

C.I.T. use

The Humanities Department came over for lunch in the CIT on Friday, for a demonstration of the uses for the space and for brainstorming different ways so that our list of possible uses can grow. This list is on the CIT Canvas Page. We are looking forward to visits by the other departments in the coming weeks. Please bring your classes over! Check the availability of the space on Canvas, and then contact Cynthia if you'd like to reserve one of the rooms.

Student Feedback

A reminder that the Feedback Committee recommended last year, and we agreed as a faculty, to collect student feedback at least twice during the term as well as at the end of every term. Whatever form you choose to use is up to you (except those in their OPL review.) Please inform your department head when you do this.

Winter Term PD

Please let Lawrence know by next Saturday, 12/12, if you are interested in doing one of these activities. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT EVERYONE IS EXPECTED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AT LEAST ONE ON-CAMPUS PD OPPORTUNITY EACH YEAR.

+ SP21 2.0 - Spend a day talking with colleagues about what the ideal SPS might look like in the year 2022

+ Talking About Teaching lunches - Meet every other Wednesday for lunch. (Four meetings total.) Talk with colleagues about teaching

+ ImproveClass.com - This is an opportunity to film your classes and share them anonymously with a group of educators from across the country for critique. For more information go to http://impproveclass.com

+ Lab classroom in the CIT - Bring your classes to the lab classrooms at least four times. You can do this for four classes straight or spread them over the term.

+ Walkabouts - Go to as many classrooms as you can in an hour, twice this term (once early in the term and again later in the term.)

+ Peer Observations – Pair up with a colleague (from a different discipline?) each partner visits at least two classes of the other.

+ Shadow an advisee - S[end a day following one of your advisees to classes, practice, lunch and maybe even dorm time.

+ iPads - We have two sets of iPads to be used by teachers every term.

+ Doing School book group - In this important and timely study offers a revealing look at the quandaries of today's high school students.

+ Checklist Manifesto book group, with a twist - This group will meet only twice, once for a morning in the middle of the term after reading this short book and creating a checklist for our classes (or team, or advisee group) and once at the very end of the term for lunch to talk about how/if these checklists impacted our practice.

+ Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness book group - By showing teachers how to tune into what's happening, inside and around them, she offers fresh, straightforward approaches to training attention and generating caring both in and outside of the classroom.

Calendar Reminders

Thursday, Dec. 10 - 5:30, Boar's Head Dinner
Friday, Dec. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 11 - 7:30, The Nutcracker
Sunday, Dec. 13 - 2:00, The Nutcracker.
- 5:00, Festival of Lessons and Carols
Monday, Dec. 14 - Application deadline for many colleges. Teacher recommendations due to the College Office.
Tuesday, Dec. 15 - Pageant
Wednesday, Dec. 16 - Christmas Vacation begins after last commitment.

And Finally...

Teaching's not exactly brain surgery, is it? Click on this link to find out why teaching is far more complex than brain surgery. "The good news is teaching is more important than brain surgery, the bad news is that its more difficult, and the not so bad news is that we can learn how to do it and improve at it, at least to some extent, anyway."

Have a great "weekend." Good luck to all coaches and teams!

The C.I.T. group -
Alisa, Kate, Kevin, Lawrence, Melissa, and Nick