Alfie Kohn is one of my educational heroes. His thoughts and work have infused my practice for decades, as well as that of a number of my colleagues, and from our first days in 2004, these principles have provided key foundations and touchpoints for our middle school program. I follow him on Twitter, and read nearly everything he shares.
Good morning, everyone, and welcome officially to the 2017-2018 academic year. I loved hearing about each one of you students last night and would like to take a moment to thank, especially, the senior class for getting us off to such a happy start! You, seniors, have set the tone for a spectacular year. Thank you.
Invocation delivered at Convocation by Shayna Appel '78
The legendary poet, writer, playwright and social activist James Baldwin once wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
I started a blog post back in mid June entitled “Beyond Intentions,” but time and time again I would crank out a few sentences or even a paragraph and then grind to a halt, staring at my screen with an increasing sense of despair before acknowledging I was - once again - stuck. Stabbing at my laptop’s keys (apologies to our IT team, Tod and Jason!), I would erase everything in my Google Doc and, with a mental sigh, find something, anything else to do.
speech given at Convocation by Julia Thayer '18, Head of Student Body
Good morning students and faculty, parents and friends, and welcome to the opening day of the 2017-2018 Academic School year at Stoneleigh Burnham. Earlier this summer, I received an email from Sally, reminding me that as the president of Student Council, one of my responsibilities is to, quote, “say a few words about what the Honor Code means to me, as a Stoneleigh Burnham Student.” But… I am not really going to do that today. Sally and I had a meeting in which we agreed that it may prove more valuable for me to discuss what the Honor Code means to me as a person, not just as an SBS student. The code itself demands that its principles are followed not just in student life but life in general, as exemplified in a quote from the very first paragraph, “I know that the principles of the Honor Code extend beyond the physical bounds of the campus.”
by Francelyse (Frannie) Joseph '18, the Dr. Paul Bassett Convocation SpeakerFirstly, I want to thank Sally for allowing me to speak to you all. Today, I hope to share some advice with the student body on how to make the most of your Stoneleigh-Burnham experience. I also hope to incorporate some personal anecdotes that have led me to grow as a student and as a person. College has been a topic on my mind every day since the start of summer, and I imagine the same is true for other seniors. If I learned one thing from the start of the college process, it's how much your own willingness to engage with your environment can define your experience. For those of you who don't know, I have a twin brother, which makes college touring a little more exhausting than usual. Even though my brother and I did not always have similar interests in schools, my mom would strongly suggest a.k.a. force us to visit the other one's school. It was actually through these conditions that I learned a valuable lesson.
Filed Under: Convocation
(title courtesy of Nancy Flanagan)During the early summer heat wave in Europe, stories were turning up all over the Internet about boys wearing skirts to school and men wearing dresses to work. Jake Steward (our English Department Chair) sent me an email one day with a link to an article I hadn’t yet seen (though it began to crop up increasingly frequently), “ Teenage Boys Turn Up at Devon School Dressed in Skirts.” At one level, these boys may not have made that choice if (in order of ease of remedy) a) their schools had a dress code that permitted boys to wear shorts, b) their schools had air-conditioning, and/or c) climate change wasn’t contributing to ever more extreme weather patterns. But at another level, there was fairly rapid and widespread buy-in to the skirt protest. I’m honestly not sure that would have been true just five years ago, no matter what the weather.
(originally published on MiddleWeb)
The further I get into my career, the more I realize how fundamentally critical formative assessment is to the process of learning – assessment for learning as opposed to assessment of learning (Stiggins and others).
(read more here)
It was a beautiful sunny Wednesday. My wife was away on an administrators’ retreat as her school was preparing to start the year, and I needed to focus on preparing for the upcoming NENTS 2.0 conference (designed for inexperienced teachers who have spent at least a year in the classroom) that I was co-facilitating. I hopped in the car and drove up to Charlottesville.
I decided to get to Fenway early so I could walk around, take things in, absorb the atmosphere. On an impulse, and for the first time in years, I walked into a clothing shop. Looking at the wide variety of colours, styles, and cuts, I couldn’t help but think how far we’ve come. Remember when Major League Baseball suddenly realized that if they actually reached out to women, they might be able to greatly expand their fan base? Overnight, you could, if you wanted, get pink t-shirts and pink caps. Only, it developed that’s not necessarily what women wanted from Major League Baseball, at least not exclusively. Women all over the country raised their voices and said, “You want us as loyal fans? Take us seriously. One good way to do that would be to actually ask us what we want rather than just assuming we all love pink. Another good way would be to acknowledge a lot of us not only already like the game but also know a lot about it.” Major League Baseball took the hint.