Intersections: Highlights

October 18, 2016 by Bill Ivey

I use Facebook as much as a professional networking resource as a means of keeping in touch with family and friends. I recently shared for anyone who may have been interested how proud I was of the students who recently made the GLSEN presentation in housemeeting, beginning my post by saying, “I know I say it perhaps more than I should, but students are amazing.” My mother-in-law said, “Never more than you should,” a friend added, “Never too much. Keep posting these anecdotes. It's a soothing balm to the ills of all the other junk we're seeing now.,” and Mark Springer said, “Students never cease to amaze, and we should never cease to say so.”

Filed Under: Middle School, Middle Level Education, Education, Democratic classroom, Intersections

Intersections: Bringing that Love to Life

October 05, 2016 by Bill Ivey

Did not know it was #WorldTeachersDay until this morning. All respect to all teachers. I will be celebrating by... teaching. :-) (tweet by Bill Ivey)

So how have I been spending World Teachers Day?

Filed Under: Middle School, Education, World Teachers Day

Intersections: A Group So Persistent

September 19, 2016 by Bill Ivey

“No. We’re not going to restart.” Much as I value resilience, and much as I value student voice, I couldn’t imagine what they were thinking. A group of 14 middle schoolers, on their annual bonding overnight trip to Camp Becket, were trying to get across a 20-foot “lava river” using only six rubber dots about 10” in diameter. They were only allowed to step on the dots. If any of the dots were left untouched, even for a moment, they melted away (meaning Edie, the Camp Becket staff person supervising the group, took it back). They had gotten maybe nine people over but had just lost their fourth dot, meaning they were down to only two. How could they ever get five middle schoolers across a 20-foot lava river with only two safety dots?!?!

Filed Under: Middle School, Education, Resilience, Intersections, Collaboration, Best self

Intersections: In Sync

September 17, 2016 by Bill Ivey

In my earlier post about the first day of classes with my Humanities 7 class, I mentioned that Alex Bogel, Academic Dean and IB Coordinator, was going to replicate one of our activities with his Junior Theory of Knowledge (“TOK)” class. They would use the white board and chalkboard to brainstorm on “how people learn,” and then work in groups to discern the various themes running through each panel.

Filed Under: Middle School, IB, Education

Cherished Imperfections

September 15, 2016 by Guest Student Author

(a poem by Amelia Opsahl '21, written for Karen Suchenski's Humanities 8 class)

I am from dusty New York Times newspapers in a precarious stack, displaced shoes and the smell of fried eggs.

Filed Under: Middle School, Poetry, Authentic self

Intersections: Off to a Good Start

September 06, 2016 by Bill Ivey

As Bill Ivey's blog posts focus on all the different ways different people find things in common, the web of connections we see and create, and a belief in the ideals of intersectional feminism, he has chosen to group future blog posts under the heading and using the tag "Intersections." We hope you enjoy them!

Over time, in an effort to ensure students have plenty of time to let ideas form and express them, I’ve become much more comfortable with long silences. (By the way, this has spilled over into the rest of my life - for example, my son and I have been known every so often to spend part of our phone calls just quietly connected.) After one such silence in my Humanities 7 class yesterday, I said, “Okay, so I guess that’s everything we have to say about that.” and one of the students commented, “I think we’re still a little shy and scared.”

Filed Under: Middle School, first day of school, Education, Intersections

On the Verge

August 30, 2016 by Bill Ivey

There’s so much I don’t know yet. Oh, I’ve exchanged emails with my new Humanities 7 students, whom I ask to choose a book they’ve read this summer and tell me about it and what they thought of it. As they signed off, many of them added that they’re excited for the new year, some of them going further to acknowledge “Not that I want the summer to end just yet.”

Filed Under: Middle School, first day of school, Education

12 Things

July 05, 2016 by Bill Ivey

Normally, I’m not big on articles with titles like “12 Things That Will Disappear From Classrooms In The Next 12 Years.” But the link had been shared by Leslie Farooq, whom I’ve gotten to know and learned to trust through ongoing interactions and Twitter chats, and she had included an enticing quote - so I decided to click through and read it.

Filed Under: Middle School, Innovation, Middle Level Education, Education

In Search of More Student Voice & Agency

June 06, 2016 by Bill Ivey

republished with the kind permission of MiddleWeb

Every spring, we ask our middle schoolers to look at each of their courses as well as other areas of their life, think back to September, and reflect on how far they’ve come and what they’d still like to accomplish before the year’s end.

(read more here)

Filed Under: Middle School, MIddleWeb, student voice, Middle Level Education, Education, student agency

Eighth Grade Moving Up Ceremony: Closing Poem

May 28, 2016 by Guest Student Author

Each year, we close the Eighth Grade Moving Up Ceremony with a poem assembling the words of the middle schoolers as they look back on this year, and look ahead to the next. This year's poem follows.

Filed Under: Middle School, Moving Up