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

Eighth Grade Moving Up Ceremony 2016: Address

May 28, 2016 by Guest Student Author

written and delivered by Yena (Molly) Li '17, Head of Student Body for the 2016-2017 school year.

Good morning everyone! My name is Molly Li, and I'm next year’s Head of Student Body. I was surprised how, when I started writing this speech, the first thing that came up to my mind was not how I liked the more freedom and wifi I had in Upper School, but how I’ve changed throughout these years. I remember three years ago, I was sitting here and waiting to become a freshman. At that time, I was very different from who I am now. I was weird, awkward and extremely quiet. I would not talk unless I’m a hundred percent sure what’s about to come out of my mouth is grammatically correct. Also, I would pass away just by thinking about giving a speech. However, throughout these three years, I had a lot of opportunities in which I learned how to push myself and to accept imperfections. Throughout these opportunities, I realized how amazing life is and how much we can stretch our limits.

Filed Under: Middle School, Moving Up

Continuity

May 11, 2016 by Bill Ivey

As part of our middle school’s Founders’ Day tradition, the five- and six-year Seniors are invited to join us for lunch out by Bonnie’s House. They always seem to arrive radiating happiness, excited to be part of what many of them say is one of the favourite memories of middle school. This year’s kids were no exception, and they sat down together with a group of middle schoolers reminiscing about their own middle school years and asking this year’s kids about what they’ve been doing together. They added notes and signatures to recently tie-dyed t-shirts and played games. And they asked me if I remembered them.

I do.

Filed Under: Middle School, social justice, Feminism, Education, Founders' Day

A Matter of Pride

May 06, 2016 by Bill Ivey

I first attended the Northampton Pride celebration in 2013. For me, for a number of reasons, it was more of a lower-case pride day, but 2014 was truly a day of Pride - one that gave me Goosebumps.

Filed Under: Middle School, Pride, LGBT Support, Middle Level Education, GSA