Professional Development: Spanish Civil War and Fascism

April 25, 2017 by Guest Faculty Bloggers
On Friday and Saturday April 7 and 8, History teachers Tim McCall and Karen Pleasant attended America and World Fascism: From the Spanish Civil War to Nuremberg and Beyond , a two-day seminar supported by the History Collaborative in Northampton and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archive in New York City, with funding from the Library of Congress.  The seminar took place at the UMASS Center in Springfield, MA.  Tim and Karen had limited knowledge of the Spanish Civil War and this workshop provided a learning opportunity. Fascism was also topical and relevant to the history teachers, as the word has become increasingly part of the lexicon following the 2016 presidential campaign; although many people do not understand what it means. The conference included lectures, document work, practical teaching tips, PowerPoint presentations, and individual work time for participants to create a lesson plan. At the end of the event, Karen enlisted the guest educators to help design the last unit of the year on the Spanish Civil War, for the IB History Year 1 SL class. Tim will be reorganizing his spring-term foreign policy unit to focus on how America’s fear of communism trumped its faith in democracy and self-determination.

Filed Under: History, teaching history, Professional development

Professional Development: STAND UP! Symposium

April 12, 2017 by Guest Faculty Bloggers

English Language teacher Charlotte Hogan and French teacher Miriam Przybyla-Baum attended the STAND UP! Symposium at Phillips Academy Andover on Thursday, April 16.

Symposium Description:

From 1960s lunch counter sit-ins to recent movements at the University of Missouri, student activism has long sparked institutional change in American high schools, colleges and universities. And yet, independent schools have often been considered sites of privilege. How might these schools’ policies and histories engage or hinder student activism in equity and inclusion?”

Filed Under: anti-racism, Professional development, inclusion

Summer Learning

August 05, 2015 by Bill Ivey

One of the wonderful parts of summer break is the ability to have long, sustained Twitter conversations with my friends. One Wednesday, @teachermrw of Watkinson School piqued my curiosity by asking, “While I enjoy reading and learning from the tweets shared by my educator colleagues from education conferences, / the tweets reveal nothing new under the sun. It is old knowledge recycled and re-packaged for a different day and time.” I highly value her ideas, and certainly have had the experience of leaving conferences feeling that I spent much more time listening to things I already knew than learning new things. At the same time, I am the kind of person who live tweets conferences I attend, and I also serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the New England League of Middle Schools - which means I help plan that Annual Conference. Uncomfortable as I felt with this conflict, I also recognized that such moments are often the best time to learn. And, as I’ve said, @teachermrw has a gift for stretching my thinking in deeply important ways. So I decided to engage with her and explore the question together.

Filed Under: Professional development, Education, Conferences

On the Same Page

May 16, 2011 by Bill Ivey

As I reflect on the year, I am surprised to realize how few conferences I've attended. Professional Development is an integral part of my daily life, but these days 95% of it or more takes place on my phone. For all the derision it draws from various quarters, Twitter has become my most valuable tool. I manage quite nicely to avoid the inane, and find more links to articles and blogs, more thoughts and observations on teaching (and also on social justice), than I could ever hope to read in one day. "Teacher in a Strange Land," the EdWeek blog by Nancy Flanagan, and anything ever written anywhere by José Vilson would on their own make the service worthwhile. Fred Bartels's work in starting OPuS1, the Online Progressive unSchool, is fascinating and inspiring, and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's work with passion-based learning is also years, perhaps decades ahead of its time. And I come into contact with so much more, deliberately including a range of viewpoints so I don't get seduced by the echo chamber of my own instincts and opinions. I try to give back, too, sharing links to my own blog as well as to particularly thought-provoking pieces.

However, this May is the exception that proves the rule as I am attending not one but two conferences. I already went to "Sharing Best Classroom Practices," held recently at Andover, which my son attends. And I am preparing to attend a special Symposium on the history and future of the middle school movement which is being held in Georgia.

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, On Education, Professional development, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, education reform, Education