Bookends: Volume 3: Honesty may be the best policy, but it's not necessarily the easiest!

October 18, 2011 by Bill Ivey

Dear Alex,

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, On Education, Boarding and Day, All Girls Education, Bookends, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, International Baccalaureate, Education, Admissions

Just a Color

October 14, 2011 by Bill Ivey

Dance life deep into the dark night with the stars the keepers of your fate. No, you take its keeping. And the music of the peepers is the keeper of our salvation... In the end, there is one dance you do alone. – Millie Sutton (from an inscription in my high school yearbook)

It was the evening following Stoneleigh-Burnham’s graduation, a time normally given over to celebrations and parties. And indeed, part of our group was planning on stopping through on the way to or from one of those parties. But a solid core of us had decided to spend the entire night at the Greenfield Relay for Life, which happened to fall on the same date as our graduation that year. When I arrived around dinnertime with my tent and sleeping bag, I found a festive atmosphere. There was music, food, decorations, and a fire (s’mores!) around which many of us were sitting and talking. Several members of our team were out on the track at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, including Jess, the newly-minted alumna who (along with her parents Cyndee and Bill) was the driving force behind our presence. We had spent months holding bake sales, tag sales, car washes and more, raising money in every way we could think of. We had succeeded in meeting Jess’s goal of every single participant raising at least $100 to fight cancer. And now it was time to celebrate the newest SBS graduates, our group’s fund-raising success, and even more importantly, the progress that was and is being made in the fight against cancer.

Filed Under: Middle School, Alumnae, Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, Boarding and Day, On Athletics, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Admissions

Making a New Home

October 06, 2011 by Bill Ivey

Lately, I’ve been a little more irritable than I would normally be, or want to be. Like many teachers who care deeply about their craft, I can be hard on myself if a class doesn’t go well, but over these past couple of days, I’ve been carrying that to an extreme. I know why. It’s no secret. But sometimes you just have to let things take their course, doing everything you can to stay on an even keel so that the kids continue to have a good experience.

And they are! At our last middle school team meeting, I had put on the agenda some happy news a parent had shared with me. Her daughter could not be happier, and comes home each night raving about how much she loves it here. When I shared this news, it turned out other teachers had heard the same thing from this family, and we added other names to the list. Indeed, the kids seem relaxed, comfortable, happy, and (within the norms of young adolescence) focused on what they are learning.

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, On Education, Boarding and Day, All Girls Education, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Admissions

Making History

September 27, 2011 by Bill Ivey

Well-behaved women seldom make history. – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

My 7th grade Humanities class has been investigating the theme question, “How does government affect girls’ lives?” We are using Deborah Ellis’s novel The Breadwinner as a starting point. The book is about a young girl in the Afghanistan of the 1990’s who has to dress as a boy to earn a living and buy food for her family when her father is arrested by the Taliban. Their first questions arising out of our discussions had to do with choosing and/or being forced to wear a burqa, and to what extent wearing either a burqa or niqab would have a deep effect on how girls and women felt about themselves. In pursuing those questions and viewing an Al Jazeera video about women’s rights in Afghanistan, we ended up identifying several directions for further discussion, including the nature of the Taliban, what is being and can be done about educating girls and women in Afghanistan, and more broadly the interrelationships of education and power on the one hand, and government and culture on another.

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, On Education, Boarding and Day, All Girls Education, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education, Admissions

Bookends: Volume 2: Allow Me to Burst Your Bubble

September 26, 2011 by alexbogel

By the time students enroll in the IB Diploma Programme they have amassed a great deal of knowledge. My job, as their Theory of Knowledge teacher, is to make them forget it.

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, On Education, Boarding and Day, College Prep, All Girls Education, Bookends, In the Classroom, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, International Baccalaureate, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education, Admissions

Love At, No, Before First Sight

September 23, 2011 by Bill Ivey

In my senior year of high school I joined the Drama Club, and was quickly fascinated by the strength, self-possession and worldliness of veterans of many productions. One of our favorite games to play while nonchalantly waiting to put on make-up, was to do lateral thinking puzzles, where someone gives you a seemingly illogical situation (e.g. "She went into the bar and asked for a glass of water. The bartender took out a gun. She thanked him, and left.") and, by asking yes-no questions, figure out what really happened and why it all makes sense. I knew, and trusted, that sooner or later one of us would latch onto the seed question that would magically crystallize our thinking and make the solution clear.

Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, All-Girls, On Education, Boarding and Day, All Girls Education, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education, Admissions

"Bookends: Volume 1"

September 16, 2011 by Bill Ivey

"Bookends" is the ongoing conversation between Alex Bogel, "Theory of Knowledge" and standard-level IB English teacher and Bill Ivey, Humanities 7 teacher. It is an exploration of metacognition and their students' developing skills in critical thinking, reflective learning and more.

Filed Under: Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, Theory of Knowledge, On Education, Humanities 7, All Girls Education, Bookends, In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, International Baccalaureate, Education, Admissions

Jump Right In and Be Yourself or The Top Ten Things New Students Should Know

August 19, 2011 by SBS Admissions

This week on our Facebook page we asked students, alums, and fans of Stoneleigh-Burnham School to weigh in and let us know what advice they would offer to new students. We received answers from Owls as far away as Brazil and as close as our own back yard. We've compiled the responses into a list of the top ten things new SBS girls should know. Let us know if you have other advice for new students!

Filed Under: Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, Boarding and Day, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education, Admissions

On the Importance of Having Fun

February 08, 2011 by SBS Admissions

I know that Stoneleigh-Burnham School is an academic institution and the girls are here first and foremost to learn. However, I (and perhaps this has to do with my relatively young age and still vivid memories of my own time at Stoneleigh-Burnham) think that having fun, and taking time to enjoy the people around you will teach you lessons that are nearly as important as the ones you will learn in the classroom.

Filed Under: Midnight Madness, Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, All-Girls, Boarding and Day, Beautifully different, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education, Admissions

Community.

January 11, 2011 by SBS Admissions

At Stoneleigh-Burnham School we talk about community all the time. In Admissions, we talk about how close knit our community is and how vital it is to the function of our school. We talk about the strong relationships we foster between our faculty and students, and about the fact that everyone, even the Head of School, will know you by name.

Filed Under: Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, School Happenings, All-Girls, Boarding and Day, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Anti-Bullying, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education, Admissions