(Updated May 5, 2020)
In her role as Educational Ambassador with WGBH, Karen Pleasant, SBS' History Department Chair and Co-Coordinator of the IB Program, was a guest educator on a national webinar called "Teaching about Women in World War II". She highlighted resources on PBS LearningMedia as well as tips on how to adapt them to distance learning. Through regular virtual meetings, Karen is working with the local Educator Ambassadors on the creation of a webinar specifically geared towards the Social Studies Standards in Massachusetts. She also recently attended a virtual conference with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and history teachers from all over the U.S. Additionally, Karen was part of an exciting project where she did a Teacher Spot recording of a promotional video for WORLD Channel and related social media.
On Thursday, April 16, Language Department Chair Miriam Przybyla-Baum facilitated a video conference call on Teaching World Languages Virtually hosted by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools. The call brought together educators from across the US and Canada as well as the UK. Post conference, educators were encouraged to visit NCGS’s COVID-19 webpage, which serves as an evolving collection of helpful information and resources for educators at girls’ schools. During the conference call, Miriam covered the following 10 questions:
1. Has your use of L2 in lower level classes changed due to realities of videoconferencing? If so, in what ways?
2. How can we gauge comprehension of a new concept/verbal input in L2 if we can't depend on nonverbal cues such as facial expression and body language?
3. Where will our students be skills-wise at the end of this “year”, and what does that mean for the fall?How are you engaging students?
4. How are you altering your lesson plans?
5. What technology platforms are you finding to be the most effective?
6. What can you do to encourage off-screen activities as part of a healthy blended learning strategy?
7. What lessons have you learned from the first few days/weeks of distance learning? What changes are you incorporating?
8. What modes of assessment work best online?
9. How are you encouraging students to continue creating, sharing their work, and providing/receiving critiques?
10. What additional resources are you offering parents as they support their daughters’ learning?
Karen Pleasant, SBS's History Department Chair and Co-Coordinator of the IB Program, was selected as a WGBH/WGBY 2020 Educator Ambassador. She was chosen as one of 17 educators across 11 districts in Massachusetts who have 150+ years of combined experience in the field of education. The role is a two-year commitment and involves monthly meetings, webinars, assignments, and conferences. "I was really excited to be chosen for this role and have been looking for this kind of professional development," said Karen. "I have also loved PBS—and have have used it as a classroom resource—for years. Now I have the opportunity to serve as an ambassador and teach my fellow colleagues about all that PBS Learning Media has to offer. We are a diverse group of teachers and I am inspired to learn more about what it's like to teach underserved populations." To learn more, visit www.wgbhedambassadors.org.
Prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year, new athletic trainer Emily Dylewski and Associate Director of Admissions Brittany Weiss attended a Junior Boarding School Association faculty conference at Eaglebrook School in August that included sessions on coaching philosophies, professional boundaries, how to care for international students, and more. Emily reports, "I enjoyed attending the conference at the Eaglebrook School. Being a new employee at an institution such as this can be daunting at first glance. How will I maintain a balance between work life and home life? It was helpful to learn from experienced professionals about how they keep boundaries while having meaningful interactions with their students. The session called 'Words Matter: How the words we choose and the way we say them affects students' was great; I have applied this awareness to not only my work-place, but my personal life as well."