Inspiration

Learning by Teaching: Experiential Education in Action for New Educators

At the heart of Crane Country Day School’s mission is experiential education. Teachers are challenged with creating thought-provoking experiential lessons, which often include culminating projects and events. Similar to educators at any institution, creating successful curriculum is constantly balanced with time management and manpower. To enrich the learning environment at Crane School, more educators were…

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Adult Learning That Lasts

At the CATDC, we deeply believe in the power of bringing people together to share ideas and reflect on their learning experiences. These foundational values and practices are steeped in research and can be most vividly seen in a report compiled by The Learning Institute. Over the years, I have given a great deal of…

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Seizing the Day Inside and Outside of the Classroom: The Diamond Curriculum

Santa Barbara Middle School offers students in grades 6-9 a profound educational experience, guiding young people as they transition to adolescence. Through ancient traditions and rigorous academics combined with bicycling and expeditions in the outdoors, SBMS aims to teach compassion, kindness, and self-knowledge and solidify a foundation for a child’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and sense of…

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Supporting Great Teachers to Stay

As a former Dean of Faculty at an independent school and now Executive Director of the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC), I know well the energy and resources that go into recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new faculty. Given the shortage of teachers in California as well as greater attrition and churn, I have been giving…

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A Case for Ongoing Professional Development

The CATDC’s Ongoing Programs, series of 3-5 meetings led by local educators, are some of our most agile and responsive professional development offerings and the foundation of our unique approach to growing capacity in California independent schools. Easy access to digital and print resources and online courses make continuing education within reach at all times,…

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Changing Lives Through Collaboration

Creative collaboration with teachers in the service of student learning has been a deep current running through my career. As Executive Director of the CATDC, learning with and from other educators has become not only a passion, but one of my primary job responsibilities.

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Rethinking Teacher Evaluation in Independent Schools

Working in schools is a vulnerable act. Every day can feel like a high-stakes performance review in front of an audience of young evaluators: performing effective planning, organization, pedagogy, relationship management, flexibility, patience, community building, knowledge of human psychology and all the additional skills of being an educator. It’s no wonder then that when teachers hear they’re about to be evaluated, anxiety sets in and amygdala hijack takes hold.

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Leading With the Brain in Mind

Understanding our neurobiological hardwiring plays an essential role in creating environments where teachers and schools can thrive. School leaders have the opportunity to notice the state of escalation occurring in stressful situations and model vulnerability to create space for others to do the same.

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Why We Need Racial Literacy Now More Than Ever

Given the current national landscape, it has become painfully obvious that those of us in schools need to double our efforts to teach racial literacy (Stevenson, 2014). Recently, I was working with 4/5th graders who are part of a racial affinity group program we coordinate in Portland, OR (for more about these groups, see So…

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The Benefits of Immersive Learning

Realizing Our Vision This past January, The Bay School of San Francisco launched its inaugural Immersives program: three-week academic courses that are experiential and project-based. After two years of developing curricula, honing pedagogy, securing partnerships with organizations throughout California, and working out the logistics of each course, Bay expanded its campus beyond its walls and…

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Join the Club

Clubs and affinity spaces are designed to appeal to people of common interests and experiences. This shared experience ignites a sense of understanding and support within the group, a familiar camaraderie. The sense of empowerment that exists in affinity spaces is more critical when this group of people is part of a less dominant, disadvantaged,…

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