Thinking about … everything

One of the challenges of working in education is that there is always more to do, more to examine, more to learn.  One thing I have been thinking about lately is how I spend my time.  It is frustrating when you feel like you are constantly busy and yet you never feel caught up on your work. I read a tweet from Daniel Pink last year that suggested that instead of scheduling meetings and then trying to get your work done in between – try scheduling your work and then fit your meetings into your schedule.  In a school it is not quite a simple as Pink describes but I have tried this year to schedule time to work each week instead of leaving all of my non-meeting time open (for potentially more meetings to be scheduled!).  It has not solved the problem completely but I have felt more productive and less behind on my work.  Today I also experimented with a software called “Solid.”  Its goal is to keep your meetings focused, store notes, action items, and shareable details to everyone in the meeting.  In signing up for the software it asked to access my google calendar and immediate displayed this image:

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.20.42 PM

This picture is a summary of my schedule over the last year with weekly averages.  It is important to consider that there are weeks when I don’t have any meetings (winter break, summer vacation etc.)  making this data even more bleak and scary.  After reviewing this image, I decided that I need to do something about my schedule.  I have not idea what – but something  must change!


So many things to celebrate this time of year.  Congrats to Terry, CJ, and the entire cast of Sense and Sensibility for an amazing production.   Huge thanks to Lydia, Linda, and the events team for the lovely 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Lower School last weekend.  Congrats to the all of the fall sports teams as they finish up their seasons and good luck to those competing in championship play this weekend!

Reading of the Week:

Thinking of re-thinking the way we think about teaching – this article from the NAIS magazine is about the brain and how to incorporate what we know into teaching.

Inspiration of the Week:


Curriculum Committee Update

Our newly designed Curriculum Committee is off and running.  We have decided on the following goals for the 2015-16 School Year:

  • Accurately document the curriculum N-12
  • Continue to Develop the New Curriculum Committee/Department Structure by establishing structures and roles
  • Continue to implement and integrate technology to enhance teaching and learning 

The committee members are:

Chris Guides – Science, Al Vernacchio – English, Jim Rosengarten – History, Bill Darling – Math, Cristina Perez – Languages, Hilary Takiff Weiss – Arts, Bob Folwell – Physical Education and Health, Dianne Forman – Support Services, Mary Fran Torpey – Libraries, Dan Crowley – Technology, Robyn Richmond – Quakerism, Sheila Rohrer – Math, Don Denton – Humanities, Art Hall, Alexa Quinn, and Kelly Pierre.

Bold – indicates newly appointed Department Chairs

In addition to the above-stated goals, the committee is also discussing things like In-Service Days, Cyber Day, and Customized Curriculum, just to name a few. The group meets monthly and our meeting notes can be found here.

Reading of the Month:

I found this article on The 13 Most Innovative Schools to be an interesting look into education outside of the US.

October is Learning Disabilities Month!

Although this article is long, I found the first half very useful in thinking about how we give feedback to students and how it feels to them.

Inspiration for the Month: