Monday Musings

from The Kravis Center 

Monday, January 7, 2019 

Dear Colleagues,

The Kravis Center wishes you a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year. We hope that 2019 is full of innovation, creativity, and rewarding moments both inside and outside of the classroom

You will find below a variety of articles on a wide range of topics, from the value of boredom, to taking "beautiful risks", to the future of education through the eyes of students leaders, to the most viral teacher moments of 2018. I hope you find a couple of articles that interest you, and, as always, please feel free to forward along any articles that you have read and enjoyed.

The Kravis Center would like to know what you are reading, so if you have any book suggestions, whether related to education or not, please feel free to list them in this google form. I will be sure to pass along your comments and suggestions in future Monday Musings.

NPR is offering an exciting opportunity for any student who is interested in creating their own podcast. Click on this link to learn more about submitting a student podcast to the NPR podcast challenge.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to a couple of internal PD opportunities taking place in The Kravis Center this winter. We will host two workshops to be held on January 24 and February 21 (they will be held concurrently on both dates). Lena Sadowitz will lead a session on how to help our students learn and employ effective study strategies. The second, to be led by Scott and Jen, will focus on bringing our classes into the PHI. The winter Open Classroom Week will run from February 11-15. Sheila will again host a gathering for all participants - the date of that gathering is yet to be determined.

Have a wonderful week!


Sara, on behalf of The Kravis Center


Featured Articles

What Keeps School Leaders up at Night by Grant Lichtman, Independent School Magazine, author of Moving the Rock, #EdJourney, and The Falconer.

"Grading Smarter, Not Harder: Historians Discuss Efforts to Evaluate Student Learning Far Beyond the Grade.", Inside Higher Ed (submitted by Eric Styles and Sheila Culbert)

Instilling Growth Mindset in Parents, by Liz Perry, St Luke's, Independent School Magazine, is an interesting piece about how St Luke's has been teaching parents about growth mindset.  

"The opening song of the Broadway hit musical Dear Evan Hansen features two mothers singing about how confusing it is to be a parent, asking "Does anybody have a map?" They sing, "I'm flying blind and making it up as I go." So many parents can relate to that feeling, and while schools don't have a map for every child, they can certainly offer a compass."


Mental Health and Wellbeing

Bribed to Sleep, Inside Higher Ed

"Students in a Baylor University class weren't sleeping enough. Their professor offered them extra credit if they got eight hours of sleep or more -- and they performed better on final exams than their peers. (submitted by Martha Ince)

How to Turn Schools into Happier Places, The Atlantic

Teaching is as Stressful as an ER: These common strategies can help, EdSurge


The Gift of Boredom, ASCD

Is the "curse of boredom a gift to creative thinking?" What is boredom anyway? In The Gift of Boredom, John Spencer speaks to how research has proven that moments of boredom (defined as "mind-wandering boredom" and "tedious boredom" have been proven to spark creativity. The guiding questions following the article may spark reflection and discussion.

Taking Beautiful Risks in Education, ASCD

I really enjoyed this article for its presentation of different risks and how to encourage our students to take a beautiful risk. As defined in the article: "A beautiful risk is different from both good and bad risks. A beautiful risk involves taking actions that have the potential to make a positive and lasting contribution to the learning and lives of others." (Beghetto, in press).


This short article presents an introduction to the following study: Inside Voice: What Student Leaders Think About the Future of Education, EdSurge

Many of you may have seen the following two articles in the NY Times. The first sheds light on the value and effect of a four-year college degree on varying demographics.  Does it matter where you go to college? The Answer: "It depends"., NYTimes. The second, What Straight-A Students Get Wrong, speaks to what many of us have witnessed over the years, tying in also to the articles on boredom and risk taking.

Professional Development Opportunities


CAIS conferences and workshops:
1) The Writing Initiative at Loomis is hosting Writing in Math/Math in Writing on January 31 featuring Dr. Ben Fischer and Hudson Harper.

2) Leadership at Every Level: Women in Leadership takes place on Tuesday, January 8 at Westover School, also sponsored by CAIS

Using Video for Professional Development, Edutopia

Although video recording of a class is a key component of Evaluation B, we highly recommend this practice as a regular feature of teacher professional development. We have Swivl capability in The Kravis Center - come and find out more about this fun, efficient, and easy way to video a class.

The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning I attended a weeklong workshop on the neuroscience of learning at CTTL in July 2018 and am eager to talk about the experience with anyone who is interested. Thank you to all who piloted Neuroteach Global, an initiative created by CTTL and now funded by the Chan/Zuckerberg Initiative.

Here is the link to external professional development opportunities. This is a live document open to all faculty,  so please feel free to add comments or PD opportunities that you may have had and would like to share.



Kravis Center portal page


Please fill out this form for suggestions for Thursday morning PD opps.



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