Monday Musings

from The Kravis Center 

Monday, January 28, 2019 

Dear Colleagues,


Perhaps it was the temperature rise last week from 0 degrees to 50 and seeing students in tee-shirts and shorts that got me yearning for summer - for sunny days, tending gardens, hiking, perhaps some swimming, and yes, professional development. Although I know what an exercise in futility it is to think too early about the warm months ahead, I don't think it is ever too early to think about summer professional development plans. Included in this Monday Musing are both some new opportunities that faculty have passed along my way, and also the PD doc that outlines a variety of external development opportunities. Therefore, for those of you who will be part of the PD cycle next year, start your journey here!

Earlier this month, the Kravis Council met for the first time to delve into some questions surrounding professional development at Loomis. Hendo, Patricia, Erica, Marc C, Will E, Rachel N., Harrison, and I spent an evening discussing a variety of questions surrounding PD at Loomis. In order to ascertain what our colleagues feelings are about PD at Loomis, the members of the council are currently gathering some insight from the faculty through informal conversations. The following are several questions that arose from this discussion:


  • What professional development needs is Loomis meeting and where might Loomis be able to grow?
  • How can sustaining the culture of PD at Loomis create more consistency and cohesion (perhaps a common language) both within and outside of departments?
  • How might we give equal access to PD that is based on an individual's need and at the same time create a culture of and opportunities for PD that affects a "broader group" of faculty or department as a whole?
  • How do we recognize our experts in pedagogy/methodology, and how do we spread this knowledge?

And finally, as the temperatures begin to fall once again (as they should!), I thought you might enjoy a listening to this podcast to find out how a poem a day can keep the doctor away!

Have a wonderful week and a rejuvenating upcoming winter weekend.


Sara, on behalf of The Kravis Center


P.S. As a reminder, Tim Kay sent out an email last week about Finalsite permanently removing archived class group spaces on the portal system for academic years prior to the 2014-15 school year. Please make sure that you save any files that you might need.


Creating an emotional connection with our students: the importance of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Scott MacClinitic passed along an article entitled Teaching: Just Like Performing Magic which reminded me of a TED Talk entitled Teaching teachers how to create magic featuring Christopher Emdin that we watched in New Faculty Cohort in September (and the Penn Fellows watched last weekend). Good stuff!

David Brooks: Students learn from teachers they love

Of interest...

One aspect to class observations that I really enjoy watching is ways in which teachers design and employ student collaboration and group work. This article from Edutopia outlines well what we must consider in facilitating effective collaborative work.

I began to experiment with the practice of decoupling a grade from an assignment in my CL class, and although students were not necessarily fans of the practice at first, their attention to feedback grew exponentially. The following article came across my desk in the winter and Alec McCandless passed along this The Cult of Pedagogy podcast which speaks to this practice.

Professional Development Opportunities


Sign up for OCW (Open Classroom Week), February 11-15.

In light of the Kravis Council discussions, I have included an article which speaks to The Importance of Choice in PD. Choice is a key element to the success of any professional growth program.  

NEW: CAIS is hosting a workshop, Beyond Diversity: Race, Class and the Push for Equity in Independent Schools, led by anti-racism activist, Tim Wise, on February 12 from 6:30-8:00 at Miss Porter's. Please use this link for more information and to register.

Earlier this fall, I attended at Windsor High School a three-part series on the history of racism. The series was created after Debby Irving spoke to a large audience at the high school about her book Waking Up White. Windsor HS is hosting two more series on the history of racism. Please use this link if you are interested in signing up. I am happy to talk with anyone about the sessions that I attended last fall.

NEW: Fairfield University Graduate School of Education is hosting a series of professional development opportunities: Unlock Your Potential, Teaching for Social Justice, and Educational Technology Collaboration Day  Please click on this link for further information.

NEW: Formative Assessment National Conference with Dylan William

NEW: Building Expertise; Educators Conference.

NEW: Northwestern Summer Institute 


Kravis Center portal page


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



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