Tag Archive for summer

Faculty Summer Reading 2018

UPrep faculty and staff chose from these four selections during our close meetings last Thursday. The books speak to the learning initiatives in our strategic plan, particularly Social Justice and Educational Equity, Social and Emotional Learning, and New Models of Time.

The Self-Driven Child: Neuropsychologist Bill Stixrud and tutoring provider Ned Johnson explore the problem of high stress and low motivation, particularly in high-achieving students. Informed by practical experience and research, they argue that kids need to gain more control over their lives to become more healthy. Directed to parents, this is a good selection if you are interested in student stress or anxiety, would like to better understand parents who worry about their stressed students, or are a parent yourself! As an added bonus, the Parent Education group is planning to schedule Stixrud and Johnson to speak with our parents next year.

The Gender Creative Child: Diane Ehrensaft, developmental and clinical psychologist at the University of California–San Francisco guides us through the spectrum of gender identity and expression, using a gender affirmation model. This is a good selection if you are interested in better understanding our students who are expressing fluid gender identity.

For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood: 2015 Multicultural Educator of the Year Christopher Emdin, from Teachers College Columbia University, begins by exploring why some teachers connect with urban youth, and others don’t. He explains his theory of Reality Pedagogy, built on respect for urban youths’ culture, students as experts in their own learning, and communities in the classroom. This is a good selection for teachers seeking to shift their minds about our students of color who come from urban backgrounds.

A More Beautiful Question: Nationally recognized journalist Warren Berger discovers a common trend among successful leaders of big companies: they ask great questions. This book examines the types of questions that prompt inquiry, creativity, and innovation. This is a good selection if you are interested in a business perspective on the overarching questions that organize your course, as well as the questions you ask every day.


One book only! Clipboard if we run out.

Back in the saddle

I am currently working on the following, having just returned from a a two-week absence from school.

  • Determine what site license to purchase for Adobe Creative Suite CS5
  • Grant parent website privileges to recently admitted families
  • Create website scripts to better track summer workstation maintenance and employee transitions
  • Teach Facebook fan pages and Scratch to fourth and fifth grade classes
  • Finalize summer project list
  • Re-launch our collection of “computer help” articles
  • Prepare for a school administration discussion of “just in time” tech support
  • Continue work on our admission website tools
  • Analyze upper school laptop survey results
  • Follow senior project blogs
  • Give the department’s iPad a spin

I don’t think that I will attend any ed-tech conferences this summer. I did not attend any this academic year, either. I have grown a little weary of the ed-tech bubble, in which discussions rarely focus on teaching and learning, which should be the main topic of any education conversation. We also had a bit of a slow year of conferences in Portland, relative to last year.

While away, I coordinated a tour for the Maru-a-Pula Marimba Band from my old employer in Botswana. I feel lucky to have spent two weeks with these remarkable children and their teachers. Here is a taste from one of our school performances.