Inspiring Teachers: A Celebration of Excellence in Education
Implementing Innovative Teaching Philosophies in the Language Classroom
Sam Baroody ’05Sam's experience at St. Andrew's consistently inspires him to engage with new and innovative teaching tools that excite and challenge students. At Mount Vernon, where Sam teaches, faculty are encouraged to implement Project Based Learning ("PBL") as a way to approach subject matters from new angles. In this workshop, participants will engage with the fundamentals of PBL. Using a variety of techniques, participants will discuss and explore to what extent PBL can help enhance the language classroom.
Finding Purpose as an Elementary School Counselor
Liza (Wallace) Becker ’90During my 22 years of employment in elementary education, I have worked in three very different schools. I have sought to find purpose in a career that can be challenging and exciting. While I always dreamed of being a teacher, I experienced a time of crisis in college that led me to continue my education after college. It was then that I discovered my calling to be a school counselor. In this workshop, we will ask and explore: what does a school counselor do and why does a school need one?
Promoting Wholeness in the Classroom
Forrest Brown ’11In this workshop, we will explore ways for educators to promote and encourage students to bring their varied life experiences with them into the classroom. We will consider how to create space for individuality among students in a single class, how to provide opportunities for students to share their unique life stories with their teachers and their classmates, how to integrate support for each student’s identity into his or her work each day at school and at home, and how these approaches might be changed to fit the needs of classrooms in different age groups, subject areas, and educational contexts. Through this work we will reflect on the importance of students feeling known and understood as they learn. The workshop will include time for written reflection, group discussion, and creative work in small groups.
Developing an Advisory Program: Introducing New Programs in Diverse Urban Environments
Janine Cuervo and Jennifer Cuervo ’06New York City, where Janine and Jennifer both teach, is home to a diverse student body exposed to different models of education that include public and private options. This seminar will guide participants through the development and implementation of advising programs at both types of schools. Discussion will highlight the nuances, challenges, and importance of launching an advisory program amidst a city and a student body full of different cultures and backgrounds.
What Makes Language Stick and an Institution Thick: Teaching with Grace and Comprehensible Input
Richard DeSalvo ’04In this workshop, we will open with a 30-minute Mandarin lesson for pure beginners and build towards the story of Mr. Roach and the elusive “Ethos Frosty.” Following the demo, we will discuss principles of second-language acquisition, and why we cannot teach language in the same way as other subject matters. We will focus on the Teaching with Comprehensible Input methodology, and discuss how this process opens the door for teachers to give grace to students in the form of dignity, and how a community of grace-givers is what energizes a truly “thick” institution like St. Andrew's.
Joy Doyle ’06If you had ten days to make 100 pieces of art, how might you react? Where could you begin? Engage in a hands-on creative thinking exercise and walk away with some new brainstorming strategies, potential solutions to that challenge, or better yet—a finished piece of artwork. No previous arts experience necessary!
Beyond the Acceptance Letter: A Healthy, Growth-Positive Admissions Process
Stacey Duprey '85, Senior Associate Director of AdmissionWe don't need to tell you that admission to selective institutions in the 21st century can be challenging, stressful and fraught with pitfalls. Students, parents, and even admissions officers yearn for a process that is less strategic and more affirming, and aims to help young people grow in self-discovery, to better understand the process of becoming their best self. While we can't change the landscape of selective admissions, we can offer you a glimpse into the most happy, healthy, and successful applicants we meet and what we see in their process that is self-affirming, regardless of the admission decision. In this session, we'll share stories, offer a little advice from our collective experience, and even hold a mock admissions committee meeting. We promise your experience will be filled with laughter and a little wisdom that both students and parents can carry into future applications.
Matt Wolinski '00, Director of Admission
Louisa Zendt '78, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
Finding Work That Matters: Education as Activism
Nicola Fleischer ’07 and Kate Hardwick ‘07Kate and Nicola were classmates at St. Andrew’s, and both went into teaching right after college. Kate teaches in a private high school in Alexandria, VA and Nicola teaches second grade at a public charter school in San Francisco. Despite their different contexts, they share a common purpose in the work they do: they both consider themselves teacher-activists. Join them in this workshop to learn more about the education system and how they each pursue change in their communities. They invite you to explore what matters to you in education and how you want to make an impact, both at St. Andrew’s and beyond.
Innovative Schools, Audacious Classrooms: The Power of Creativity, Inclusivity, and Vulnerability in Education
Tucker Foehl '93With so many ideas and interpretations of 21st century education and "schools of the future," how do we "teach" innovation and how do we build creative confidence in our students and inspire them as creative problem solvers? This workshop focuses on the soft skills of vulnerability—emotional risk, exposure, and uncertainty—as central to the creative process for students and educators, with the simple mantra that "without vulnerability you cannot create." In addition to the value of vulnerability, we will discuss the power of inclusivity as a critical ingredient to developing cultural competency in our students. We will look at building "windows and mirrors" for students that empower them to see the world beyond their own immediate environment, and reflections that reinforce students’ identity and sense of self in the classroom and beyond.
Nature As Our Teacher
Katie Forrestal ’94William Wordsworth writes in his poem “The Tables Turned”: “Let Nature be your teacher.” Using this poem as a starting point for our workshop, we will (weather-permitting) head outside to do our work and discuss literature that explores the human relationship to the natural world. This workshop will consider how learning can be enriched when it takes place outside the classroom. We will discuss stories, philosophies, essays, articles, and poems that express the human need to retreat from society’s influence and to go into nature, in order to ultimately return back to the human world more whole and with more wisdom. We will utilize a variety of field-based writing and drawing exercises to help deepen our connection to our subject, our place, and to one another. Please bring a journal, a pen and/or pencil, some warm layers, and maybe something to sit on in order to make you more comfortable.
Identity & Our Role in the Paradox of Education in a Broken Society
Grace Gahagan ’10
You will do some pre-workshop reflection spending time becoming conscious of your race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, class, education level, religion and how they are manifested in the space where you move. How do you match your identities to space? When you leave your comfortable areas, what happens? Who and how are your movements, behaviors, identities regulated as you embody space? We will then examine James Baldwin’s 1963 essay “A Talk to Teachers.” How does he link his own identity and the spaces in which he existed while growing up in NYC to the “paradox of education” in the U.S.? We’ll move towards a discussion of our embodied spaces and how our identities mirror or clash with those spaces. What do these identities tell us about our society? How can identity be used to understand/contradict/challenge our notions of education and society?
Keep Calm and Study Broadly
Hardy Gieske ’92
In this workshop, I'd like for those involved to describe a favorite learning experience (not necessarily in school) and to reflect and share on these questions: How did that learning happen, and might that experience have changed my brain permanently for the better? We will discuss the cognitive science of our amygdalas and the drag that stress places on deep learning. Finally, how do we feel about specialized academic paths in high school? By exploring these three threads, my hope is to create healthy dialogue around brain science and the future of adolescent education.
From Chapel Talks to China: Adventures in International Education
Ashley Gosnell ’02
In the fall of 1999, I heard a fellow student give a Chapel Talk about a summer experience working at St. Mark’s, St. Andrew’s sister school in South Africa. As I listened, there was one thought in my mind: “I want to do that, too.” This early interest in international education has led me on a journey around the world. What began as a curiosity has turned into a career in international education, ranging from teaching to admissions to my current work with international financial aid. This workshop will cover some of my career decisions (the good, the bad and the ugly), as well as the challenges of working in international education.
Educating from Outside the Classroom
Andy Hamlin ’71
Teachers are the heart and soul of a school, but on every independent school campus a host of non-teaching professionals work behind the scenes to provide the facilities, tools, and technologies to support outstanding teaching, as well as the funds to both attract exceptional educators and offer deserving students the opportunity to attend. At St. Andrew’s, the O’Brien Arts Center, Sipprelle Field House, Durkin-Fleischer Squash Center, Genereaux Aquatic Center, a financial aid budget that can offer aid to 47% of the student body, and the $2.3 million generated annually by the Saints Fund are just some of the most prominent examples that reflect, in part, the efforts of the School’s Advancement Office. This session will focus on the role of development professionals at independent schools, and their efforts to engage alumni, parents, and friends in a shared life-long commitment to supporting their school and ensuring its continuing vitality.
Pre-K in Public Schools: The Research, the Challenges and News from the Field
Anna Hickman ’02
In this workshop, we will dive into what pre-kindergarten education looks like in public schools, specifically in Washington, D.C. We will explore the research being done within the field, challenges early childhood classrooms face within public school systems, and ways schools are currently working to close the achievement gap through high quality pre-kindergarten education.
Always Useful—How Learning to Teach Teaches You the Skills to Get Ahead
Cuth Hutton ’04
Teachers wear many hats, employing myriad skills to educate. The skills teachers utilize in education are transferable and invaluable in all careers. What you learn by teaching is how to think, how to lead, and how to communicate—all skills that will help you get ahead in any profession. Starting your professional life as a teacher will help you build talents that will pay dividends later in another career field. This workshop will dive into the skills you develop as an educator, and how they can propel your success.
Standards-Based Grading with Bayesian Updating
Harvey Johnson ’97
Are you satisfied with the way we grade? Too often on my educational journey I encountered grades that lacked transparency or meaning. Though attempts were made to justify these grades and grading systems, those attempts were insufficiently grounded in a theoretical framework that was simultaneously fair, honest, and meaningful. What if the feedback we gave students directly reflected the likelihood that they were competent in the skills and practices we most hoped they would master? In this workshop, I will argue that such feedback is possible, and I will describe how the grading system I have been working on has transformed the way my students and I think about homework, assessment, learning, and becoming better human beings.
Learning by Listening: Doing Oral History and Ethnography
Chloe Taft Kang ’01
Sometimes the best teachers are found outside the classroom. In fact, many would not describe themselves as teachers at all. In this workshop, we will discuss two interview-based research approaches and how learning to listen can make us better teachers ourselves. What are oral history and ethnography? What can they teach us about a community or event that other approaches cannot? What are the power relationships and ethical issues involved in using interviews to translate other people’s voices for a broader audience? Together we will brainstorm ideas for a research project students could design based on interviews in the St. Andrew’s and/or the Middletown community. We will discuss how to find participants, frame interview questions, contextualize information, and make the results accessible.
Creating Opportunities for Authentic Student Agency on School Campuses
Ben Kennedy ’97
Authentic student agency is very much on my mind as I begin my first year at Friends Academy in Dartmouth, MA. This philosophy is a hallmark of the school. At the same time, the community is poised to take its next steps. Through a series of case studies, we will examine structures and philosophies designed to require that students take ownership for their own school experience as well as the experiences of their peers. From “forest kindergartens” to student-led conferences, from Project Based Learning to campus jobs programs, we will explore how to build and maintain an intentional community around genuine student empowerment and responsibility.
Refocusing and Redirecting Yourself Through Guided Reflection
Pier Kooistra ’85
In this workshop, Pier, who teaches a course at The Lawrenceville School aimed at helping spring-term seniors to sharpen their senses of personal mission, will guide participants through the asking and answering of four key questions: Where are you right now? For what are you most grateful? What is the most important illusion that you have relinquished? What project or responsibility does your gut tell you you should take on even though it's dauntingly big and messy?
A Discussion on the Future of Higher Education
Libby Lakeman ’12
Join us in an open conversation about the current positioning of higher education institutions in the educational landscape of the United States. With the rise of massive open online courses (MOOCS) and questions about the effectiveness of our current plethora of educational options, this will be a chance to discuss where higher education is headed in the future. As an admissions counselor at a women's college, I will also include a discussion on the value of the different types of educational institutions available to students. Bring your own experiences and an open mind!
Educating Global Citizens: Reading, Ethics, Power
Andrew Mahlstedt ’94
I’ve lived and taught in China, India, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and now Colombia. In this workshop, I’d like us to think a bit both about the ethical imperative to educate towards global citizenship, but also about the ethical problems inherent within that imperative given global structures of power. Ultimately, as a teacher and scholar of literature, I’d like us to think a bit about ways reading can both assist and exacerbate these structures.
Leading Learning: Striving to Inspire
Alec McCandless ’89
This workshop will lead participants in a discussion of what inspiring teaching and excellent education looks like today, and how it might look in the future. Part storytelling, part design thinking exercise, part discussion of current thinking in the field on the future of education, Alec will seek to find common ground, challenge some assumptions, and consider a vision of inspiring teachers and excellent education.
Chronicles and Questions from a 23-Year-Old Teacher
Annie McClements ’12
As a science faculty member at a small Episcopalian boarding school in northern New Hampshire, the last two years have left me with perhaps more questions than answers about boarding school education. My hope is that through shared experiences and differing perspectives we can begin to parse through some of the following questions and more: How do science teachers pick what content to present to students? What do classroom management and facilitation of dialogue look like in the age of alternative facts? In what ways does gender appear to influence classroom dynamics in STEM fields?
Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education
Joy McGrath ’92
This workshop will explore some of the key challenges currently facing institutions of higher education and how they affect those of us who work and learn at them. Topics include access and financial aid; budgets and funding; social media and technology; and American education in global context.
Teaching Civics in a Divided America
Drew Meyer ’86
What unites us as a country? How has teaching civics changed as our political divisions have become more apparent? In this workshop, we will look at the changing nature of our shared political identity and discuss how to manage those divisions within the context of the classroom. This workshop will look at how these changes impact teaching in the classroom and the choices we make as teachers. Lastly, we will engage in discussion about how to approach this divide and our responsibilities as teachers for making all voices heard while having all students be respected.
Leadership from the Classroom to the Capitol Building: Direct vs. Indirect Impact in Education and Finding Your Place
Searcy (Milam) Morgan ’02
In this workshop we’ll look at both direct and indirect ways you can create sizable, significant, and scalable impact on education systems and outcomes. High-performing education systems require leaders at every level—from pedagogy to professional development to policy to third-party providers and more. Ultimately, defining “impact” is a very personal process, and we’ll explore components that can guide your decision-making about best-fit work settings and roles for your future. This “impact-oriented” approach to analyzing opportunities applies in any sector, not just education!
Teaching as a Creative Act in the Digital Age
Chris Odden '86
Teachers are surrounded by software and gadgetry that can help them be more productive and creative both in and out of the classroom. How can teachers learn to use these tools in their courses, and perhaps more importantly, why should we use these tools? This workshop embraces concrete tips, anecdotal observations, and fuzzy conjecture from participants, who are invited to bring a laptop or tablet, and to share stories and reflections. The experience that motivates this workshop is rooted in mathematical instruction and is Mac-centric; however, the hope is that there will be plenty of "device-independent" ideas that can be applied across disciplines. Specific topics will include: embracing typographical style as a way of supporting meaning; discovering the power of Keynote (and PowerPoint); creating instructional videos; and leveraging digital technology to support teacher creativity.
Urban Education and School Reform in the Age of Betsy DeVos
Kathryn Orfuss ’07 and Hadley Roach ’07
Kathryn and Hadley—proud alums of the Class of 2007—are both long-standing teachers at Uncommon Schools, a high-performing charter network with schools throughout the Northeast. Despite taking different paths to teaching at Uncommon Schools, the same things keep them energized about their work: commitment to teacher development, high achievement, outstanding student culture, and social change. Join them to talk about what’s going on in current public education debates, and to deep-dive into the classroom practices of Uncommon teachers.
Practical Tools for Difficult Conversations
Robbie Pennoyer ’01
Nothing has had a bigger impact on how I do my job as a teacher, counselor, and administrator than a simple theory about the way emotions work. We tend to think of emotions as being hard-wired responses to external events: I’m glum because it’s raining, proud because I got an A on that test. But there’s another way to think about emotions, one that pays attention to the stories we tell ourselves and to the ways those stories ultimately shape our emotions. Learning how to attend to those stories lets us unhitch our emotions from the accidents of happenstance and live lives of greater intention. That’s the theory. But this is a workshop less about theory than about developing a set of practical tools that can be useful in almost every aspect of school life. Come and learn a framework for conversations that empower students and colleagues to align their actions with their values. Attendees will walk away with practices that can unravel knotty discipline situations, bolster flagging spirits, and help children use their noblest aspirations as a lens for evaluating difficult choices.
The Process of Creating an Edible Schoolyard Program for Kindergarten through Fifth Grades
Emily Pfeiffer-Russell ’00
I will guide interested students through creating an edible education program for elementary school students. What is edible education? What does a lesson look like? Are more traditional academic standards woven throughout the lesson? What helps make a program successful and sustainable? These are some of the questions that I will address as I share a program’s potential mission and vision, garden and kitchen standards, class blueprints, and a few individual lessons. We will also have a seasonal tasting!
A Career in Education Today… and Tomorrow
Chauncy (Gardner) Pogue ’89
The work of the classroom teacher is the very heart of education. If you are starting to imagine yourself pursuing a career in education, you are likely picturing a classroom, students, homework, and summers off. But this workshop asks you first to consider the field of education today through a wider lens, and look at the myriad of other jobs in the field. Then, we will look toward the future and consider what a career in education might look like in the coming decades, as technological advances take hold and become mainstream. In order to make sense of it all, we’ll have to consider some fundamental questions such as: What is the value of school as we know it? How do students learn best? Can we improve on this age-old institution to better fit our changing world?
Teaching Literature in Translation
Will Porter ’96
In the last few years, there has been a measurable and astonishing rise in nationalism around the world, some of which has originated from the global refugee and migration crisis. Because of the key role that art, and literature in particular, has in fostering empathy and understanding, I have been focusing on literature in translation for part of the year with my 11th grade students. Yet translation itself carries its own cultural barriers. Our word “translate” comes to us from the Latin trans “across” and latum “to bear,” and several other European languages have similar “bear across” word histories for their respective words for “translate” that all point to language as a kind of wall. Does translation’s etymology have to mean that the act of translation itself is the “bearing” of a meaning “across” some obstacle? In Babylon, for example, the Sumerian word for translator was ‘language turner,’ and in classical Latin the act of translation was referred to as vertere—“to turn.” Perhaps the language barrier is more permeable than we think. To explore these questions, my students and I read and study English translations of literature originally written in languages taught at St. Andrew’s, including French (Albert Camus’ The Stranger), Spanish (short stories by Julio Cortázar), Latin (excerpts from Ovid’s The Metamorphoses), and Chinese (the poetry of Li Po). We will look at a few excerpts from these texts and a few others, and consider what translation can teach us. We may even have a cameo appearance from St. Andrew’s Modern Language Department!
YOUniversity: Starting an Education Enterprise Based on Your Passion and Interests
Jessica Reid ’96
What if I told you that there was a way to help people, do what you love, and do what you’re good at? Education—the connection between teachers and learners—is one of the few fields that allows the convergence of social impact (helping others), passion (what you love), and skills (what you’re good at). And with the advancement of technology, it has never been easier to connect the millions of potential teachers and learners here in the U.S. and internationally. This workshop explores “ed-trepreneur” success stories and provides participants with self-discovery tools to identify skills and interests and begin the journey of building an education enterprise. Whether you are 16 or 60, come to learn how starting an education business could be the key to doing what you love and loving what you do.
Dissent in American History and Why it Matters
Ashton Richards ’78
“Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”
—Martin Luther King Jr., Memphis, April 1968
From Puritan New England’s Anne Hutchinson to the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick, dissent in American society is as American as apple pie. As one historian puts it, “dissent is one of this nation’s defining characteristics.” Dissenters have shaped and molded American life and have become integral parts of our history. Through use of primary documents and discussion, this workshop will consider several examples of dissent in American history and why “going against the grain” is essential to American life. Attendees of the workshop are asked to bring a laptop or mobile device to the classroom.
Engaging Pop Culture in the Classroom: Chance the Rapper, Lemonade, and Rick and Morty
Matthew Roach ’04
This workshop will consider the practice and viability of using pop culture to engage in classroom discourse and critical thinking. During our session, we will bring elements of units I’ve taught high school students on Chance the Rapper, Beyonce’s Lemonade, and the television phenomenon Rick and Morty. As we engage these texts, we will also examine how pop culture asks core questions, creates conversations, and contributes to the national political and social zeitgeist.
Building Relationships that Inspire Learning
Carly Schneider ‘98
One of the great hallmarks of a St. Andrew's education is the mentoring relationships teachers build with students on dorm, on the athletic fields, and in the classroom. When adults invest in the lives of their students, students are supported, challenged, and encouraged to become more curious and confident young men and women. Such mentorship is truly invaluable in developing leaders, and it is also one of the most difficult and fun things about being a teacher! How do you create and build relationships in schools that don't have the built-in mentorship “pathways” of the boarding school environment? In this workshop, we'll talk about ways to create a classroom culture of trust, encouragement, and academic adventure. We'll also think through how teachers can "show up" for students without sacrificing balance and sanity in their own lives, and we'll share thoughts on strengths to celebrate and pitfalls to guard against in this somewhat unconventional approach to learning.
Finding Your Element: A Life’s Calling in Education through Admission and Financial Aid
Jennifer (Beams) Sheppard ’89
In the fall of 1991, on a grant from the Education Department of Dartmouth College, I embarked on an internship at a school in San Francisco where I thought I would find my calling as a classroom teacher. I instead discovered the opposite: my role in the classroom was extremely stressful and uncomfortable—sweaty palms and all. However, outside of the classroom I was drawn to the administrative side of the school. Without knowing it then, I had just begun the journey to find my “element.” Twenty-six years later, I can say without a doubt that I have found my “element” as an admission and financial aid professional, through my work with students and their families, and by the challenge and joy of shaping enrollment at the schools where I have worked. Not all admission work is the same, and I have experienced my fair share of successes and frustrations, as well as some poor choices over the years. My journey has helped me to develop my passion, brought to light my true strengths, and honored my values and the sense of purpose I find in having a positive impact on students’ lives. In this workshop, we will use Ken Robinson’s book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything to explore how you can begin finding your element.
Power of Perception: Unpacking and Addressing Unconscious Bias
Tammy Small ’93
As a society, we categorize people based on socio-economic status, race and ethnicity, religious and political affiliations, among other groups. We predetermine an individual’s intelligence, character, and ideals based on our perception of the entire category to which we assume the individual belongs. This workshop will explore ways we unconsciously assess others, and address the steps we can take to develop meaningful, culturally tolerant, long-term relationships with others whose views and ideals differ from our own.
Student Leaders Solve Global Fight Against Hunger
Lori Snyder ‘92
Participants will form teams of three to four and will select one key factor affecting food security (such as plant science, water scarcity, conflict resolution, etc.) Each group will have time to do background research to answer the following prompts: Define a typical subsistence farm family or poor urban family in your country. How does the key factor you selected affect agricultural productivity, household income, or food availability and quality in your chosen country? How would improving or resolving this factor increase the amount or quality of food or income available to your family? How will other major issues (climate volatility, population growth, etc.) affect this factor and the well-being of your family and their community in the decades ahead? What policies, technologies, practices or investments do you recommend to solve this situation? Describe one or more local projects in your focus country that could be scaled up successfully. Each group will present their findings and recommendations in front of the other groups and will have small group discussions. The workshop will end with everyone coming together to explore themes and solutions that have emerged from this group work.
Building Relationships as the Foundation for Success
Leda Strong ’10
In this workshop, we will explore how building meaningful relationships with students enables both best teaching practice and high student achievement. We will first examine—and likely challenge our own ideas about—what a strong student-teacher relationship means through the lens of poems, articles, and our own discussion. We will then explore why these relationships are important to maintain, and the impacts of early student achievement on later outcomes, especially for students from underserved communities.
What Responsibility Do Independent Schools Have to Engage Their Students With the Outside World?
Andrew Sykes ‘95 and Dave Sykes ‘99
In this workshop, we will explore how teachers and schools expose students to the world outside of the classroom or beyond the school itself. From curricular choices to outside speakers to the individual experiences of classroom teachers, how do we make sure that boarding schools are not just bubbles where students are isolated from some of the pressing issues and choices facing the “real world,” but instead are institutions that allow students to explore their own values in light of what is happening in the world around them? We hope to hear from current students, alums, and parents about their experiences in school, as well as their thoughts about how to best respond to this challenge.
What Will It Mean to Be Human in the Face of Emerging Biotechnologies?
Julio Tuma ’87
CRISPR-Cas9 and other genomic engineering techniques are making it easier to isolate and precisely manipulate the underlying biological structures of human beings. At the same time, discoveries into biofilms, the microbiome, and other ecological factors suggest—to paraphrase Whitman’s Song of Myself—that we contain multitudes and that humans are very interconnected to the broader living world. Will these emerging bio-technologies and discoveries alter how we think of ourselves in the not-too-distant future? Might we want to return to historical notions of self, human nature, and agency?
Yes, It Is Possible To Teach Creative Writing
Kathleen (DeMarco) Van Cleve ’84
This is the workshop for writers—read: everyone—who has been told too many times that one must be born with a “creative writing gene” in order to create expressive work. We will discuss the idea of “voice” using examples from fiction, plays and screenplays, as well as elements of creative writing that are used all the time, in every piece, by every writer working today.
An Educator’s Journey: Exploring the Rewards and Challenges of Pursuing a Life as an Educator
Alexandra von Raab ’91
My desire to teach and work with children was not clear until I worked in the corporate world, where I had a strong negative reaction to working towards a goal that felt disconnected from a larger purpose. That dissatisfaction, although anxiety-inducing, forced me to consider my strengths and figure out what both interested and challenged me. I recognized my need to feel connected to and energized by what I did. While still working in that corporate job in San Francisco, I began volunteering at an international public school and realized I loved working with children. I then received my certification in teaching English as a foreign language. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone took a conscious effort and was terrifying; however, it catapulted me to take the steps to pursue my passion. I moved on my own to Santiago, Chile to teach English. I then returned to the United States to pursue teaching and get my master’s in elementary education, and since then have taught elementary and middle school, began my own tutoring business, and have served as a learning specialist and reading teacher. Join me in a candid conversation about my journey as an educator.