Category: Education

The Poltroon

Poltroon – the very word is like a … what? a.) A North American mammal of the raccoon family known for its habit of rooting for grubs in the undergrowth of deciduous forests b.) A metal or earthenware pot typically having […] 

How to Read a Poem: Beginner’s Manual

How to Read a Poem: Beginner’s Manual First, forget everything you have learned, that poetry is difficult, that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you, with your high school equivalency diploma and steel-tipped boots, or your white collar […] 

A Wartime Education

Britain declared war on Germany just after U.A. Fanthorpe’s birthday in 1939. She was ten. Living in Kent she was familiar with the signs and sounds, fears and deprivations of wartime England. She knows the enemy – whom she calls […] 

Those School Brochures: How to stand out from the crowd

If you’re in the market for an independent school – or a college for that matter – you will have seen your fill of those wonderful shiny brochures aka viewbooks that now primarily reside on websites. And as you read, […] 

Timothy Winters

If you went to school in the UK anytime in the last sixty years then you will probably be familiar with this much anthologized poem. Timothy Winters by Charles Causley Timothy Winters comes to school With eyes as wide as […] 

Trouble with Math in a One-Room Country School

Not a very effective way to get children to love school and enjoy math. But looks like it was an excellent method for teaching subversion, resilience and resistance to authority. Good work Miss Moran. Trouble with Math in a One-Room […] 

Killer Apps and Slideshows

Nobody has actually died from watching a slide show presentation. That whole Death by Powerpoint thing was much exaggerated. What’s true is that countless people have been held hostage by interminable presentations often alleged to be a workshop at which […] 

Time to Make it Happen

I did not attend the NAIS Annual Conference this year – first time for many years – so I don’t have any takeaways to report like Grant Lichtman. But I was in Baltimore for an ICG (Independent Curriculum Group) board […] 

Palermo: The Art of Learning

The Gallery of Modern Art is located inside the restored 15th century convent of Sant’Anna and has many works of art from the last 150 years. I always enjoy looking at depictions of schools and classrooms and I was very […] 

Two Cheers for Diversity and the Unfinished Work of America: Stronger Together

The NAIS Annual People Of Color Conference opens this week in Atlanta. It will draw independent educators from across the country. They will gather in groups small and large; renew friendships and make new connections; listen to speakers and attend, participate in, […] 

Leadership, Problem-Solving, Compassion and Empathy

As Donald Trump spirals deeper into madness and depravity the toll on the collective psyche just grows. Fortunately help is at hand in the form of the example of Hillary Clinton who recently demonstrated her tremendous problem-solving and self-calming abilities. […] 

The future happens very slowly and then all at once

My title line is from Kevin Kelly whose new book The Inevitable is about the deep trends in the next 20 years that will shape our lives. And a little reflection helps us understand that truth. The future happens very slowly and […] 

The Headship: History Matters

Ok – so you wanted to be a head of school and you applied for a job and then you got it. Congratulations. Among all the things that you now have to make a priority is becoming the expert on […] 

Teaching the Election: Clinton v. Trump: What are the Plans at Your School?

As we head into Back-To-School season, what are your school’s plans for teaching the 2016 presidential election? Seems to me that the some tried-and-true routines of the past are not going to work in any valuable and instructive way this […] 

“So you want to be a head of school ….” Communication

I’ve been asked on occasion to add my two cents on a panel at the NYSAIS conference for assistant heads and division directors in a session they call “So, you want to be a head.” My participation has more to […] 

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