P.C.P.D. March 2016
Penn Charter Professional Development
Published monthly by William Penn Charter School in the interest of our faculty and staff.
News to Know
Follow this link to read the latest posts on Penn Charter's new education blog! Erin Hughes writes about an exciting collaboration between the English department and the author of a new eBook of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. Imana Legette also contributes a piece describing student leadership in diversity work at PC.
by Lindsay Franklin
I was in a rehearsal for the play that I acted in recently when I was given a note from the assistant director. She said, “Lindsay, I know it’s hard to separate real life from your character sometimes, but these few lines were delivered in your teacher voice. Can you think about another way to say them?”
This gave me pause. Can I think of another way to say them? Honestly, it took some work and advice from two of my acting friends (who are also teachers) in order for me to even understand what my teacher voice sounded like in that scene and how to adjust it in order to make it sound more “big-sisterly.” Most of the time, teaching is a part of who I am and somehow infiltrates into my everyday life, and apparently, even follows me on stage. I am rarely asked to think of my life in separate entities. I suppose most people can find overlaps between their professional and personal lives, whether it be parenting, communicating with a family member, or playing a sport, but it felt strange at the time for me to be “called out” about something that seems to follow me everywhere. Was it really my teacher voice, or was it just that my voice works well for teaching? Anyway, that’s a question for another day. My point is, my two worlds tend to have a lot of overlap, but I was still surprised by the following interaction I had this past fall.
This past September I directed my first full-length show (a musical!) on my own. When a colleague came out to see The Last Five Years, they mentioned that there must be parallels between directing and teaching. She was right, there are, and in that moment I thought of the big one – both are basically jobs where you are in charge of a group of people and making sure they do what you ask them to do. But in the time since then, during my many commutes to and from school or the theater, I’ve thought of a tie between them that runs a little deeper.
Directing, like teaching, doesn’t always work the first go-round. As a director, your primary job is to communicate your vision to your cast and crew, hopefully clearly enough that they are able to take your ideas and put them into action, or lighting design, or a set, or costumes. When it all comes together you think to yourself: this is exactly how I imagined it would be. Sometimes this comes through right away. A scribble on a Post-It becomes the perfect vision of your set, or the right casting leads to actors who truly understand their character. More often than not, it takes a little more work than that. Saturdays are spent painting and then repainting the set to get it to be just the right shade of blue. Programs are pored over for typos, and lyrics to riveting songs are stuck permanently in your head. Relaxing days on the beach turn into phone calls with actors agonizing over song rhythms and jazz riffs. Every line, every song, every last detail is considered and analyzed, making sure that everyone on your team is on the same page. And the funny thing is, it starts out as your page. Your vision for the show is what you are trying to convey to everyone around you, but what comes out is a group effort. A community puts a show on – it is just the director’s job to get the ball rolling, keep the lines of communication open and make sure the end product is a success. The show is a collaborative effort.
Teaching is very much the same. Teachers start with a vision (a lesson plan, curriculum map and classroom design) and they work as a team with their learning community – grade teams, colleagues, administrators, parents and students, to make their collective vision come to fruition. Some days go exactly as planned and things flow smoothly, while others need a new approach, fresh eyes or a “new coat of paint.” Like directors, teachers often get credit for the learning that happens at school, but really in both cases, the community learning and collaboration that takes place in a classroom or a theater is what makes the final product something significant and something worthy of praise.
Lindsay Franklin teaches kindergarten at Penn Charter.
Darryl Ford spoke at Villanova University’s 6th Annual Spotlight on Leadership program on Feb. 8th. His topic focused on the program’s theme of “Servant Leadership in the Augustinian Tradition.”
Shannon Makhija recently presented at the CASE D2 conference in Philadelphia on the “Art of Moves Management.” Moves management describes the process by which a potential major donor is moved through the donor cycle from identification through solicitation. Shannon's session examined best practices for creating and implementing a moves management program within an independent school.
Sarah Sharp was just elected to a three-year term as a member of the SABA (South Asia Book Award) committee, which recognizes new literature for children and teens.
On Feb. 20, La Sripanawongsa and the TriState Teaching with Comprehensible Input Peer Learning Network hosted a one-day world language teacher workshop in the Gummere Library, featuring Laurie Clarcq, a Spanish teacher for over 30 years, on "Your CI Journey: Getting Stronger Everyday."
Congratulations and special thanks to the many PC colleagues who shared their expertise by teaching workshops and/or mentoring faculty during February: Marianna Allen, Sarah Aguilar-Francis, Jim Ballengee, Alice Bateman, Christy Brennan, David Brightbill, Tim Clarke, Michele Dowd, Wilson Felter, Brooke Giles, Julian Guindon, Judith Hill, Shahidah Kalam Id-Din, Corey Kilbane, Marianne Master, Beckie Miller, Sara Moses, Michael Moulton, Eva Kay Noone, Lee Payton, Clancy Philbrick, Lisa Reedich, Karen Riedlmeier, Sheila Ruen, Pam Shannon, Sarah Sharp, Kristin Swoszowski-Tran, Lisa Turner, Doug Uhlmann, Laura Valdmanis and Allen Vandegrift.
Laura Valdmanis married Jeff Brauer on February 13. Laura's fourth grade class crafted the paper flowers carried by the bride and picked acorns to decorate her floral headband.
Catherine Ezzo, Shahidah Kalam Id-Din, Marianne Master and Claire Scribner recently visited Haverford College to meet with students and administrators about Haverford’s Honor Code. The PC group is exploring the college’s Honor Code as a model for promoting an honor-bound student culture, with possible connections to future work developing Upper School student life and advisory programs.
Anabelle Montero-Hricz and Aude Simon attended NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) in New York last month.
Stephanie Vogel attended the Race Institute at Westtown School at the end of January.
Every day is a great day at Penn Charter, but March 15th is A Great Day to Be a Quaker! On that day, PC will have its first interactive day of giving. It will be a day of zany fun online and on social media to inspire OPCs, parents, friends and faculty to share their memories and stories about Penn Charter. View our promo video here.
Please join the fun by sharing a story or a photo on social media using #GreatDayPC (or email email@example.com), bring your students by to help us update the Map of Gifts, enjoy cake in the cafeteria and other fun, on-campus razzle dazzle and consider making your gift to Penn Charter on March 15th in support of Great Day to Be a Quaker!
The hiring season for the 2016-2017 school year is well underway. We are nearing the final stages of our Upper School Social Studies and Lower School First Grade searches. Currently, we are accepting resumes for an Upper School Science position. The job description for the Assistant Director for the Center for Public Purpose will be posted later this week. Please visit the Friends Council on Education website
Parent Leadership Group
A new parent leadership group, Parent Community for Equity and Justice, is open to Lower, Middle and Upper School parents. This new group will work with the divisional diversity coordinators and teams to design programs and events for the parent community.
If you know of any safety-related concern around your area, or anywhere on campus, report it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also speak to anyone on the committee. The members of the Safety Committee are Paul Butler (clerk), Paul Blackwood, Debra Foley, Levi Giddings, Charlie Kaesshaefer, Bill Quinn, Debbie White, April Witherspoon, Kathy Fiedler (recorder) and Hal Davidow (ex officio).
What type of workshops, class visits, webinars, reading groups, one-to-one mentoring session, and/or Critical Friends Group would best support your teaching and learning? The TLC is here to meet your needs! Please send me an email or schedule an appointment on the front page of our TLC website to let me know how the Teaching & Learning Center can best serve you.
Some of March’s learning opportunities include:
- Balancing the Role of PC Parent and Faculty member
- Mindfulness Meditation – every Tuesday morning at 7:30 am
- One-to-One Mac Help
- Environmental Impact Philly
- Discussion about Teaching Tolerance Webinar: Gender Savvy: Creating an Inclusive School Climate
- Nora Landon’s Pop Lunch Lecture: Where Whiteness Plays Guitar: Racial Tension in Country Music
- TEDx Talks
- Embroidery Stitches and Tips
- And more!
I also invite you to take advantage of the rich programming at Philadelphia University. There is a Talking Teaching discussion each Wednesday and Thursday, and one or more workshops are scheduled each week including:
Connecting Creative Students Online: A Guide to Commenting Remotely on Graphic, as Well as Written, Work
Statista - Statistics & Information Database Webinar
Not Another New Edition! Finding Quality Free or Low-Cost Learning Resources for Your Student
Am I Actually Grading Students Based on Their Ability to Use Technology?
Here is the SignUp Genius link to sign up for a TLC and Philadelphia University workshop. If there’s a TLC session you’d like to attend, but the timing doesn’t work, please email me (email@example.com), and I can set up a one-to-one session.
Hope to see you at the TLC!
Sunday, March 13, 2:00pm, Kurtz Center, $10
PC's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Women's Legacy Fund present this program of several short films by, for and about women. Proceeds benefit Breast Cancer Fund and the PC Women's Legacy Fund, which supports and advances girls' athletics at Penn Charter through scholarship, mentoring and celebration. Invite your friends, make it an event! View this trailer. Contact Imana Legette with questions.
Sidwell Friends School will be offering an Institute for Teaching Social Justice in July 2016. Click here to learn more about their programs entitled “Race Theory & the Black Experience” and “Gender & Sexuality in the United States.”
There are several local and international opportunities for global education. Click on the links for more information.
Master Teacher Fellowship in Global Education (Application due April 10th)
GEEO Spring Break and Summer Trips Abroad for Educators (Application ongoing)
FREE events @ University of Pennsylvania
- International Women's Day 2016: "Global Perspectives on Women, Food Security and Agriculture" on March 15
- Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, visiting journalist Emily Feldman, "The Yazidis After the Trauma" on March 17
- Global Distinguished Lecture: New York Times journalist Anemona Hartocollis "Lessons from the Great Syrian Migration" on March 21
Call for PAIS Conference Proposals
The PAIS 2nd Biennial Conference is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 17, 2016, at Episcopal Academy. All administration, faculty and staff of PAIS member schools are invited to submit proposals that explore how the theme "Lead, Collaborate, Innovate" shapes curriculum and teaching, independent school identity, equity and justice, leadership and governance, school life and culture, or school management. Click here for more details.
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