Was it Worth It?

Over the past two weeks, we have had many alumni who are on their mid-fall breaks from school stop by to see our new high school. Either they were in the modular units with us last year or they have heard about and now see the grand new entrance to the school. One such alum, who I had in class for two years and graduated in 2004 asked me during his visit, “Was the cost of the renovation worth it?” I had to ponder the answer, but only for a moment to gather the arguments in my head. My answer […]

One of My Favorite Seasons Begins Today

Today, the North Shore Science Olympiad season will begin with our Kick-off Meeting for students.  This will start the 20 week season, 26 is we qualify for the State Finals Tournament as we have done in each of the previous 13 years since our science department chair, Lee Block, first approached me about whether I was interested in helping him start the program. Our program has grown from the 18 students who participated on our first team to the 25 – 33% of the Middle School students who have participated recently. I love coaching Science Olympiad for several reasons: Passion-based […]

The Joys of Partnering

Tonight was Parent-Teacher conferences. In our Upper School, one long afternoon through evening and then the next morning to early afternoon, we have the opportunity to partner with parents. Tonight, since I am not teaching a first semester course, I got to participate as a parent. In two weeks, I get to participate in conferences as a teacher in our Middle School. Although these can be grueling  and draining, I find these meetings important as both a parent and as a teacher. It is a great time to connect, establish the relationship to partner, and check in to make sure that […]

Venturing into Design Thinking

One of the projects that I absolutely cherish at North Shore is Interim Week. Interim Week is a week where the schedule is put on hold and students and teachers immerse themselves in a week long study. At North Shore, Interim Week occurs the first week of November, between the fall and winter seasons of athletics. I love Interim Week because it allows me to explore something that I find interesting and want to know more about. The projects that I have led in the past have included creating a 3-d model of our campus (back in 1994 before Google […]

Breaking Out of the Furrow

As teachers, as September turns to October, we sometimes become more set in our ways, fixed within our furrow. Life becomes a blur, as we march from Go to School Night to Parent-Teacher Conferences to writing narratives for our report cards to Thanksgiving to Winter Break and so on. As a result, it is easy to fall into a comfortable routine and rhythm , keeping to what is familiar in order to remain sane and stress free. As we moved into our newly renovated building, we were introduced to new learning spaces. Classrooms were now Learning Studios with movable furniture. […]