Ok, today is one of the professional development intros. :) A parent shared this Sept 6, 2010 NY Times article (I’ve cited my source, English teachers :) with me earlier this year and I thought it was quite interesting for us as educators, particularly at an arts school.
Enjoy your week! Enjoy your WB! (and the WB is long, but with alot of important information) These WB’s are becoming quite the writing experience for me, but this is the way that we cut down on having so many formal staff meetings. So, take time to read and discuss with your department as needed.
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits - By BENEDICT CAREY Published: September 6, 2010, The New York Times
Every September, millions of parents try a kind of psychological witchcraft, to transform their summer-glazed campers into fall students, their video-bugs into bookworms. Advice is cheap and all too familiar: Clear a quiet work space. Stick to a homework schedule. Set goals. Set boundaries. Do not bribe (except in emergencies).
And check out the classroom. Does Junior’s learning style match the new teacher’s approach? Or the school’s philosophy? Maybe the child isn’t “a good fit” for the school.
Such theories have developed in part because of sketchy education research that doesn’t offer clear guidance. Student traits and teaching styles surely interact; so do personalities and at-home rules. The trouble is, no one can predict how.
Continue reading article here
I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized. — Master teacher Dr. Haim Ginott
Here’s some “brighten your day” comments:
(from a college professor) A conversation was had the other day with Dr. Patricia Miller, the head of the Voice Department at George Mason University, where about 20 of our alums now attend. Mason is a 4-year “3.5” school—not easy. Her comment was about how impressed she continues to be with our students, not just musically or vocally, but as academic students: they are doing very well.
What a day-brightener!
(from a parent)……….just on a personal note - I have two graduates from Duke Ellington that are doing GREAT in college! My daughter graduates next month with a 3.8 from Rutgers! - and I know it is because of the academic program she was exposed to at Duke Ellington.
What a day brightener!
This is from a former graduate of our department (1999) who became a male fashion model and has been featured in several music videos, (he was the “boyfriend” who was kicked to the curb in the “Irreplaceable” video featuring “Beyonce”. His print was given to Michelle Obama as a gift from our school.
“I have been traveling hectic. This is very special to me knowing that Michelle Obama is even holding it and I am even more overwhelmed with what you have done and continue to do for all students at Duke. OMG I don’t know what to do with myself. One day I know, as I seen myself from the crowd to the stage…I will speak and encourage all those students at Duke that dreams do come true, especially for a rebellious character like myself. They don’t make em like they used to and times are better so there is NO excuse why education and talented gifts are not First priority. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I can cherish this moment for the rest of my Life.”
What a day brightener! Need I say more? Ok, I will! :)
(from a parent to a teacher) This note comes with sincere appreciation for having had the opportunity to meet you last Thursday evening at Duke Ellington’s open house. Thank you for your contribution to my child’s development and educational experience. I was thrilled to have first hand insight as to what goes on in the classroom as well as course requirements and expectations. I am a committed partner in her education so please feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have. I feel privileged to know that she is being exposed to such exemplary training and professionalism as exists at your fine institution.
In closing I will share a quote from master teacher Dr. Haim Ginott. ”I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.” Thank you for choosing to teach!
It doesn’t get any better than that! Enjoy your week! Enjoy your WB!
Dear Ellington Family,
Mark your calendars for December 2 – 18th because DREAMGIRLS is coming to the Ellington Theatre! Plans are progressing well for our staff to produce and our students to perform in this award-winning production. School-wide initiatives like DREAMGIRLS are an integral part of the Ellington experience, exposing students to the real-life world of working in tandem to successfully pull off a production that requires teamwork, talent and leadership. What you may not know, however, is the back story that has motivated this “dream”. Please read on and get a better understanding of what support we will need from you—-our Ellington families, friends and community.
While Ellington enjoys a national reputation as a premiere arts school, it hasn’t come easy given our financial realities. The recessive economic situation that has affected all of us has hit Ellington especially hard. In the past two years, Ellington’s budget has been reduced by over one million dollars! Yet somehow, we have been able to retain the integrity of our academic and arts program. How?
Last year, the entire Ellington staff took a one-day furlough every month to protect their
colleagues from losing their jobs and to assure the maintenance of the quality of our program. We were extraordinarily lucky to have Stevie Wonder hold a benefit concert for us in February which also helped to stave-off staff layoffs.
That was last school year. This school year, we once again face a daunting $1 million budget shortfall, even though our enrollment is at a historical high. One way to solve this problem would be to eliminate some of our arts classes and slash personnel. But, we are the DUKE ELLINGTON SCHOOL OF THE ARTS and losing any aspect of our dual curriculum program would compromise the very essence of what makes our students successful.
So, as artists, we decided to get creative! We would not cut; we would build! We would not depend upon others to save us; we would create something so magnificent, so fantastic, so astounding, that the entire DC metropolitan region would stand up and say——“we’ve gotta support those young people at Duke Ellington who are committed saving their program!”
DREAMGIRLS is the largest undertaking ever for an Ellington performance! Nearly 200
students will be involved in cast and crew, every arts major and staff from every department—-arts and academic. We’ve got a Broadway set designer and a Hollywood costume designer working with students; a lot of companies are chipping in pro bono or at reduced cost to help. Davis Construction has already sent over lumber for set construction and singer Shania Twain is basically giving us her sound system valued at $400,000 so our student voices can be professionally projected. Fourteen shows, our longest run ever, will bring over 10,000 patrons through our doors, and one special gala night with the original Dreamgirl herself—-Jennifer Holliday—-is scheduled for December 9th!
Our Ellington Fund is out securing sponsorships and staff is working on community and group sales. We’re sparing no effort to put together this breathtaking spectacle, but we desperately need your helping hand. We are aiming to sell out every show to maximize the return, so we are asking that every Ellington family be responsible for selling at least ten tickets. I know, you don’t have a family of ten in your immediate family. So, we might have to go “ole’ school” on ticket sales and maybe do like the Girl Scouts and sell in front of grocery stores, take some to church, call up the relatives (even the ones out of town who are happy to support a teenager doing something right J), sell some at work… You know how to get this done!
Just think, ten tickets sold by 500 Ellington families alone sell half of the house run right there. When it’s all said and done, we would have raised an important part of our budget challenge. This, however, is just one component of our overall plan. Administration is also engaged in other initiatives that will help rectify the total budget.
Some of you don’t believe. That’s okay. I didn’t believe I’d live to see an African-American elected President either. J But dreams do come true! But, we can’t wait until November to start. We must work hard now! You can start selling tickets immediately through our online box office at www.ellingtonschool.org or by calling the Ellington Box Office, 202-337-4825. Tickets range from $25, $30 to $35, with Gala Night tickets specially priced at $200. Expect to hear more about how your department is moving forward from your child’s departmental chair and parent group leader.
In every crisis, there is opportunity. This is ours. What’s being done with DREAMGIRLS is the essence of what school should be all about—-a community coming together to do whatever is necessary to protect the educational excellence for their children. These young people at Duke Ellington are not somebody else’s child—-they are ours!
This year our school theme is “We Dream a World…” And as Head of School, I will
not rest until we can make a dream of academic, artistic, programmatic, and financial
success, more than a dream—-but a reality for Duke Ellington! Failure is not an option.
Head of School
Duke Ellington Dreamgirls Production Volunteer Opportunity