Category Archives: Professional Development

Hamlin’s Public Speaking Guru: Tim Johnson

For the past two years, Tim Johnson (a Hamlin parent) has been bringing his public speaking expertise to both faculty members and students alike. The positive buzz around his work has been palpable. One administrator who took Johnson’s workshop states, “It was super helpful, not as scary as I thought it would be, and I think of what I learned in his workshop regularly!”

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Johnson and learn more about who he is, and how he changes lives through teaching public speaking.

What led you to this work?

I got into theater when I was attending high school in North Carolina, that experience being on stage got me started with public speaking. Later, I worked for Enterprise for ten years in sales. I would meet with a CEO of a plumbing company who might be interested in using our cars; I figured out very quickly that those industry leaders are busy, and that I needed to say something that had immediate meaning and relevance. I learned a great deal about public speaking by giving numerous sales pitches.

What has your experience working with Hamlin students and faculty members been like?

The girls show so much respect for one another, they have a strong foundation of confidence that you can just feel when working with them. I’m so impressed with the camaraderie that is built by the cohort of faculty members taking my workshop. We start by filming a 1-minute speech, then we look at what was good and not so good, pointing out strengths and things that could be worked on. The work they do is like a combination of a trust fall and individual weightlifting, but there is so much growth from the experience.

You have done all of your Hamlin sessions on a pro-bono basis, tell us about that.

This has been my way of giving back to the school. Others are able to give big financial donations; I’m able to give my time and expertise.

Share one tip that anyone can use to become a more effective public speaker.

Practice, practice, practice. Practice out loud; time what you are going to say. Also, don’t forget that people will remember the way you make them feel more than anything specific that you say.

To connect with Tim Johnson, feel free to email him at:   tim@apjconsult.com

Passion Project Winner: Hannah Do

Lifelong learning spurs excellence, growth, and renewal. This year, The Hamlin School is supporting eclectic faculty-inspired passion projects. Faculty members were encouraged to brainstorm something they are excited to explore or learn. They then submitted their ideas to the administration. At the start of all-faculty events one winner is selected to receive $250 to “take their passion and make it happen.” Mark Picketts (Director of Program and Professional Development) adopted this idea from a school that he visited in Utah. Areas of interest range from a teacher hoping to take a glass-blowing class, to another faculty member who would love to do a fly-fishing clinic.

There have already been four lucky winners. Recently, Hannah Do (Grade 4 Associate Teacher) was selected. Ms. Do’s family comes from Vietnam. She is excited to take some classes to work on her Vietnamese language skills.

“This passion project will allow me to work on developing my accent in Vietnamese. I’m looking forward to becoming more fluent in the language of my family.”

The next passion project drawing is coming soon, who will be our next winner?

Hamlin Continues Social and Emotional Learning Exploration

On Wednesday afternoon, Hamlin Middle School faculty members engaged in a learning exploration with Nick Haisman-Smith of the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning. Mr. Haisman-Smith and the Institute for Social Emotional Learning have visited Hamlin several times over the past year.

Among other areas, the Institute focuses on honing the following skills with educators:

  • Conduct classes in ways that build capacity for personal reflection, meaningful conversation, ritual and group harmony.
  • Use silence, creative expression, listening and cooperation to activate SEL in all subject areas.
  • Use SEL principles to facilitate more powerful academic curriculum design.
  • Exploit the link between literary themes, creative writing, storytelling and SEL skills.
  • Facilitate the use of clarification, support and proposed solutions in conversation to unlock the power of collective wondering.
  • Work with values to build teacher resilience, humanity and creativity.
  • Model the resilience, compassion and inspiration at the heart of SEL.

Hamlin faculty members participated in community building activities, defined and refined the purpose and goals of the middle school advisory program, learned new ways to tangibly bring SEL into advisories/classrooms, and reviewed open session training (a specific type of conversation held in advisory to support the social/emotional welfare of students). As part of the session, teachers shared best practices including ways to: celebrate birthdays with only words of appreciation, create class mantras, practice mindfulness, observe silent reflection, and honor attention (among many others).

The Institute for Social and Emotional Learning also worked with Lower School faculty at a different session.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.instituteforsel.net/

Hamlin Faculty Explore Social and Emotional Learning

On Tuesday, Hamlin faculty members engaged in a daylong learning exploration with members of the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning.

Among other areas, the Institute focuses on honing the following skills with educators:

  • Conduct classes in ways that build capacity for personal reflection, meaningful conversation, ritual and group harmony.
  • Use silence, creative expression, listening and cooperation to activate SEL in all subject areas.
  • Use SEL principles to facilitate more powerful academic curriculum design.
  • Exploit the link between literary themes, creative writing, storytelling and SEL skills.
  • Facilitate use of clarification, support and proposed solutions in conversation to unlock the power of collective wondering.
  • Work with values to build teacher resilience, humanity and creativity.
  • Model the resilience, compassion and inspiration at the heart of SEL.

Hamlin faculty members participated in community building activities, defined and refined the purpose and goals of middle school advisory program, learned new ways to tangibly bring SEL into K-8 classrooms, and went through open session training (a specific type of conversation held in advisory to support the social/emotional welfare of students).

The Institute for Social and Emotional Learning will be working with Hamlin faculty members again in November and in the spring. Special thanks to Institute facilitators Janice Toben, Nick Haisman-Smith and Elizabeth McLeod.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.instituteforsel.net/

 

Hamlin Teachers Present Action-Research Projects

For the second year, Hamlin teachers delved into reflective learning through inquiry projects that they personally designed. Teachers used data, research, and reflection, to investigate, modify, and improve their teaching practice. 24 teachers participated in the Inquiry Project Year, sharing their findings with colleagues at a year-end celebration on June 14. This reflective work serves to make Hamlin a learning institution that continues to grow and strive for excellence in a variety of areas.

The following are just some of the topics that were covered:

Michelle Lovejoy and Rachel Davis developed an interactive Outdoor Ed portal on Hamlinet that shares photos, videos, and other content from all outdoor ed trips.

Gillian Curran designed part of STEM Night to center her classroom on student-led teaching and student-created materials.

Kylie Cobb and Alison Kutnick created an interdisciplinary Social Emotional Unit of Study, specifically for Grade 1, in order to provide students with tools and life skills to support themselves in 6 focus areas: Friendships, Kindness and Respect, Conflict Resolution, Building Confidence, Feelings, Mindfulness, and Resilience.

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May You Be Well: Professional Development Day

This year’s theme is May You Be Well. The words are derived from a Buddhist blessing and set us forth to take care of each other and our community throughout the school year. This means we strive for balance, and work to enrich and focus on our relationships, while continuing to create an excellent academic program. May You Be Well is a theme that also encourages our faculty to model a positive example for students, demonstrating how we can live and work with less stress.

On the morning of November 1, Hamlin employees let go of their laptops and put wellness into practice. The day started with inspiring words from our Head of School, Wanda M. Holland Greene, followed by a meditation session led by Hamlin parent, Ara Goolumian. At 9 a.m. employees departed for various self-selected activities.

Personal wellness included:

Yoga, Zumba, Meditation, Hiking in the Presidio, and Mindful Eating

Two groups also visited Compass Family Services and North Beach Citizens to learn about how those organizations are helping to support wellness for people facing homelessness.

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Dr. Michael G. Thompson Speaks at Hamlin

On September 25, The Hamlin School welcomed world-renowned psychologist, Dr. Michael G. Thompson.

Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. is a consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School and has worked in more than seven hundred schools across the United States, as well as in international schools in Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

He and his co-author, Dan Kindlon, wrote the New York Times best-selling book, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Ballantine Books, 1999). He is the author of Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions about Raising Sons (Ballantine, 2000), and co-author (with Catherine O’Neill Grace and Larry Cohen, Ph.D.) of Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children (Ballantine, 2001) and Mom, They’re Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems (Ballantine, 2002.) About Best Friends, Worst Enemies the Publishers Weekly review declared, “Not since Dr. Spock and Penelope Leach has there been such a sensitive and practical guide to raising healthy children.” The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and in Life (with Teresa Barker, Ballantine, 2004) was written to help parents understand the complex journey of children through school, from Kindergarten through senior year. His third book on the psychology of boys, entitled, It’s a Boy!: Understanding Your Son’s Development from Birth to Eighteen, was published in 2008. It focuses on the importance of undirected, free play in the lives of boys. Dr. Thompson’s newest book, Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help a Child Grow, was published by Ballantine Books in May of 2012.

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Welcome Back to Hamlin, “May You Be Well”

On August 21, 2017, The Hamlin School welcomed back all faculty to start a new school year. This year’s theme is May You Be Well. The words are derived from a Buddhist blessing and set us forth to take care of each other and our community throughout the school year. This means we will strive for balance, and work to enrich and focus on our relationships, while continuing to create an excellent academic program. May You Be Well is a theme that also encourages our faculty to model a positive example for students, demonstrating how we can live and work with less stress.

Throughout the opening week various faculty members led wellness activities. These included: A brisk neighborhood walk, relaxing on the roof, mindfulness, pilates, climbing, yoga, singing, and art making. On Friday afternoon faculty had the opportunity to spend a full hour doing one of the following activities: SoulCycle, walking, Zumba, yoga.

Willow Hagge, (Director of Extended Day and Co-Curricular Programs) shared the following about the emphasis on health and wellness.

The week provided a chance for faculty to care for themselves, mind, body, spirit. It’s a stressful time of year. We wanted faculty and staff to have moments to pause and rejuvenate as they prepared for the school year. 

Hamlin Travels the World with Google Expeditions

Today, Hamlin students had the opportunity to travel virtually to places like Chichen Itza, Mount Rushmore, and the village where Nelson Mandela grew up, through the technology of Google Expeditions. The immersive experience served to enhance both Spanish and Social Studies curriculum.

Google Expeditions enable teachers to bring students on virtual trips to places like museums, underwater, and outer space. Expeditions are collections of linked virtual reality (VR) content and supporting materials that can be used alongside existing curriculum. These trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° panoramas and 3D images — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. There are 600 expeditions to choose from.

Students used virtual reality headsets with Android phones to bring images to life. While the girls explored various places, Hamlin teachers provided narrative information about the locales.

Hamlin faculty member Rachel Davis states, Google Expeditions give students an opportunity to explore an area through immersion, they get to be involved in the whole experience.

Hamlin 5th graders loved Google Expeditions. We liked how we can see structures from both a side view and from above, it was like going on a learning vacation without getting on a plane.

Below is a video of Hamlin 3rd graders exploring Mount Rushmore:

To learn more about Google Expeditions, please visit: https://edu.google.com/expeditions/#about

 

 

Project Based PD: Designing A Mini-Golf Course in 2nd Grade

Under the leadership of Mark Picketts, Hamlin’s Director of Program Innovation and Professional Development, teachers have been exploring and learning this year through inquiry projects that they personally design. As action researchers, teachers use data, research, and reflection to investigate, modify, and improve their teaching practice. All teachers who participate in the Inquiry Project Year will share their findings with their colleagues at a year-end celebration of learning.

As part of her inquiry year, physical education teacher Terry McDonald created a dynamic project that allowed 2nd graders to design their own miniature golf courses. With the help of funds from Hamlin’s Raise the Paddle, Ms. McDonald was able to purchase mini-golf starter kits, she then partnered with Urban Putt in San Francisco so students could conduct research at their facility, while playing a round. The golf project integrated disciplines, combining technology, student-made video tutorials, tracking the design process via their iPads, while incorporating the geometric angles of math, all within the context of sport. Through the project, students were able to learn about golf, golf etiquette, while collaborating to make their courses as challenging as possible.

 

Watch this amazing integration project with second graders documented as part of Hamlin’s Project Based Professional Development program:
(link for internal users only)