Tag Archives: Education

Matter of Trust Speaks at Hamlin

In the spring, Grade 7 students will be participating in a active learning experience called Rise to the Challenge.

Rise to the Challenge is the intensive for our Grade 7 studentsIntensives are a concentrated period of study where an entire grade is working on a project or projects, with profound research and preparation, followed by a public event. These intensives are designed with Hamlin’s mission in mind, as our students meet the challenges of their time.

Grade 7 students have the opportunity to choose their own topics, do in-depth research, then share their findings, providing short and long-term solutions to various problems.

To prepare and inspire our girls for Rise to the Challenge, we have had speakers sharing their altruistic passions with our students.

Yesterday, Lisa Craig Gautier, the founder of the nonprofit A Matter of Trust, spoke with students.

Matter of Trust provides systems for sorting recyclables and compostables into useful stockpiles. By focusing on convenience, we learn what households need most from community reuse programs. Gathering perspectives from global industries, we find motivations and new zero-waste opportunities. We are passionate about efficiency and deconstructable designs.

Ms. Gautier encouraged our students to discover their passion and make a difference in the world by thinking outside the box in creative ways.

Special thanks to Mr. Ditto (in the photo), who invited Ms. Gautier to Hamlin.

To learn more about Matter of Trust, please visit: https://matteroftrust.org/

 

 

Interview with Dr. Kelsey Twist Schroeder: Our New Middle School Division Head

We are very excited to have Dr. Kelsey Twist Schroeder with us this year. Dr. Schroeder comes to The Hamlin School from Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, where she was the Dean of Students for the Upper School. Dr. Schroeder attended Stanford University, where she was a scholar-athlete, excelling as an All-American lacrosse player. She went on to earn her Masters in Education from Stanford, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Schroeder is the mother of three girls; her two oldest are now attending Hamlin.

1. What are you most excited about for this school year?

In my first year at Hamlin, I am most excited about becoming part of this extraordinary community. When I visited Hamlin last year for my interviews, I could immediately sense what a strong, supportive community it was. Every person—from the students to the employees to the families—believes in the mission of the school and living the Creed, and you can feel that energy in the air.

That is the kind of environment where I want to be a school leader, and it is the kind of school culture I want for my own daughters. My spouse, Jamie, and I are simply over the moon that our daughters, Hazel and Lillian started in the Lower School this fall, and hopefully our youngest, Marion, will be here in a few years!     

2. You recently completed your Doctorate in Education. Tell us about the focus of your work.

The Mid-Career Doctoral Program at Penn brings together a diverse cohort of educational leaders from urban, rural, suburban, private, and public contexts. We had different backgrounds, educational philosophies, and professional roles, and we came together to use that range of wisdom to tackle complex educational challenges.

The focus of my dissertation was on how adolescent students at a selective independent girls’ school conceptualize and experience leadership. The premise of the study is that leadership is dynamic and that girls coming of age today may not approach leadership in the same way girls did ten or even five years ago. Because I am committed to developing leadership capacities in girls, I wanted to begin that work by first understanding what attitudes, experiences, and hopes shape the way the girls currently approach leadership.   

3. You are the mother of 3 girls; what is the best piece of parenting advice you have received?

Being a mother of three girls has been the greatest joy of my life, and as any parent knows, raising children is also challenging at times. My first daughter, Hazel, was born 13 weeks prematurely. We are blessed that Hazel had a remarkable recovery, but she had a difficult start to life. During her long stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) she had one particularly hard day and was having difficulty breathing; as a new mother, I was feeling overwhelmed. A nurse that I had become friendly with came up to me, put her arm around me, and compassionately said, “I know you wish you could, Kelsey, but you can’t learn to breathe for her.” I will never forget that moment and the caring way she spoke those words to me.

Watching your child struggle to learn is one of the most challenging experiences as a parent. It’s our instinct to want to step in and help. I have returned to that wise advice several times over the years. Whether it’s learning to tie a shoe or make new friends, I have to remind myself that I can guide and support and love my kids, and I also need to let them learn independently.

4. You were a highly accomplished athlete. How does that experience inform your work as an educator?

Growing up, I was blessed to attend a girls’ school that never asked me to pick between being a scholar, athlete, or artist. I loved being able to sing in my a cappella group and then dash off to my basketball game. While I learned so much in academic classrooms, I think I learned just as much being a three-sport varsity athlete (lacrosse, field hockey, basketball). Athletics is where I learned how to get along with others, including people who were very different from me. Being part of a team taught me how to put the group’s goals above my own individual goals. Being an athlete taught me the satisfaction of hard work. My dad shuttled me from game to game and would always tell me how proud he was that I “played my heart out” whether we won or lost. While I like to win as much as anyone, my family never prized winning over trying my best and being a good sport. I try to imbue those lessons into my work with students every day.      

5. What would your favorite K-8 teacher say about you as a student?

I had many amazing teachers during my K-8 education, so it’s impossible to pick a favorite, but one teacher who had a tremendous impact on me was my 5th grade teacher, Mary Beth Dyer. She had (and still has) one of the most wonderful laughs in the world. It’s big and joyful and carefree, and when you hear her laugh, you can’t help but smile. In addition to a contagious positive spirit, Ms. Dyer taught me to not be afraid of failing and live life as a learning adventure where you get a chance to grow every single day.

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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Demonstrating Knowledge: Rise To the Challenge in Grade 7

Rise To the Challenge is the intensive for our Grade 7 students Intensives are a concentrated period of study where an entire grade is working on a project or projects, with profound research and preparation, followed by a public event. These intensives are designed with Hamlin’s mission in mind, as our students meet the challenges of their time.

Grade 7 students have the opportunity to choose their own topics, do in-depth research, then share their findings, providing short and long-term solutions to various problems.

This year’s topics were: Technology and Well-being, LBGTQ+ Rights, Oceans and Plastics, Oceans and Overfishing, Cancer Prevention, Digital Privacy and Cybersecurity, Gun Violence and School Shootings, Stress Prevention, Post-Antibiotic Era, Mass Incarceration of People of Color, Access to Education for Rohingya Girls in Bangladesh.

Many teams used technology to generate awareness, including: videos, websites, blogs, Twitter, Change.org, and Instagram. One group made their own “zero waste” whipped lotion, mascara, toothpaste, and deodorant. Another group made wooden shark earrings to raise awareness about the unethical fishing for shark fins.

The Stress Prevention group explored meditation as a way to help solve their problem. In the video below students speak firsthand about stress and how meditation helps them.

OneProsper Visits The Hamlin School

On March 27, we welcomed OneProsper Board Member, Shailendra Gupta.

OneProsper International is working to empower girls in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India to break the cycle of poverty. Our holistic solution brings clean water, education and better nutrition to underprivileged girls living in the Thar Desert. 

In September 2017, OneProsper International began construction of rainwater harvesting tanks for 30 families in the Thar Desert which will impact 60 girls. The tanks were completed in January 2018 and the girls started attending school February 2018.

Grade 6 Social Studies students are studying the Eastern Hemisphere and the issue of water scarcity in countries like South Sudan and India. As part of their learning experience they are focusing on the struggle of women in the northern Thar Desert where resources are scarce, forcing girls to forgo school in order to walk long distances to get water for their families. Last year we partnered with the nonprofit OneProsper in order to help girls attend school.

This year in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8th), Grade 6 students raised money through a bake sale for OneProsper. Salesforce visited with students and introduced them to their Trailhead technology to create an app to improve bake sale results. There are four more bake sales scheduled.

Mr. Gupta spoke about the importance of OneProsper’s work, outlining the following challenges and solutions:

Challenges:

-Clean Water
-Lack of access to clean water results in water borne disease (diarrhea)
-Lack of education for girls
-Girls wake up at 4-5 am and walk several hours to collect water from a pond
-Low crop yields results in poor nutrition and low incomes

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Interview with Ade Avela Nanti (Teach With Africa)

1) What have you enjoyed about your time at Hamlin?

I have enjoyed the conversations I have had with the teachers and learners at Hamlin. Through them I have learned a great deal about the school and their involvement in their communities.

2) What have you enjoyed about your time in California?

My host family car ride chats, the food and the beautiful landscapes, the friendly people who are always eager to help and share a story whether at the grocery store or bus stop.

3) What is one thing that surprised you about your experience?

How technologically advanced the people in the city are, young and mature, they are in touch and clued up about the available technology of today.

4) Based on your observations, how would you describe a Hamlin girl?

Confident and a mindful global citizen, they are not only aware of themselves but they deeply care about the world and people at large.

5) What knowledge/wisdom/realization from your visit do you hope to continue to explore back in South Africa?

Learning is like building blocks and there should be a purpose for the concepts taught to learners. We should know why we teach the content we teach before the how. Hamlin has an extraordinary way of capturing this concept of education as a set of building blocks.

Learn more about Ms. Nanti’s visit in this video:

A New School Year, Wisdom from Wanda M. Holland Greene

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in January 1968. I love New York City. For me, NYC is both a geographical and a spiritual home; it is a place that I navigate easily, where my loud voice, brown skin, and heavy footsteps fall right into place, and where I feel completely in my element. One of the things that native New Yorkers will admit hesitantly is that NYC is not a clean city. Vibrant, yes. Busy, of course. Multicultural and multilingual, certainly. But clean? Not so much. That’s why native New Yorkers secretly love heavy rainfall. Rest assured that it will be nearly impossible to hail a yellow taxi when it rains, but when the cloudy heavens open, the grey concrete streets begin to glisten like hematite crystals. Randomly scattered trash will find its way to the cross-hatch gutters on the street corners, and for a moment NYC will be as clean as Chicago or Seattle.

For the past few years, and more intensely in the last few weeks, I have been hoping and praying that our cities and the entire country be washed clean of the filth of bigotry and intimidation, the toxicity of police brutality, and the pollution of indifference. My fervent prayer has been “Make it rain, down Lord. May justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream, as the purest of Kings once said. Make it rain down a fire that will purify our hearts and refine the American dream so that there is truly liberty and justice for all.” I thought about the song “Make it Rain,” written by Foy Vance, a Northern Irish musician, and I thought about the robust conversations that I’ve had in the past with Hamlin girls about diversity and democracy. I then thought about our sacred mission:

“The Hamlin School educates girls to meet the challenges of their time, and inspires them to become extraordinary thinkers and innovators, courageous leaders, and women of integrity.”

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