How to Engage Young Alumni Today

alumni relations, educator's ally, job search, hiring

 

Did you know that Educator’s Ally helps schools with hiring for Advancement searches? It’s an area of growth for our schools and one we’re being tapped for help with more and more.

To that end, we’re excited to announce the hire of Susie Delaporte, the newest member of the EA Placement Team. Susie joins us from The Angeletti Group, where she was Director of Client Partnership and Executive Search. Working alongside EA Placement Manager Margaret Cissel in support of Advancement/Development placement, Susie promises to be an invaluable addition to the EA Team.

With this in mind, we asked Susie to share her thoughts on alumni giving and stewardship. In our conversation, Susie referenced a CASE article that reflects on how schools once engaged with alumni:

“In the past, alumni relations, or engagement, tended to be treated as a stand-alone activity divorced from fundraising and other advancement activities. Indeed, some alumni associations were entirely independent of their parent institutions, and whilst their members interacted with each other, they had very little interaction with the institution.”

Today, it is common knowledge that alumni have the potential to be a school’s most valuable ambassadors. Through the group’s social and professional networks, alumni can serve as a tremendous vehicle for word-of-mouth marketing. Still, cultivating a lasting and fruitful bond between a school and its alumni calls for a great deal of planning and stewardship.

Many schools will begin stewarding future alumni during their senior year. School leaders and advancement officers do this by reminding their students of the opportunities their (soon to be) alma mater has provided them, and educating them as to the importance of supporting the school after graduation.

 

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In the words of Patrick F. Bassett, former president of NAIS and past president of ISACS,

the first inquiry can and will, if handled properly, develop into a decades-long, generations-deep, resource-laden relationship as parent, student, alumni, grandparent, and beyond the grave (as the school benefits from estate planning). Thus, the trick at hand is to devise conscious and sustained strategies to develop and deepen the relationships and to pass them on at successive stages to successive contacts at the school. Handled well, the school will become the life-long “virtual home” for its families.”

In summary, schools are faced with a difficult task when it comes to alumni donors. And that is: keeping them engaged over time, and especially through staff changes. If relationships are handled thoughtfully, alumni will be more likely to make a lasting impact long after they have graduated.

For more ideas on how to engage your young alumni, click here.

 

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools. With New York roots and a national reach, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike since 1975.
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The Importance of Sharing with Students

 

 

With the start of a new school year upon us, teachers are busily preparing their lesson plans for the first few days of school.  Both students and teachers are likely eager to share their summer adventures, so why not incorporate those stories into a first lesson?  Studies have shown that performance increases when students feel engaged and connected with a teacher.

This article details one teacher’s tradition of starting the year with a slideshow that paints a picture of why he’s a teacher and encouraging his students to share their own meaningful pictures with each other.  As the article mentions, “students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  Start the year off on a positive and fun note by sharing these meaningful, personal anecdotes.  By encouraging a class culture of connectedness, you may find students more engaged, motivated, and happier to come to class.

Are you a dedicated educator who enjoys connecting with her students on a personal level?  Have you been thinking about pursuing a new teaching position in independent schools?  Apply now to see if Educator’s Ally can assist you with your job search.

 

 

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools. With New York roots and a national reach, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike since 1975.
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New School Year: New Innovative Initiatives

 

 

As teachers put their final touches on classroom bulletin boards, and students pack their backpacks with freshly sharpened pencils and notebooks, faculties are gearing up for the school year that for many include exciting new initiatives.

One potent example is The Wheeler School’s (Providence, Rhode Island) introduction of “Forest Fridays” for their Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms. In an article recently posted on the school’s website titled Into the Woods, We Must Go, Laurie Flynn, Wheeler’s Director of Strategic Communications, describes her first time experiencing this pilot program:

“I am following a line of 3 year-olds into the woods.  Their feet hit the soft carpet of leaves and pine needles with an energetic rhythm not yet syncopated to their fellow walkers as most older hikers would do.

 

They are led — and also followed — by Wheeler teachers, eager as they are to explore this section of the 120-acre Wheeler Farm campus.  Driven by curiosity, the Early Childhood students from Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten explore the Farm with its fields and woodlands in a new program dubbed ‘Forest Fridays.’

 

Sunlight slants through the tall trees onto the Nursery students at the old Wheeler Pageant grounds, once home to faeries and other mythological creatures from past theatrical traditions performed nearly a century ago. Nearby at Wheeler Pond, headwaters to the Runnins River of Massachusetts, 4 year-olds build forts at their ‘Town Circle’ noticing nearby beaver dams and building their own teepees with fallen tree limbs, while at a third location (each location was chosen by the students, themselves) the kindergartners explore a smaller vernal pond; howling like pups in a wolf pack called to the wild, then later turning into ‘chipmunks’ at snack time.” Into the Woods, We Must Go, Laurie Flynn, The Wheeler School Website

In the article Laurie notes, “Access to learning has no boundaries. And the teachers of the new outdoor program understand there are many benefits to this type of exploration.”

Given The Wheeler School’s commitment to offering exciting and innovative educational environments for students to learn in, it’s no wonder where the inspiration for “Forest Fridays” stemmed from. “The new program is a perfect fit for Wheeler’s Farm campus because after all, what happens on a farm?” writes Laurie, “There’s plenty of water, sunlight and cultivated growth to help seedlings thrive.” Into the Woods, We Must Go, Laurie Flynn, The Wheeler School Website

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools. With New York roots and a national reach, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike since 1975.

 

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The Hotchkiss EFX Lab: A Modern Day Playground

It is no secret that STEM labs are popping up on campuses across the country. Still, some schools are taking design-thinking spaces to a whole new level, and Hotchkiss’s EFX (Engineering, Fabrication, Exploration) Lab is one of these places. Their 3,136-square-foot lab provides space for students to ask big questions, collaborate on even bigger ideas, and engineer their own answers into tangible technologies.

Last Fall, the Hotchkiss community got their first peek at the impressive lab. First impressions were highlighted in the Fall 2017 Hotchkiss Magazine article,”The Class of 2017 EFX Lab: Engineering, Fabrication, Exploration.”

“What might you imagine happening in here?” Economics Instructor Adam Lang asked students in his Design for Social Impact class as they toured the new Class of 2017 EFX Lab. “Industrial design!” shouted one student. “Art and architecture projects,” chimed another. Robotics, engineering, science, math, chemistry, photography — “the possibilities of how to use this bright new space seemed endless to students.” The Class of 2017 EFX Lab: Engineering, Fabrication, Exploration (Hotchkiss Magazine)

Since opening its doors, the EFX Lab has been home to many class projects. Last winter, an AP Physics class used the space to invent and design new musical instruments. According to an article written for Hotchkiss News, “The students created prototypes of 3D-printed, laser-cut and Arduino-controlled instruments, including an instrument they named a “clute,” a cross between a conventional clarinet and a flute; a “do taar,” a two-string instrument modification of the Eastern one-string setaar; and the “marble xylo,” a percussion instrument, which resembles a xylophone.” Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Physics Students Create Music (Hotchkiss News)

The students didn’t have much experience with playing musical instruments, but they used fundamental themes learned in class like wavelength and frequency as a foundation to build their designs. The article continues, “Instructor in Physics Anju Taneja said the project helped students realize that design is an iterative cycle of prototyping, testing, isolating flaws, and constant refining, which requires a lot of patience, commitment, and work.” Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Physics Students Create Music (Hotchkiss News)

 

The EFX Lab is fully stocked with tools to support each student’s workflow including a prototyping studio, a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) router, a large format digital laser cutter, 3D printers, soldering stations, a band saw, drill and wood press, and Arduino kits. However, it is important to note that building a state-of-the-art STEM lab is by no means a prerequisite to creating design thinking curriculum. What you really need are passionate teachers who can inspire students not only to ask the challenging questions but to come up with their own innovative answers.

Photos and videos provided by Hotchkiss.

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools. With New York roots and a national reach, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike since 1975.
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A Complicated Relationship

As a company of all women, we’d be lying if we told you that the conversation in our office doesn’t sometimes revolve around our hair. So this summer, hit the beach with one of our new favorites, Me, My Hair and I: Twenty-Seven Women Untangle an Obsession. As women from all around the globe untangle how they feel about their hair and what it says about the society they live in, you will no doubt be questioning your own complicated relationship with your hair.  

Dana Hall SchoolSocial Studies faculty Heather Panahi has her students reading this collection of cultural essays as they embark on a relationship with students from Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG) through the school’s SISTERS (Strengthening International Sisterhood Through Education, Relationship-building and Service) program.

Have you introduced this book to your class?

“The long and the short of it is that our hair is our glory—and our nemesis, our history, our self-esteem, our joy, our mortality.” 

Elizabeth Benadict, Me, My Hair and I: Twenty-Seven Women Untable an Obsession

Happy reading!

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools. With New York roots and a national reach, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike since 1975.

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STEAM in the Music Classroom? Ok, Go!

We loved this recent segment on NBC that highlights the rock band OK Go and their quest to help schools integrate science and math into the curriculum through music. “After finding out that their ingenious music videos were being used to teach the fundamentals of science, OK Go collaborated with hundreds of educators to create OK Go Sandbox – a free online resource to help bring math and science concepts to life.”

Whether it’s looking at how to use everyday objects to generate sound, or creating a single chain reaction by using simple machines, OK Go Sandbox has the fun videos to help. What outside the box resources does your school use?

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools. With New York roots and a national reach, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike since 1975.
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Norman Doors: “The Tyranny of Bad Doors Must End”

Do you know what “Norman Doors” are? We didn’t either but now we can’t stop seeing them every day and everywhere!

We had the pleasure of sitting in on a session led by Jed Dioguardi, Director of Information Technology, at Hackley School on “A Design Approach to Problem Solving in Project-Based Learning” at the ATLIS (Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools) Conference this week. The session introduced us to Don Norman’s idea of human-centered design and his book The Design of Everyday Things.

Check out this fascinating and hilarious 5-minute video by Vox Media about Norman Doors and let us know how many you have in your office (we have 4!). Then, as Jed did with his students at Hackley, let your class test their discoverability skills and see how many Norman Doors, or other poorly designed items, are on your campus.

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Game-Based Lessons Make Learning Fun

Using technology and game-based learning in the classroom can be an exciting and useful way to get students involved.

In our recent conversations with teachers, foreign language teachers in particular, we’ve heard that Kahoot! has been an effective tool for review and test preparation. Kahoot! is a free, downloadable, game-based learning and trivia platform that “brings fun into learning, for any subject, for all ages.”

Here’s how it works. Teachers upload questions to the platform, which are then displayed on students’ screens (computer, tablet, or smartphone) where they can view the questions and select the correct answers before the time runs out. The results are displayed on a shared screen in real time. Why is this helpful? As a representative from Kahoot! explains, “It creates a ‘campfire moment’ encouraging players to look up and celebrate together.” Students enjoy a sense of inclusivity and teamwork as they work together to find the correct answer. In the process, their skills in the areas of sharing, problem-solving, and blended learning improve.

Here is an example of how a Spanish Teacher uses Kahoot! in her classroom and why it works for her class.

Are you a foreign language teacher who enjoys incorporating tech into your classroom and looking to pursue next steps in your career? Educator’s Ally would love to assist you with your search! Upload your resume to get started on our application here.

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools. With New York roots and a national reach, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike since 1975.
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The Performance Art of Teaching

Whether you’re teaching a Math or Science class, engaging students in a History or English Harkness discussion, there remains one common thread essential to captivating your audience: recognizing that one key ingredient is the art of performance. At least that’s what Jessica Lahey, writer for The Atlantic believes. In her latest article entitled, “Teaching: Just Like Performing Magic” she shares entertainer and magician, Raymond Teller’s (of Penn & Teller) ruminations on “how performance and discomfort make education come alive.” Read it here.

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