The Independent School Hiring Timeline

If you’re new to the independent school search landscape, you may be unfamiliar with the general timeline during which hiring takes place. While there can sometimes be confusion relating to this process, Educator’s Ally is here to help you every step of the way. Check out this monthly breakdown of the hiring process to learn exactly what to expect.

September – November
Connect with your EA Placement Manager
The first step in the EA hiring process is to let your Placement Manager (PM) know that you want to search for a job. At this time in the hiring process, start updating your documents: have a resume, personal statement, reference list, reference letters, and transcripts prepared. Film yourself teaching a lesson if possible. You should also begin to think about what you’re looking for in your next steps.

December – January
Refine your documents
At this time of year, schools often share confidential openings with EA that haven’t yet gone public. It’s also common for senior administrator openings to arise. Make sure all of your information is up to date so that you can hit the ground running once the hiring season begins, especially with early openings.

February – March
Stay in touch
Hiring season has officially begun! This is the busiest time for openings, so make sure you stay in touch with your PM to confirm your interest or let her know if openings are not appealing to you. Schools may also start the interview process, so use this time to brush up on your interview skills. Need to practice? Ask your PM to share some common interview questions so you can start to craft your answers.

April – May
Prepare for interview and demo lesson season
This is the peak season for teaching interviews, demo lessons, campus visits, job offers, and salary negotiations. However, each search moves at its own speed, and one school may be farther along in the process than another, so keep in touch with your PM with updates on the status of your searches. The more your PM knows about your search, the more helpful she can be in terms of navigating various timelines and openings. This includes keeping your PM abreast of any contract deadlines you’re facing at your current school.

June – August
Celebrate!
While hiring can continue through June, most searches are wrapped up by the end of the school year. There can be last-minute openings during the summer, but these are rare. Congratulations on making it through the job search and interview process. Celebrate your new job!

Please note that while the independent school hiring season typically follows this timeline, each school moves at its own pace, and hiring does happen year-round. While the job search and interview process can be daunting, Educator’s Ally is here to help our candidates in any way we can. Interested in learning more about how EA can personalize your search? Apply today!

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Six Things to Do Before School Starts

By Kate Humphrey

It always seems that summer flies by way too quickly; it’s hard to believe that it’s nearly the end of August and school will be back in session soon. As a teacher, it can take some time to find your footing at the start of the year, so in order to hit the ground running, we’ve brainstormed some activities that you can do to prepare for school that will energize you and help you make this year the best one yet.

Set Personal Teaching Goals and Intentions

Before the start of each school year, take some time to reflect on what you want to accomplish or gain during the upcoming year. Whether you wish to spend more time working with students one-on-one, collaborate more with colleagues, or strengthen your knowledge of certain curricula, creating intentions is a fantastic way to outline your goals.  Do you think a job search will be in your future? Reach out to EA to get the conversation started.

Prepare Your Room

Organizing your classroom in advance can inspire new project ideas and get you in the proper mindset as both students and teachers love walking into an environment that is functional yet friendly. While decorating your classroom, aim for themes that will inspire and spark creativity.

Connect with Fellow Teachers

Reach out to your colleagues! Strengthening relationships with coworkers or starting new friendships is a great way to get excited about the new year. You can brainstorm fun classroom activities, develop interdisciplinary projects, and have a supportive ear to go to when seeking advice.

Start Getting Back into Your School Time Routine

During summer vacation, it’s all too easy to fall out of your daily routine. We suggest setting a schedule several weeks in advance of your first day to ensure that your body can acclimate to going to sleep and getting up at certain times. Establishing these new routines in advance can help you prepare both mentally and physically.

Set Time Aside for Work/Life Balance

Finding the right balance between work and personal time can be a challenging task that is often ignored, especially with teacher prep time spilling to hours outside of the school day. In these last days of summer, carving out time now every week (or day!) for yourself and friends and family is a great way to remind yourself that personal time and mental health are important.

Create a Management Plan

While having to discipline students is no educator’s favorite part of teaching, it’s an important one. Preparing a classroom management plan for the first day of school can help you establish a fun, yet respectful, tone for the year and will help you in the future. You can find more ideas here.

For additional resources and ideas, we encourage you to check out Scholastic, Teach 4 The Heart, and even take a look at the wonderful checklists at Hey Teach and ThoughtCo. Best of luck with the upcoming school year – we can’t wait to hear what you’re doing with your classroom and how you’re preparing for a strong start!

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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Beating The “Summer Slide”

by Kate Humphrey

What is The Summer Slide?

Summer vacation is usually a time for children to hang out with friends, relax, and unwind from the school year. However, it can also lead to the “summer slide”, the regression of reading and other academic abilities. Younger children are more at risk for the summer slide because they are in a crucial developmental stage and their brains must be regularly exercised in order for them not to forget what they have learned and to prevent falling behind in the fall. Unfortunately, summer learning loss can also contribute to the achievement gap in children from lower-income families.  To help combat this and to keep your kids engaged throughout the summer, we’ve compiled some useful tips.

How to Beat The Summer Slide

Read every day: Children who read for at least twenty minutes every day are more likely to build stronger vocabularies, reading comprehension skills, and develop better grammar. If your child is too young to read on their own, we suggest reading to them yourself; even a short bedtime story helps to build their capabilities. Reading your own book alongside them sets a great example, and it’s something we highly recommend doing.

Allow children to read what they please: When encouraging children and teenagers to develop strong reading habits, letting them choose their own (age and grade-level appropriate) reading material is incredibly important. This lets them see reading as an enjoyable activity instead of something they have to do, and may even allow them to explore a range of genres.

Library reading programs: There’s no better place for an array of free books and resources than a library. As a community center, your local library may host a summer read-a-thon that inspires your child to read a set number of books over the break. If your library is not hosting its own summer challenge, you can always look into the Collaborative Summer Library Program, Beanstack’s reading challenges, or start a reading group of your own (more information can be found here and here).

Engaging activities: As wonderful and gratifying as reading is, it is also vital for children of every age to stimulate their minds in other ways. Spending time outside, going to museums, playing board games, and doing puzzles are other fun activities to spark imagination and critical thinking. Connecticut recently launched their “Summer at the Museum” initiative which is offering free admission to participating institutions for kids this summer.

Reading Lists and Further Resources

Sometimes, knowing which books to select for children can be the biggest hurdle in developing enthusiastic readers. To help with that, here are several lists that can help you get a jump start on your child’s reading: Read Brightly, ALSC, and Imagination Soup offer lists for all ages and reading levels; Summer Reading NY compiled several lists for teenagers; even websites like Goodreads and stores such as Barnes & Noble have some fantastic book recommendations. Or visit your local independent bookstore and ask the staff what they love!

For more resources and ideas for overcoming the summer slide, we encourage you to look into The National Summer Learning Association, American Library Association, and Association for Library Service to Children.

We hope you find these resources and suggestions useful. Have a great summer filled with lots of books and learning!

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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Teaching Pride Month in Classrooms

By Kate Humphrey

What Is Pride?

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, dedicated to celebrating and honoring LGBTQ+ lives. Since the brave actions of Marsha P. Johnson that sparked the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and the gay rights movement in the United States, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and allies, have come together to uplift LGBTQ+ voices and work to achieve equal civil rights.

Pride is celebrated with parties, picnics, workshops, educational events, and, possibly most famously, New York City’s Pride March that draws in millions of supporters each year and had its fiftieth anniversary in 2019. Pride is a worldwide celebration of self-affirmation, tolerance, respect, increased visibility, and the acknowledgment of the decades-long fight for equality under the law. Teaching about Pride and LBGTQ+ history is important as it makes each student feel safe, welcome, and, hopefully, understood.

Important Figures

To get started, below is a short list of people who have made large contributions to LBGTQ+ rights and visibility.

Along with Marsha P. Johnson, Silvia Rivera was instrumental in instigating the gay rights movement after the Stonewall Riots and served as a lifelong activist for transgender rights. Together, they founded S.T.A.R, a now-defunct organization that provided homeless LGBTQ+ youths with housing in lower Manhattan.

Edith Windsor, in the landmark 2013 Supreme Court Case, United States v. Windsor, challenged the ‘Defense of Marriage’ act (DOMA) that had defined marriage as the union between one man and one woman. After the death of her long-time partner, Thea Spyer, Winsor sued the federal government to legally recognize their union, and grant her spousal privileges. Declaring DOMA as unconstitutional was a watershed moment in legalizing gay marriage.

Harvey Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in California. During the 1970s, when hostility and discrimination towards members of the LBGTQ+ community were rampant, Milk was unapologetically himself and gave others hope. Even after his assassination, Milk served as a beacon of self-acceptance.

WWII veteran Christine Jorgensen is widely known as the first transgender American to undergo sex reassignment surgery. In the 1950s, Jorgensen became a near-celebrity for her groundbreaking surgery. Although she was met with discrimination and backlash, Jorgensen also received many letters from similar individuals asking her for help and guidance, and she gave lectures throughout the U.S. on gender identity. Jorgensen left her mark by increasing the public’s knowledge of transgender individuals.

What Is Next?

Whether during Pride Month or throughout the year, continue exploring the best ways to incorporate a variety of identities into the curriculum. A great starting point to ensuring that each student feels welcomed is to place safe zone stickers in the classrooms. There are also a plethora of books for students to read such as Sophie Beer’s Love Makes A Family, I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and many more, which can be found here and here. Further resources for students and teachers alike can be found through Share My Lesson’s activities, Pride Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League, NYC Pride, and GLSEN.

Happy Pride Month!

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: How Educators Can Teach Asian and Pacific Islander Cultures and Histories

By Kate Humphrey

Did you know that in 2019, 23.2 million Americans identified as Asian-American and in 2018, an estimated 1.6 million Americans cited Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander heritage? With influential people such as Senator Tammy Duckworth, chef Roy Choi, fashion designer Vera Wang, actor Dwayne Johnson, and poet Emelihter S. Kihleng, AAPIs have contributed in countless ways to American life and history, enriching the country with their achievements and cultures. So, every May since 1978, we honor these incredible people with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  Even though AAPI Heritage month is winding down, the below lessons are certainly relevant and important regardless of the time of year.

CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENTS

An important step in introducing AAPI heritage to students is including it in your school’s curriculum. Younger students can have fun engaging with lessons such as ‘Person of the Week’ or ‘Country of the Week’ that highlight AAPI. You can include fun recipes like Christine Ha’s Vietnamese Chicken and Glass Noodle Soup or the late Floyd Cardoz’s Chicken Makhani. For older students, assign research projects that allow them to delve into AAPI history, people, and customs such as the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony, or Soh Jaipil, a Korean-American political activist. They can even attend virtual and in-person events to enhance their education, such as ones hosted by the Smithsonian or the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.

BOOKS

To supplement your school’s curriculum, and to help guarantee that it reflects the diversity of Asia and the Pacific Islands, we have compiled a small list of inclusive books by AAPI authors:

Children

  1. Drawn Together by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat
  2. Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho
  3. Pele and Poli‘ahu by Malia Collins and illustrated by Kathleen Peterson
  4. The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Khoa Le
  5. You Can Do It, Yasmin! By Saadia Faruqi and illustrated by Hatem Aly

Young Adult

  1. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
  2. Displacement by Kiku Hughes
  3. Kino and the King by Jen Angeli
  4. Love Boat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
  5. The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim

Adult

  1. America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
  2. Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
  3. Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu
  4. Pidgin Eye by Joe Balaz
  5. The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

Given the importance of incorporating a diverse range of perspectives, voices, and histories into the classroom year-round, we hope that you are able to use our suggested activities and book lists so your students can learn more about the rich cultures and traditions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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Books to Celebrate Black History Month

2020 brought the Black Lives Matter movement into the forefront of the public consciousness. This Black History Month, it’s critical to connect with students and talk with them about the importance of Black history and how past events have shaped our nation’s history, from before the Revolutionary War to present day. Check out these age appropriate titles to help your students start the conversation.

Lower School Titles:

  • All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson
    With Senators recently pushing to declare Juneteenth a federal holiday, it’s more important than ever that students understand the meaning and significance of this day. With beautiful illustrations and prose, All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation’s history.
  • Harlem Renaissance Party by Faith Ringgold
    This book tells the story of a boy and his uncle who travel to Harlem in the 1920s, meeting famous writers, musicians, artists, and athletes such as Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Josephine Baker and Zora Neale Hurston. Harlem Renaissance Party will help students outline how these influential people helped define the period of the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford
    Another picture book, Freedom on the Menu tells the story of the nonviolent sit-in protests in Greensboro, North Carolina. This book is the perfect segue to discussing segregation and the protests of the Civil Rights era with your students.
  • Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and Winifred Conkling
    Based on the New York Timesbestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, this book tells the story of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four Black women who helped NASA during America’s first journeys into space.

Middle School Titles:

  • Black Pioneers of Science and Invention by Louis Harber
    This chapter book tells the stories of Benjamin Banneker, Granville T. Woods, George Washington Carver, and eleven other gifted Black innovators who have played important roles in scientific and industrial progress.
  • The Seeds of America Trilogy by Laurie Halse Anderson
    This trilogy tells the story of three young enslaved people living on the Eastern Seaboard in 1776. As war breaks out, these characters will help middle schoolers question what they would risk for freedom.
  • The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
    The Lions of Little Rock tells the story of Marlee and Liz, two girls starting middle school in 1958 in Little Rock, Arkansas. But when Liz is caught passing for white, she and Marlee must take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
  • Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
    Augusta Scattergood’s debut novel, this novel tells the story of a Mississippi town in 1964 and the debate to keep the segregated public pool open.

Upper School Titles:

  • Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
    This nonfiction memoir tells the story of Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest person to walk all the way from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama on the Voting Rights March in 1965. Pair this lesson with a viewing of 2014’s Selma for an in-depth discussion on the Selma Voting Rights March.
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
    Now a Netflix adaptation, this book tells the true story of fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba, who built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps and brought electricity to his Malawi village.
  • Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High by Melba Pattillo Beals
    Melba Pattillo Beals tells her account of becoming one of The Little Rock Nine, the first Black students to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School in the wake of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education. This memoir will transport high schoolers to their own communities and raise discussions on racism, segregation, and the right to education.
  • X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
    Co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, X: A Novel uses historical fiction to tell the story of Malcolm X’s youth, from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty. This graphic novel is the perfect introduction to lessons on Malcolm X and the history of the Black Panther Party.

Black history is, of course, history and should be celebrated and recognized throughout the year as teachers move towards creating a more inclusive and diverse curriculum.  With these titles, educators and students will have fodder for lessons and discussions beyond just February.  And if you’re looking for a way to support Black businesses this month, check out Black-owned, independent bookstores like Mahogany Books, Uncle Bobbie’s, Semicolon Bookstore, Hakim’s Bookstore, and Sister’s Uptown to buy these titles and more.  A list of Black owned bookstores by state can be found 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 nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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Your Winter Break Job Search To Do List

We know that the weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break are busy times for teachers, especially this year as schools navigate between in-person and remote learning.  Hopefully, you find yourself with some well-deserved downtime during Winter Break and you can steal a few moments to think about your independent school job search.

This has been a tough year to plan ahead and while plans often change at the last minute, it is highly likely that the hiring season will be conducted virtually again this year.  Schools will continue to have openings for the fall, so it never hurts to explore new jobs in schools even if you’re just curious about making a possible move.  You never know when your dream job may appear!  Below are some actions you can take over Winter Break so you’re ready to hit the ground running and find your next administrator or teaching job in an independent school in 2021.

Of course, you can always reach out to your Placement Manager at Educator’s Ally at any point to discuss the below in more depth. We love hearing your hopes and ideas for your future job search.

  • Define the right fit for you
    • Think about what types of opportunities and kinds of schools appeal to you.
    • Is this the year you start to explore leadership positions?
    • Have you always wondered what it would be like to teach in a school with a different philosophy than your current school?
    • Does a cross-country move sound fun?
    • EA Tip: Casting a wide net in terms of location, school type, and position will increase the number of potential opportunities your Placement Manager will be able to share with you (which means increased odds of an offer!).
    • EA Tip: Keep an open mind, there’s no harm in hearing about something new.
  • Review and edit your resume
    • Have your responsibilities changed since your last search?
    • What professional development sessions have you attended?
    • Were you able to attend this year’s virtual People of Color Conference or other virtual conferences?
    • Have you served on any committees?
    • Did you start or complete a graduate program?
    • Are you an Associate Teacher with sole responsibility for a pod of students?
    • EA Tip: Be sure to include information about your remote teaching.
      • What technologies did you use?
      • Did you attend any professional development sessions about remote or hybrid learning?
      • Are you coordinating remote learning for your whole division or providing in-house professional development for your colleagues on this topic?
    • EA Tip: Share your updated resume with your Placement Manager so they can offer feedback.
  • Draft a cover letter
    • Having a strong cover letter template you can tweak for each search will save you time and stress this hiring season.
    • Feeling confident in your cover letter template will make it easier for you to apply for more positions.
    • EA Tip: Every job you apply to should receive its own tailored letter speaking to the specific position and school, but it can be helpful to get a head start on the bulk of your cover letter that isn’t school-specific.
    • EA Tip: Share your drafted template with your Placement Manager so they can provide additional ideas or edits.
  • Ask for references
    • If your search isn’t confidential, ask a few supervisors if they would be willing to serve as a reference, and even write a letter on your behalf.
    • If your search is confidential, are there any colleagues who you trust to keep your job search quiet?
    • EA Tip: Ask your references soon so they have time to write a thoughtful letter.
    • EA Tip: Remember you can share your Placement Manager’s email with your recommender so that they can send their letter confidentially.
    • EA Tip: Former colleagues or supervisors who have moved on from your current school or who you worked within a previous position are good people to ask.
  • Film a (virtual) demo lesson
    • If you are teaching in-person, filming a lesson of yours will be useful in your job search this year. Having a demo lesson available will allow potential schools to see an example of your work (of course, this will need to wait until after break when students return).
    • Another option is to record yourself teaching a virtual lesson. Plan a sample lesson or morning meeting and film yourself teaching as if your students were present.  This can showcase how you creatively use technology to engage your students and how quickly you’ve adapted to online learning.
    • EA Tip: Read our blog on virtual lesson tips here.
  • Reflect on 2020
    • The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and has especially upended how we teach and learn. Think about how the transition to remote or hybrid learning (or switching back and forth between in-person learning) has gone for you and your school.  What have you learned about yourself?  Did you discover new skills?  Has your teaching changed and adapted for the better?  What did you learn in the spring that you changed for this fall?
    • How does your identity affect your teaching, students, and colleagues? What steps have you made to make your classroom and curriculum a more inclusive and equitable place?  What personal steps have you taken to explore your identity?  What anti-racist and anti-bias work have you done, even if not through official channels at your school?
    • This hiring season, you will be asked about online learning and your experience in DEI and anti-racist work, so thinking about how you’d answer possible interview questions on the topics will help you prepare.
  • Connect with EA
    • If you aren’t already working with EA, apply now! Your Placement Manager is a great resource to review your documents, help with interview prep, answer questions along the way, and (not to mention!) connect you with your next dream job in a school.

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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2020 NAIS Online People of Color Conference: “New Decade, New Destinies: Challenging Self, Changing Systems, and Choosing Justice”

By Kate Humphrey

For the past seven years, the highlight of Educator’s Ally’s year has been our sponsorship of the National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference (PoCC). We could not be more excited to support, in our eighth year, the first-ever online iteration of PoCC. Despite the different setting, we know that the mission and restorative nature of the conference will remain the same and is more important than ever. Increasing the diversity of faculty in schools has long been a priority of EA’s and we are honored to sponsor the first-ever PoCC Social Justice Summit: Waking Up NAIS Schools, featuring noted social justice and civil rights advocates Brittany Packnett Cunningham, activist, educator, and leader at the intersection of culture and justice, as well as founder of Love & Power Works; Khyati Joshi, scholar of the intersectionality of race, religion, and immigration; Jose Vilson, Math Teacher, Executive Director of Educolor, and author of This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education; and Randall Dunn, Head of School of Latin School of Chicago.  The Social Justice Summit will be kicked off with a keynote address from Lezley McSpadden-Head, Chief Executive of the Michael O.D. Brown Foundation, and moderated by Caroline Blackwell, NAIS Vice President for Equity and Justice.

PoCC is NAIS’ flagship event for discussing issues of equity and justice in teaching and learning. For over thirty years, the conference has offered unique seminars, master classes, affinity groups, and a myriad of over one hundred workshops that focus on topics pertaining to social justice, inclusion, equity, and diversity independent schools. As a safe space for people of color, PoCC provides opportunities that foster leadership skills, networking abilities, professional development, and the chance to advance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate at schools. With past conferences occurring in cities like Seattle, Nashville, and Atlanta, PoCC strives to positively influence academic, social-emotional, and workplace outcomes for both adults and students.

A crucial component of PoCC is the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), a parallel conference designed specifically for student leaders in high school that focuses on “self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community”.  The workshops and smaller group sessions are led by adult and peer facilitators and the students’ passion and energy are palpable. It’s not uncommon to hear loud cheers and chants from the students as they make their way from their hotels to the conference center!

The theme for the 2020 conference is “New Decade, New Destinies: Challenging Self, Changing Systems, and Choosing Justice” which serves as a vital lesson on the importance of creating diverse environments and demanding justice for all. Although it will be a virtual conference held between November 30th and December 4th, we are confident every seminar, class, affinity group meeting, and workshop will be just as informative and impactful as previous years.

The 2020 General Session speakers are the distinguished scholars Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Dr. Bettina L. Love, and Dr. Khyati Joshi. Dr. Glaude is chair of Princeton’s Department of African American Studies, president of the American Academy of Religion, author of Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, and has contributed to The New York Times, Time Magazine, and HuffPost. His writings and teachings take inspiration from African American literature and examine politics, gender, class, and religion in Black communities.

Dr. Love is the award-winning author of Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South and We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom. Her work has been featured in publications such as the English Journal, Urban Education, The Urban Review, and the Journal of LGBT Youth and explores a wide variety of subjects including, Abolitionist Teaching, Hip Hop education and feminism, anti-racism, queer youth, Black girlhood, and Black joy.

Joshi’s work aims to promote cultural and religious pluralism in the U.S., particularly through the lens of the South Asian American and other immigrant communities’ experience.  Her most recent book is White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America and she is also the author and co-editor of Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice.  Dr. Joshi runs in-depth professional development programs for educations through the Institute for Teaching Diversity and Social Justice, of which she is a co-founder.

In addition to the wonderful keynote speakers, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from people like LaShawn Chatmon, Executive Director of the National Equity Project during PoCC’s Master Classes, and attend Equity Seminars presented by an array of diverse speakers from independent schools across the nation.

For more information, you can explore the conference’s Facebook page, Twitter, and register for PoCC on their website.  We are sorry not to be able to reconnect with old (and new) friends in person as you stroll through The Hub, but we are looking forward to (remotely) meeting you at our virtual booth, so be sure to connect with us on EA’s exhibitor page, and we can live chat or schedule a post-conference call!

Feeling nostalgic?  Take a look back at some of our previous PoCC experiences: 2019, 2018, 2017.

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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National Hispanic Heritage Month: Tips for How to Teach Your Students about Hispanic Cultures

By: Kate Humphrey

     

Did you know that in 2019, 18% of the U.S. population identified as Hispanic? That is 60.6 million people! From former astronaut Ellen Ochoa to actor Desi Arnaz, to Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Hispanic Americans have contributed to our country in remarkable ways. To honor their accomplishments, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Set between September 15th and October 15th, this yearly celebration highlights Hispanic and Latinx achievements while praising their culture and heritage. For National Hispanic Heritage Month, here are some suggestions for ways in which educators can integrate the teaching of Hispanic culture and heritage into their classrooms.

AGE-APPROPRIATE ASSIGNMENTS

The first step to teach Hispanic heritage is including it in the curriculum. To introduce younger students to Hispanic cultures, consider lessons such as ‘Spanish Word of the Day,’ ‘Important Person of the Week,’ or ‘Country of the Week.’ For older students, assign research projects on Hispanic traditions, people, or histories such as Bolivia’s Independence Day or the Jones-Shafroth Act.

LANGUAGE IMMERSION  

To honor the millions of Americans who speak Spanish as their first language, incorporate Spanish lessons into the school day. For beginners, activities like matching games, labeling objects, or listening to Spanish audiobooks are exciting teaching methods. Challenging intermediate and advanced level students to speak only in Spanish for entire classes or conversing with native speakers are wonderful activities.

COOKING AND FOOD

Food is a significant part of any culture that is easily turned into a fun experience. While it may be difficult to cook during class, bringing in Hispanic food for students to enjoy is an exciting way to introduce them to different foods. For an interactive experience, challenge students to cook arepas from Colombia and Venezuela or the Cuban dish ropa vieja with their parents at home.

WHAT IS NEXT?

Although National Hispanic Heritage Month is ending soon, it is important to remember learning about this rich culture does not stop once the month does. To continue learning about Hispanic culture, and to help ensure that your schools’ curriculum is inclusive, we have compiled a list of books by Hispanic authors:

Children (Ages 5-12 years)

Young Adult

Adult 

Now that you have some ideas for class lessons, book assignments, and cooking activities, we hope you are inspired to incorporate the teaching of Hispanic heritage into your classroom!

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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COVID-19 and The Hiring Season: Virtual Demo Lessons

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty in everyone’s daily life, especially for our teachers and students.  However, the good news is that hiring is still moving forward at many schools, albeit, virtually.  We have been hearing from many of our school administrators that it’s helpful for them to view videos of candidates teaching as they make their final hiring decisions.

If you don’t have a recent video teaching demo, it’s not a bad idea to record one of your lessons now, whether that’s a sample of you explaining an activity for your current class’ remote learning, or being able to record an online class.  Links are easier to share than a large attachment which may be too big to email, so video demos can be uploaded to YouTube (you can adjust privacy settings, so they are visible only with a password), your teaching website (Weebly and Wix are popular), Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.  Explain Everything Edu is a useful app that can record your screen as you deliver instruction.

A successful video demo lesson should include:

  • A detailed lesson plan to accompany the video and examples of any supplemental materials you will use
  • The goal of the lesson: what is the essential question and lesson objective? What do you hope the students will take away from the lesson at the end?  What skills will students be practicing?
  • How you plan to assess the students’ understanding throughout and at the end of the lesson
  • Clear and detailed explanations of instructions throughout the lesson
  • Descriptions of how you would engage the students and get them actively participating
  • Questions you would ask the class and why you’re asking those questions
  • Combination of direct instruction, teacher modeling and independent practice, and class discussion
  • A wrap up of the lesson with clear closure and plans for assessment
  • Ideas of how to extend the lesson if time allows, including how to tweak the lesson for different grades, enrichment activities students could do at home

Schools are understanding that a lesson recorded at home, in front of your computer is no substitute for a dynamic lesson with live students, but administrators will be very appreciative of your flexibility and ability to be adaptable and do whatever is needed during this challenging time.  Plus, here’s a great opportunity to show off your creativity and tech skills!

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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