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I thought I’d developed a really strong understanding of what teaching was. Inspired Teaching completely tore those notions apart and opened my world up to countless wonderful possibilities.
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Instigator of Thought – April 2016
Letter from Aleta Margolis, Executive Director
In just two days, Center for Inspired Teaching will bring back our signature gala, Chocolate Inspiration, which will take place on April 21 at the Embassy of Italy from 7-9 pm. Chocolate Inspiration is a fun and elegant evening that features the finest chefs, from across the DC area, who prepare and serve their most inspired chocolate creations. Like our teacher training programs and like the classrooms of Inspired Teachers, the event will be intellectually, emotionally, and physically engaging. It will be playful and creative, while working towards a serious, important purpose: building a better school experience for all children. [Read the full piece here.]
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You’re invited! On April 21, 2016, Inspired Teaching will host Chocolate Inspiration at the Embassy of Italy, a gala celebrating 20 years of Inspired Teaching and featuring the finest DC-area chefs who prepare and serve their most creative, decadent, and delicious chocolate creations. At Chocolate Inspiration, we will present the Inspired Teaching Changemaker Award to longtime writer, educator, and activist Jonathan Kozol. Visit our website to learn more about Chocolate Inspiration and buy tickets.
This April, teachers are posting photos showing evidence of Purpose, Persistence and Action in their classrooms. We have received some wonderful examples, including the one above. In May, take a photo showing evidence of Joy in your classroom. Post your image to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook* with the hashtag #20YrsInspired. Every week we’ll share top posts on our social media channels!
Each month, we also feature conversations with Inspired Teachers from all programs. Showcased this month is Benita Nelson-Tutt, a 1996 alumna of the Inspired Teaching Institute.
*Please carefully follow your school’s social media policies. Protecting students’ privacy is critically important. If you would like to share an image but keep your social media profile private, please post directly to the Inspired Teaching Facebook page.
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PREPARE new teachers for successful and sustainable careers:
“Rich learning experiences are a result of creativity, which is the process of linking two seemingly unrelated ideas. The MI Deck provides teachers with seeds to generate their ideas, thereby enabling the creative process in lesson planning.”
Zia Hassan, a 2013 Inspired Teaching Fellow and third grade teacher at Truesdell Education Campus, developed a tool to enhance lesson planning for teachers of all grade levels. His creation, the MI Deck, prompts individuals to think about their strategy from a different direction, yielding an increase in creativity in the classroom.
The MI Deck is available for teachers to use. To learn more about Mr. Hassan’s creation, and how he has used it to enhance his own lesson planning, read his blog post here.
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SHIFT the practice of inservice teachers:
– Are you a charter school teacher or school leader interested in strengthening your school’s ability to provide inquiry-based, standards-aligned education to your students? If so, now’s the time to sign up for our BLISS: Building Literacy in the Social Studies and SCALE: Science Curriculum Advancement through Literacy Enhancement program! Click here for more information. The deadline to register is March 25.
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MODEL Inspired Teaching in action:
– This March, at DC’s National History Day competition, two Real World History students won first place in the group exhibit category for their display about the Great Migration. They will now advance to the national competition. Two other Real World History students won second place in the group performance category for their piece about the 1968-69 Modern Strivers. Read more about the competition here.
– Inspired Teaching is pleased to announce that four of our Real World History students – three students from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School and one from Woodrow Wilson High School – were accepted to serve on the Smithsonian Secretary’s Youth Advisory Council (SSYAC).
The SSYAC was established to ensure youth voices are heard by the Secretary of the Smithsonian, Dr. David J. Skorton, and his leadership. The students will contribute an organized youth perspective on current and proposed initiatives throughout the Smithsonian.
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COMMUNICATE, leverage, and elevate:
– This month, Inspired Teaching is delighted to feature author, educator, and activist Jonathon Kozol. Mr. Kozol is the inaugural recipient of the Inspired Teaching Changemaker Award and will be honored on April 21st at Inspired Teaching’s special 20th Anniversary Chocolate Inspiration gala.
For the past 50 years, Mr. Kozol has worked tirelessly to address the challenge of providing equal opportunity to every child in our nation’s public schools. He has especially focused on the importance of teachers: of empowering teachers to find their voice, and, in turn, to help children find their own voices.
“The most important thing for me,” said Mr. Kozol upon being named the recipient of the Changemaker Award, “is empowering teachers to go into the classroom and uphold their own high spirits, their sense of creativity and originality, and their personality above all else.”
– Inspired Teaching is pleased to share that it has entered a formal partnership with Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). As Chad Vignola, Executive Director of LDC notes, “With over twenty years of experience providing high quality professional learning that truly builds teacher expertise, Inspired Teaching is a valued partner and we are looking forward to an exciting collaboration.” Click here to read more about this partnership.
– During the week of April 11, Jane Ehrenfeld, Inspired Teaching’s Director of Teaching and Learning, traveled to Billund, Denmark for the annual LEGO IDEA Conference. Inspired Teaching was one of 10 organizations worldwide honored last year as a LEGO Reimagine Learning Champion, and this year’s conference brought the 10 Champions back together, along with 300 other practitioners, researchers, and thought leaders, all of whom are working to bring learning through play to children around the world. To read more about Jane’s experience, click here.
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VISIT Inspired Teaching in action:
We invite teachers, aspiring teachers, school and district leaders, philanthropists, partners, and all members of the community to come see Inspired Teaching in action!
Learn more about upcoming program visits and RSVP here.