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Through Inspired Teaching, I have come to understand the significance of a positive classroom community and how to truly create that community.
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Instigator of Thought – May 2016
Letter from Aleta Margolis, Executive Director
At this year’s special 20th anniversary celebratory gala, Chocolate Inspiration, I was delighted to present Inspired Teaching’s Changemaker Award to Jonathan Kozol. As a prolific author and prominent activist, Jonathan has inspired thousands upon thousands of educators and parents – myself included – to fight for a brighter future and a more just present for all children in the United States. He has demanded that we step outside our comfort zones and confront the complex problems of poverty, racism, and educational inequality. While remaining fiercely committed to challenging the status quo, he has never lost his respect for teachers or his deep love for children. Our work at Center for Inspired Teaching is proudly founded upon the same values. [Read the full piece here.]
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This May, teachers are posting photos showing evidence of Joy in their classrooms. We have received some wonderful examples, including the one to the left. In June, take a photo showing Wide-Ranging Evidence of Learning 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 feature Inspired Teachers from all programs. Showcased this month are Katherine Douglas Kindle, an alum of the Inspired Teaching Institute, and Jenny Brown, a 2014 BLISS Teacher Leader.
*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:
“In the fall, as a part of an assignment for a special education course, my cohort of Inspired Teaching Fellows and I conducted observations at the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project (HCPP), housed at the DC General Homeless Shelter. I worked with Dr. Meghan Cosier, Associate Professor of Special Education at Trinity, to create a differentiated lesson plan to be taught on the playground to young students facing homelessness and poverty in DC. In designing the lesson, I was careful not to restrict students’ autonomy, as the spirit of the HCPP encourages children’s creativity and values free exploration.”
Alexandra Morris, an early childhood teacher at Capital City Public Charter School and a 2015 Inspired Teaching Fellow, recently participated in a Social Justice Research Forum hosted by the School of Education at Trinity Washington University. Read more about Ms. Morris’ experience in her blog post.
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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.
– This Saturday, May 21, Inspired Teaching staff will lead two sessions at Share Fair KIPP DC, a day of professional development for educators throughout DC.
For an opportunity to see what the Inspired Teaching model looks like in action, register for Share Fair KIPP DC and sign up for one of our two sessions, titled “Inquiry, Imagination, Intellect & Integrity in the Inspired Teaching Classroom.”
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MODEL Inspired Teaching in action:
– On April 21, author and activist Jonathan Kozol toured the Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School. After visiting several classrooms, Jonathan sat down with the school’s teaching and administrative staff for a conversation on testing, empathy, and diversity in schools, sharing his thoughts about the positive work the school is doing.
– Real World History students are demonstrating the skills they’ve developed at their internships by leading tours of these sites. At Tudor Place, a student now leads weekly tours for the public; at The Woodrow Wilson House, a student taught his peers about the life of the presidential resident through a private tour; and at the National Museum of American History, students created a tour designed for adolescents, which they recently debuted for Real World History students and members of Smithsonian Secretary Skorton’s staff.
To learn more about Real World History from the students themselves, register for our Changemakers in Action event on June 7.
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COMMUNICATE, leverage, and elevate:
Thank you for helping make Chocolate Inspiration a success!
On April 21, the Inspired Teaching community came together at the 2016 Chocolate Inspiration gala, celebrating 20 years of Inspired Teaching. Below are some images from the event, which culminated with Jonathan Kozol receiving the Inspired Teaching Changemaker Award. Click here for more photos, as well as remarks from Inspired Teaching staff about our work. Jonathan Kozol’s speech is also available, which speaks to the importance of education changemakers and the power one teacher’s mindset can have on her students and those who witness it.
Thank you to those who attended and to all who continue to support our work.
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VISIT Inspired Teaching in action:
Changemakers in Action: A Showcase of Work from Inspired Teachers and Inspired Students
Tuesday, June 7
Pepco Edison Place Gallery
702 8th St. NW
Washington, DC 20068
Immerse yourself in inquiry-based instruction, discover DC historical sites from a student perspective, and engage with action research from the classroom!
The 2015-16 school year is coming to an end, and we’re celebrating the commitment to changemaking shown by Inspired Teaching Fellows, BLISS and SCALE Teacher Leaders, and Real World History students. Through both a gallery-walk and small group discussions, this interactive event on June 7th will showcase what it means to be an Inspired Teacher and Inspired Student.