Finding Our Own Special Recipe of Perfection I often binge-watch the show, "The World's Most Extraordinary Homes" on Netflix. I find it amazing the ways in which people interpret what it means to be "home." Some people desire windows that frame the landscape from the inside while others want to live where the outside comes in. Some people want a large bedroom with lots of light while others prefer the most intimate of spaces with room for a mattress that folds into the wall. Each family has a different definition of perfection for themselves. The show makes me think about learning [...]
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So far Shyla Rao has created 28 blog entries.
This weekend I was struck by the significance of our national holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King's work as Americans marched in Washington expressing their beliefs and as people gazed into night's sky to spot a blood moon sailing high above in the sky. It's only a paper moon Sailing over a cardboard sea But it wouldn't be make believe If you believed in me Ella Fitzgerald's voice sang "It's Only a Paper Moon" in my ears all weekend. Dr. Martin Luther King believed that the future could be better than the present and that he had the power to make [...]
The New Year is a great time to see ourselves in our best light. We can forget about the regrets of the previous year and envision a year filled with all of the right decisions. What will I commit to for the year? 364 days from now, what do I want to remember about this year? Something that I have always found beautiful about teaching is that every day feels like a New Year’s Day to me. Each morning is ripe with the possibilities of a new day and the potential for great learning. I live by the motto at the [...]
Reflections as we Embark Upon a New Year In this last school week of 2018, I have been reflecting upon the fall semester. What a fall we’ve had! We welcomed new teaching fellows and teachers who embody student-centered teaching and have had such a dynamic impact on each teaching team. We have engaged in vibrant new arts programming with two full-time arts teachers and new curricula that prepared us for an amazing Trimester One Arts Showcase. We are eagerly anticipating the 8th grade trip to Puerto Rico and exciting fieldwork in all grade levels in Baltimore, DC, and New York [...]
Are you fully present with your loved ones? On Sunday, I had the privilege of spending the afternoon with a group of adults and children at CNH who were fully present with one another, whether it was their child or someone else's. One of the beautiful things about CNH is that we are more than a school - we are a family. On days like the Family Work Day at the school on Sunday afternoon, you could see children helping their parents, helping other people's parents, and parents working together like old friends, even if they had just met. Witnessing [...]
The three-day week last week was jam-packed with greatness! Third grade conducted fieldwork at Frank's restaurant, as they are learning about what people eat around the world. Mr. Smith's 8th Grade Advisory cooked a pancake and sausage breakfast for 1st Grade because they donated the most Thanksgiving foods for families. Ms. Mencer's 7th Grade Advisory hosted the Fall Festival to raise money for gifts for kids who are awaiting medical treatment. 8th Grade students, De'Quan and Seamus, organized and hosted a Faculty-Student flag football game as our own unofficial Turkey Bowl. So much greatness happening in our school! We all left [...]
Week 12 One evening, when I lived in New York City, I was sitting on the 1 train heading home after meeting up with friends after work on Friday evening. Fridays were usually a night I didn't go anywhere after a week of teaching; they were usually used to collapse and recuperate! This had been a particularly challenging week -- one of those weeks when you question your effectiveness as an educator. So there I sat, eyes half closed, on the expressway uptown, when a man approached me. "Um, excuse me," he said. With a long blink and hesitant breath, I [...]
Week 11 As a child, I remember school as something you wanted to be good at and do well in, but I don't remember school being a place where we regularly left the classroom and engaged with anything real in the world around us. As an early teacher, I thought that a room full of engaged students meant that they were paying attention and doing their work. Over the past couple of decades as an educator, I have learned that engaged might be loud, engaged might appear disjointed, engaged might look messy. What I have mostly learned is that engaged might [...]