A Time to Reflect... This time of year makes me nostalgic. At this point in the school year, we are still holding onto the hopeful optimism of the start of a new school year as well as are far enough into the school year to reflect and tweak instruction. We have assessed where students need supports and extensions, and we’re deeply engaged with learning that is both meaningful and appropriate for each student. We are also at a point in the year where we meet with families and discuss where each student is in their trajectory of learning and how we [...]
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So far Shyla Rao has created 28 blog entries.
Happy First Day of Autumn!! There’s nothing like a 90-something degree day to signal the first day of Autumn! Even though it might have still felt like summer, the first day of Autumn signals to me that the school year is in full swing. Routines and classroom cultures have been set, and students are deeply engaged with the important work of learning. Teachers have been gathering data to see where each student excels and where they need extra support. Grade Band Teams have been planning collaborative learning experiences. Arts teachers have been planning arts integration lessons with non-arts teachers in all [...]
Celebrating What Makes You, You! Last night, as I played with my daughter, I was enjoying music from a new DJ I randomly discovered on Spotify. The music was a confluence of sounds that I wouldn't have anticipated would go together. It was uniquely his own sound yet universal at the same time. Listening to this music made me think about probably the greatest life lesson I learned growing up. When I was a child, my mom always told us, kids, to "Make your life," meaning that we didn't have to subscribe to the "shoulds" and could march to our very [...]
Cherish All Things Big and Small Not growing up in Baltimore, I was shocked when the cicadas emerged all over the city about 15 years ago. They sang their cicada songs at decibel levels I had never heard coming from insects and swarmed my car as I drove through the city. It was a phenomenon! Everyone was talking about it on the news, on radio stations, on the street. I was fascinated that they only emerged once every 17 years and were completely off our radars in-between. This summer, I have thought a lot about cycles. Just as the cycle of [...]
What will we grow this summer? As the days become longer, and the evenings remain warmer, my husband and I spend more and more hours tending to our garden. Seeds we planted this spring are starting to sprout above the earth's surface and grow down into the soil. As I look at the beets, carrots, and blue potatoes growing into the air, I think about summer break. Just as I am curious about what might be happening out of my sights, under the ground, with the vegetables, I wonder how different people's summers might look. Whose summer will be filled with [...]
We're all there... Saturday morning I woke up unnaturally early. As I sat in the living room reading a book FOR FUN, I was reminded that very, very soon in my future, I will be able to sit and read or draw in my sketchbook for hours on end. How exciting! At school, I see our students chomping at the bit for time to be in summer camps, running around their neighborhoods, and playing in pools and with hoses. We are almost there, all. For now, we all still need to do our homework and end the year strong. I [...]
A Reason to Celebrate Most of our days are filled with a monotony of the expected. We wake up, brush our teeth, and go through the day with our usual routines, heading home to go to bed and start all over again the next day. This's and that's shake up the routine, but overall most of our days resemble one another filled with mimetic routines. There are ways that we can make our small habitual (mimetic) routines special, like dripping cream into our coffee one drop at a time to enjoy the ways in which the cream overcomes the blackness of [...]
Gratitude The day after the CNH birthday party, I received an email from a parent excited about finding a school that provides the benefits of small town living in Baltimore city. It reminded me of the years I lived in New York City. I found Manhattan to be a collection of small towns existing on top of one another. I lived in South Harlem, walked to my high school in East Harlem, and took the M4 bus to my doctoral program at Columbia University every afternoon. Walking to school every morning, I saw the same doormen, crossed the same people on [...]
A Time to Celebrate What a fantastic week we had in CNH-land last week! Students made CNH gear, ate cupcakes, created banners, sang to the school, and helped to fix-up our playground -- all with the goal of celebrating 10 years of our school. It has been a wonderful time of reflecting upon the school, looking into the future, and appreciating today. I am excited for Friday (6:30-9:30) at the CNH Birthday Party as we FULLY celebrate our school and everyone who has made it what it is! A Look Ahead... May 6-17: 10 Days of CNH Tenth Year Birthday Celebration [...]
A Time To Celebrate In the last 33 days of the school year, as we turn our attention toward summer and next year, it is important to remember to turn back with gratitude on what has brought us to this place. Our school is turning 10-years-old at the end of this school year! I look upon this accomplishment with gratitude for the faculty and staff who have brought us to this place of success and consider the strong shoulders upon which we stand today. I am so excited to celebrate with our community and look toward the next 10 years of [...]