A Fresh Start

I love the start of a new school year! It is invigorating and exciting for me. I remember as a child my excitement about the first day of school. I’d ask myself who was my new teacher? Who was... Read More »

Inquiry as a Core Value

I received a letter the other day—an actual paper letter in an envelope with a stamp and a handwritten address—from a grandparent. The letter was what is becoming a familiar form these days, a rant: multiple, detailed paragraphs not based on firsthand knowledge or fact, just a simple rant. As these things do—as was intended—it upset me, it got under my skin. The writer is an Episcopal priest, his grandchildren attend my school, an Episcopal School, yet, he claimed, they knew nothing about Christian holidays or practices: “my grandchildren can tell me about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, the Celebration of Light, they know ‘jack’ about Christmas.” Read More »

Connections Between Chapel, Spirituality, and the Classroom

This is a quote from one 8th-grade boy who offered a homily on “Art and Spirituality” in our middle school chapel. Art has been a way for him to discover the gifts that God has endowed him with and to understand his relationship to God. This connection between spirituality and education is at the heart of Dr. Lisa Miller’s work at the Collaborative for Spirituality in Education based at Columbia Teachers College. Her research has encouraged me to find more ways to bring out the spiritual and religious dimensions of our students. One way in which we have done this at Campbell Hall is through our chapel program, where we are helping our students make connections between the subjects that interest them and their spiritual life. Read More »

God Makes Queer People, and It Is Good

Inspired by the NAES Statement on Inclusion and Episcopal Identity, I would like to describe our school’s vision of how Episcopal schools can play a unique and powerful role in the area of gender inclusivity. Many secular and Christian schools get this one wrong, so Episcopal schools are poised to play a crucial leadership role. Read More »

Life Has Never Been Normal

I began teaching in the Fall of 2001. I was a 23-year-old graduate student, and with just about a week of training, I was thrown into a freshman English classroom to teach college writing to students not much younger than I was. So I had only been teaching a couple of weeks when the events of September 11, 2001 unfolded. Read More »

Where the Magic Happens!

When last school year commenced, I felt an unusually big relief. At that time it seemed as if we were getting ahead of the COVID 19 pandemic. Most of our school personnel had been vaccinated and many other states were following suit. I assumed that I would walk into the new school year with COVID in the rearview mirror. Read More »

Begin With Goodness

Begin with goodness. This is something of a mantra I use at the start of something new—a new morning, a new school year, a new class or faculty meeting, a new encounter with a colleague, student or stranger. Begin with goodness.  Read More »

Jesus of Nazareth Walks Into a School…

One of the most vexing questions in an Episcopal school is how to be authentically Episcopal and welcoming of all. This question is especially vexing when it comes to religious pluralism among and within the school’s many constituents: students, parents, faculty, trustees, alums, and, if your school is associated with a parish or cathedral, parishioners and Episcopal clergy. Read More »