Before students resumed classes remotely on Tuesday, New Hampton School faculty took time to build upon their remote teaching skills to ensure the productivity of the final days of the first semester. Dubbed an “un-conference” the themes discussed were based on survey results from the faculty where they suggested ideas on their minds. From these themes, program leaders came up with several breakout groups that discussed each of the topics suggested.
One of the hallmarks of New Hampton School is the robust co-curricular offerings. Encouraging students and staff to share their passions and talents with each other and promote the exploration of new endeavors is something that we want to be sure to continue even when our students are miles away. New Hampton School faculty use video conferencing platforms to offer yoga, pilates, spin class, cooking class, and more!
The obvious emotional toll that the pandemic and associated life changes take on students and families during this time are not being overlooked. As we move into a period of remote learning, faculty are invested in supporting students academically and in all aspects of their emotional health.
Among the challenges of remote learning is the issue of assessing student performance and material comprehension. Creating methods for assessment that are fair to all students while not placing too much pressure on them is important to balance.
Because the relationships built at New Hampton School are so strong when students are on campus, it is important that the momentum and engagement continue even when students are home. Continuing to prioritize students’ engagement in their education, their relationships with each other, and their relationships with academic mentors are just as important as the learning itself.
Deciding how much content to cover during a particular period of remote learning is important. While it is essential to cover all of the major topics in a semester, finding ways to improve efficiencies in a remote setting so students are able to find pockets of time in their day to get up and take a break is also important.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Planning
Being one of New Hampton School’s most rigorous programs, the IB has standard material that must be covered and tested during a semester. Faculty honed in on the nuances of this program in particular due to its demanding oral nature.
The breakout sessions lasted for about an hour in which they were able to collaborate on ideas to improve these particular areas of teaching and learning. After the session, all faculty came back together to report what they discussed and how they think they can best support students in these areas.
“I really liked this format because it allowed people to share ideas, collaborate and support each other by answering questions.” said Dean of Faculty Jess MacLeod ’02.