Greenwood Teachers Participate in the Klingenstein Summer Institute

Greenwood teachers Ryan Vachon and Michael Schmidt spent two weeks this past summer participating in the Klingenstein Summer Institute at Columbia University to enhance their skills as educators.

During this two-week-long program, most days were spent on the beautiful Lawrenceville School Campus. A typical day started at 7 a.m. and often extended past 9 p.m. During these long days, Ryan and Michael moved between plenary sessions, curriculum groups and critical friend groups where teachers spent time critiquing one another’s past projects and lessons. While Michael was in the Science curriculum group and Ryan was in Math, they both participated in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion groups where they focused on issues of race in K to 12 education.

They also spent a day in New York City, where they visited Columbia’s main campus and sat in on a lecture from Dr. Shian Beilock, author of Choke.They also had the opportunity to see a Broadway show, To Kill a Mockingbird. To top it all off, they had amazing locally grown food all week with guest appearances from some world-class chefs.

Ryan found the program both inspiring and energizing. He enjoyed the day-to-day intensity, the breadth of material, and even the deliberately difficult conversations because it made him challenge himself. He believes he improved his understanding of the learning process, collaboration, and diversity, as well as classroom strategies that will help balance rigor with empathy, structure with freedom and social needs with emotional needs for students.
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