By AnnMarie Rudd, Preschool Teacher at The Langley School
“What even goes on in preschool?” It’s a question I often get, not only from prospective families, but also from my closest friends and family members. It’s a question I’ve heard too many times within the past eight years of teaching preschool. And no matter how many times I hear this particular question, it always makes me stop and think, “Well, what doesn’t happen in preschool each day?” Believe it or not, our days are filled with endless possibilities as our students lead their learning in experimenting and discovering new wonders during their first year at The Langley School.
While it is unfortunate we’ve had to make adjustments due to the present pandemic that include online school and modified end-of-year celebrations, I cannot express enough empathy for The Langley School’s graduating class of 2020. Continue reading →
A Special Thank You During Teacher Appreciation Week
During this time of distance learning, The Langley School’s students, parents, and teachers are balancing new ways of working, learning, and interacting as they partner to bring the Langley experience to life from home. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we salute our amazing faculty for their flexibility, creativity, and dedication as they adjust to this new method of teaching while providing our students with meaningful, engaging lessons. Continue reading →
I hear many parents evaluating and considering what is best for their child after school between the critical hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. The end of the school day hits and parents consider things like: Continue reading →
By Greg Bokman, Chief Financial Officer, The Langley School
Exciting news from the CFO’s desk! I’m Greg Bokman, and I joined The Langley School’s administrative team about a year ago as the CFO following four years at Washington International School and a number of years in the for-profit world.
By Chuck Schmidt, Instrumental Music Teacher and Band Director
In November, I had a moment when it really hit me how fortunate I am to be part of the music program at The Langley School. I started to write some recommendation letters for eighth-graders and updated my typical opening sentence to: “In this, my 25th year at The Langley School….” For 25 years, I have been part of a wonderful team of performing arts teachers, helping students of every age have fun making music. Because I also set up sound and lights for most of our performances, I also get to see and hear students younger than the ones I typically teach share their music in performances as well.
By Dr. Sarah Sumwalt, Director of Social and Emotional Learning at The Langley School
What’s all the buzz about SEL?
The term social-emotional learning (SEL) has become ubiquitous in the field of education. SEL also dominates the mainstream media, with articles peppering news sources about the role of SEL in the classroom. Just last week, the D.C. Schools chancellor, Antwan Wilson, argued that students need to feel “loved, challenged, and prepared” and shared his vision for bringing an increased focus on social-emotional learning into the District’s classrooms.
Despite the intense current interest in the topic, the term social-emotional learning is not new. In fact, it has been a widely used term since the late 1990s. Definitions of the term typically include references to intrapersonal (e.g., self-awareness and self-management) and interpersonal (e.g., social awareness and relationship skills) competence. However, there is not one agreed upon definition and many differ on exactly what skills SEL entails. Continue reading →
This week, I’ll have the pleasure of meeting with the fifth-grade parents to discuss their children’s progress during parent/teacher conferences. Spring conferences are my favorite discussions, as they’re focused on the progress each student has made, and my hopes for their sixth-grade transition. The conferences also kick off the emotional unwinding of the end of a school year. Every school year is a fluctuation of progress, but teachers, students, and families begin to see the overall linear line of growth toward the end of the year. This is why at conferences I’ll be focusing on growth of character, independence, and resiliency, as opposed to growth in grades. Over the past month, my fifth-graders embarked on their greatest challenge of the year — an inquiry-based project on Egypt from our social studies class — and their success was not marked by a grade, but rather by an empowered sense of self.
Taking the First Step Toward Growth I started our inquiry project by telling the students they might feel uncomfortable and frustrated, but that we needed to learn to embrace frustration in order to grow and build our problem-solving skills. From the perspective of a fifth-grader, an inquiry project can feel unsupported, unguided, and as if their teacher has abandoned them. Breaking from the structures of detailed rubrics, graphic organizers, and step-by-step directions can be overwhelming and scary.