Aerie: Empowering our Educators

November 28, 2023

Dear Carey Community,

Today, on GivingTuesday, I wanted to write to you about the importance of the Annual Fund at Carey and give you just a bit of insight into its application. Every year, our Annual Fund bridges the gap between tuition revenue and our operating costs. This is the difference between early education and excellence in early education, and Carey is excellence in early education. One important way we create a singular experience for our students is through empowering our educators to be lifelong learners who have access to high quality professional development. Read on for profiles of some of our teachers who have benefitted from recent professional development opportunities funded by the Annual Fund.

Joseph Miller

This August, I completed an intensive one-week Responsive Classroom (RC) course in Mill Valley. Since this inspiring experience, I've integrated RC elements into the classroom, such as new morning meeting greetings that help students feel seen and heard. I've added new energizers like class songs to foster community and engagement. Additionally, I have incorporated Interactive Learning Structures, in which students apply academic skills through socially based exercises that encourage peer connection. Lastly, I've updated class language and expectation systems to enhance student responsibility for an inclusive learning community that prioritizes their needs for safety, belonging, and joy.

Heather Jolly

I am grateful for the recent professional development opportunity to attend the West Coast Collaborative Outdoor Atelier conference, connecting with other Reggio inspired preschool educators at Bright Start Preschool in Santa Barbara. I was inspired and energized listening to educators from Reggio Emilia, Italy, share about the 100 languages of children, their unique perspectives, and how this informs us as educators about their learning paths and processes, and shows us how their minds move and how they change learning strategies along the way. Being immersed in the process at a local park for experiential learning, I hammered and grinded a variety of plants for their fragrance, reminding me about the connection of mindfulness and the senses, which was an authentic integration of science, art and SEL exploration. I came back to The Carey School and my STEAM Specialist role with a new lens of creativity and appreciation for children and nature, eager to invite children to the process of discovery and their unique learning journey! One practical way I am already doing this, is offering more choice and time with materials during STEAM classes, that are available throughout the week during indoor and outdoor play and exploration.

Sherry Anoush

As Pam Harris put it in the workshop Building Addition for Young Learners, math is figureoutable! I learned that math is like another language and numbers have meanings. When you understand the relationship between them, solving a problem becomes easier. The workshop provided us with practical tools and insights that could immediately be applied in the classroom. I learned different games and strategies to help students learn the concept of addition. I was able to extend some of these concepts into my French class when practicing our numbers highlighting the transferability and practicality of the learned approaches. The game was to help reinforce single-digit relationships and the result was engaged students in a dynamic learning environment. Finally, I am more confident to build a classroom of learners and have the tools to help all students feel involved, capable and comfortable solving a problem.

Shannon Higa

This Summer, I attended a training given by the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE) titled, Morphology Plus. It was a thirty-hour course given virtually with educators from all over the country. In the course, we learned about how to incorporate etymology (the study of the origin of words) and morphology (the study of word formation) into our daily practice in the classroom. As students become more familiar and comfortable with different morphemes, such as affixes and base words, they are able to develop their spelling and vocabulary skills. I really appreciated the ways IMSE encouraged us to build routines into the classroom, such as doing different weekly activities and having the students keep their known morphemes on index cards, for review. 

Your commitment to the Annual Fund makes stories like these possible. It is through your generosity that we can invest in the ongoing growth and development of our faculty and staff, thereby enriching the educational experience for every child at Carey.

Neely Norris

Head of School