MAESA Matters November 2020


Greetings from MAESA.

Today marks Veterans Day in our country. We give thanks for all those who have served our country in the armed services, for those who have gone before us and for those serving and training to serve today. We pray for their well-being using the words of the Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils that beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

November is also a common time for civilians to engage in a variety of service to others. We know many of our schools have ongoing service learning programs and special community service initiatives around the times of Thanksgiving and Christmas. We'd love to hear what kinds of service your school and your students are doing this year, and share those examples with our MAESA community. Let us hear what you are doing using this link or email us at maesaschools@gmail.com.
MAESA Early Childhood Educators
Video Series
Tackling Tough Topics in Morning Meeting - This video workshop was prepared by Erica Thompson, Assistant Head of School for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School. It is packed full of techniques for use in your morning or closing meeting to introduce topics such as recognizing stereotypes, understanding inclusion, discussing perceived gender roles, and finding your own identity. Erica shares how her school's model, called "Who We Are Wednesdays," helps young people find their voice, which is rooted in finding their own identity. This identity work allows students to understand differences in themselves and others and learn to recognize bias. Starting these conversations as early as preschool is valuable, and allows children to develop these types of thinking routines that will continue for years to come.

Erica is a MAESA Board member and the Assistant Head of School for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School. She has over 20 years' experience in various capacities at independent schools. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received her MA in teaching and curriculum from Loyola of Maryland. She has presented workshops around areas of Diversity and Inclusion locally and nationally. She is parent to son Dylan, 18 and daughter Devin, 15. Her newly acquired quarantine hobbies include Peloton HIIT workouts and zoom painting classes. 
This video workshop was prepared by Courtney Hundley, a certified mindfulness instructor. Courtney shares information about mindfulness practices to use with students in the classroom, and, along the way, participants will get the chance to engage in mindful self-care exercises for themselves. Learn how using mindful practices in the classroom helps students understand their body's response to stress, and how they can manage emotion. This workshop includes information about the neuroscience of our brains, how we respond to stimuli, and includes guided exercises for you to follow. This video offers valuable "take away tools" for introducing mindful practices in your classroom and also introduces time for your own self-care. 

Courtney has spent the majority of her career working as an elementary school educator. She recently transitioned out of the classroom where she was a mindfulness coach to students, teachers and parents. Courtney continues to teach mindfulness and meditation and has a growing health and wellness business. She holds a MEd from Lesley University and is a certified mindfulness instructor through Mindful Schools. She and her husband Brooks have two children, an eleventh grader and a freshman in college. She loves to spend time in the woods hiking and enjoying nature.
MAESA is grateful to Erica and Courtney for volunteering their time to prepare these video workshops. Links to these videos and the keynote address from the MAESA Members Meeting by Dr. Rebecca Resnik, titled The Science of Resilience in Children, can be found on the Early Childhood Conference page of our website. Educators teaching in grades beyond the definition of early childhood, preschool through third grade, could also benefit from these workshops. We encourage you to view and share with your colleagues this fall and hope that they are a valuable resource to you.

Celebrating MAESA Schools
MAESA Schools Cycle of Prayer and "We See You" Chaplains Video
MAESA has been working with chaplains in many of our schools this month to collect examples, large and small, of what adults are doing to make this all work amidst a pandemic. We have received so many heartwarming examples of what your faculty and staff have done! Leading into Thanksgiving, we will share a short video compiling these stories, along with a MAESA Cycle of Prayer. Our intention is to have our community hold specific MAESA schools in prayer on a weekly basis, in chapel or in our own daily devotions. 
MAESA Events in 2021

MAESA 2021 Choral Evensong: As we are all mindful of the constraints around large worship services and singing together in groups, MAESA will not be able to welcome hundreds of choristers in MAESA school choirs to Washington National Cathedral to sing Evensong in early 2021. MAESA is working with our host schools, St. Albans School and National Cathedral School, to consider alternative programs this year to take the place of the MAESA Evensong. We have begun this process by surveying our chaplains and music directors and will use that valuable in put in our planning.

MAESA Scholars Fair 2021 We do hope to host our annual Scholars Fair in the spring at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C. This annual scholastic fair for students in 4th-8th grade is a highlight of the year. Our Scholars Fair is always on a Friday in late April and we will announce the date later this fall.
Let us hear from you!
Katherine F. Murphy 
MAESA Executive Director