Our Recipe for Student Success

Steve Wilkins, Head of School Blog


Carroll School opened the 2015-2016 school year with faculty and staff by asking a simple question that merits a complex answer: “Why do children succeed at Carroll whereas they might not have in their previous schools?”

Rather than suffering through the traditional drone of a head of school’s opening speech, we divided the 200 of us who work at Carroll into 12 groups to generate answers to the question. Each of the groups presented profound and dynamic responses to our plenary session. In total, the 12 different groups’ answers also revealed remarkable harmony and agreement. I share one of the group’s recipe below.

Recipe for Successful Carroll “Stew”dent

By Chef Gec Washman

Ingredients:

  • one whole child who thinks differently
  • unlimited dedication
  • 700 lbs of teacher professional development/training
  • 365 days of collaboration
  • 10 months of Orton-Gillingham principles
  • ample quantities of energy, patience, empathy, creativity, kindness
  • daily doses of encouragement
  • 30-40 sessions of Targeted Cognitive Intervention
  • heaping serving of Physical Education, Visual Arts, Music, Performing Arts, Bounders, Library & community building
  • At least one serving of math, history & science. Add more math as needed.
  • Several servings of language. Add extra seasoning to taste.
  • Additional seasoning may include: afterschool activities and sports, Bounders trips, overnights, social/emotional behavioral support, today’s hoorays, other special events/rally points

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat classroom with a morning meeting.
  2. Add whole child to the unlimited dedication of a team of teachers.
  3. Combine rest of ingredients and whip into shape.
  4. Taste check to reevaluate what is needed most. Add missing ingredient(s) to Flex as needed.
  5. Add to classroom and bake for 180 days. Snow days not included.
  6. Add Summer@Carroll as needed. Included additional seasonings.
  7. Celebrate a meal of a lifetime.



Recent Posts

Building Faculty Capacity
Steve Wilkins, Head of School Blog

I remember this conversation as clearly as the crisp June evening in 2010 on the back patio of Storrow House during the New Parents’ Welcome dinner. We were about to launch the Waltham Lower School Campus for the following September, marking a significant increase in the size of the student body. A new parent questioned, “Where are you possibly going to find enough qualified teachers to open the new school? I think that you are going to fail.”

Training Teachers to Best Educate Children with Dyslexia
Steve Wilkins, Head of School Blog

As we continue to work towards the principles of “Giving Each Child” what they most need, Carroll has not formed an official graduate school of education for our faculty and staff. But it sort of feels as if we have. This blog reveals how Carroll has devised a teacher training program to help ensure that all teachers and tutors have the skills necessary to best educate children with dyslexia.