Outside the Classroom, Our Staff Are Sharing and Learning

January 5, 2021

Creative Minds’ staff and teachers have been busy outside the remote classroom sharing their expertise, finding common cause with other educators, and engaging in new opportunities to grow their practices.

Educational Philosophy

Creative Minds’ executive director, Chuck Jackson, is @ChuckCMIPCS on Twitter. Recently he linked to a letter written by Teresa Thayer Snyder, a former school superintendent, in which she calls upon educators to “greet the children where they are, not where we think they ‘should be’” and decries the focus on learning loss when children “have endured a year that has no parallel in modern times.”

Chuck tweeted that the letter captured his “educational philosophy and serves as a call to action in these times.” And in a holiday message to Creative Minds staff he said, “The letter speaks to what I would like Creative Minds to be for our students.”

Read Teresa Snyder’s letter here.

A Prestigious Fellowship

In December, Nayamka Long, Creative Minds’ chief academic officer, and Abby Sheffer, our director of lower school, were selected for the prestigious Equity Lab Nexus Fellowship. They join a cohort of distinguished leaders to drive change and address issues of race and equity in their communities.

Sharing Stories

Also in December, prekindergarten teacher Rachel Jamieson presented at the Emotionally Responsive Schools Conference, hosted by Bank Street Graduate School of Education. As a panelist on the session “Using Emotionally Responsive Practices in Troubled Times,” Rachel discussed the social stories she wrote to orient Creative Minds students to remote learning. She shared how she used a homemade social story about virtual school and how that inspired children to play through some of their feelings about sickness and taking care of one another.

Supporting Mental Health

Before winter break, school counselor Brooke Shafer and school-based therapist Julie Klein hosted a webinar for families on supporting mental health over the holidays.

Julie joined Creative Minds in 2020 through Paving the Way MSI, a community organization, and the DC Department of Behavioral Health’s School-Based Expansion partnership. She provides individual therapeutic services to students and offers support to caregivers.

Watch Brooke and Julie’s webinar on the Creative Minds YouTube channel.

Education Summit

The City Neighbors Foundation is hosting its 10th annual Progressive Ed Summit later this month, where Abby Sheffer, director of lower school, and Vitna Bailey, instructional coach, will present on balancing innovation with stability in schools.

Learn more about the summit.

Are you interested in applying to Creative Minds for the 2021–22 school year? Please join us for a Virtual Open House. We’d love to meet you!