Our World Tuesday: Student for a Week



From July 21, 2012
Last week, I put myself in academic paradise by attending an AP Summer Institute at the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut. This prestigious college-prep private school is just a few miles up the road from my old stomping ground, and I had driven past the place many a time and wondered what it might be like to be a student on this beautiful campus.  Now I know.  Taft has an idyllic campus with stunning buildings and beautiful grounds and a great staff.

From July 21, 2012

At the end of AP camp, I found myself--strangely and sadly--without my trusty little Canon.  How I failed to drop this into my Mary Poppins bag, I don't know.  So out came the iPod Touch to capture some of the warm and wonderful atmosphere of this beautiful Hogwarts of Litchfield County.  The photo above and below are of a study in the first building I entered every day.  What was once a library is now a cool place to be--for any reason.
From July 21, 2012

New buildings blend with the old ones at Taft.  There are no outrageous steel-and-glass (cost-saving) interpretations of old designs appended to old buildings.  Instead, the warmth and elegance of old designs are increased with more of the same.  The doorway behind the statue of students is a relatively new addition to the campus.  
From July 21, 2012

Every day Mercury led the flight of our minds with his patrician elegance, his dreamy face, and his reminder to look up.  Of course, he was naked and may have wanted to create a distraction, but I don't think so.  He remembered his helmet and his sandals after all.  On the same corridor as Merc were President Washington and President Lincoln.  It was a cool blend and a great reminder that quality leaders can do quite a lot in a short period, even if they are surrounded by cranky people and crackpots.
From July 21, 2012
In addition to working under a great instructor with nice and knowledgeable fellow teachers, I had the chance to be in a beautiful environment and focus on my own learning.  What a luxury.  To think the food was fabulous, too!  When my workday lunches go back to being granola bars and bananas, I will remember the stuffed peppers, sweet potato salad, vegetarian jambalaya...

P. S.  Here's the other thing.  Like me, a vast majority of the hundreds of folks there were spending their own money to improve their teaching skills and expand opportunities for our students.  We chose that week for ourselves to better serve our students.  Nobody was looking for a medal,but it's worth considering that many, many teachers give all they can.  The creepy teachers who rob taxpayers by basically doing nothing or less and thereby deliver America a giant sucker punch are definitely there--and the unions work hard to keep them on the payroll--but they are far from being the whole story.

Our World Tuesday

Comments

  1. I agree with you about teaching having been a first grade teacher then school librarian=it is a monumental task but so important! great campus and environment for learning. I still enjoy taking classes of any kind and teaching for my church or community now!

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  2. Well, there's no doubt in MY mind that you are a caring person and therefore a caring teacher. Your going back to school is not only good for your students but good for you too. The ambiance at Taft sure does look inspirational. Ah, brings back memories of my high school days at a private school. :))

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  3. Sounds like a great experience and wonderful photographs even without your regular camera. I think teachers are so important and there are so many good ones out there. Too bad they don't get the attention instead of the very few bad apples. I know your students are lucky to have you.

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  4. Having been a teacher, I totally agree with you and it is sad. But what a great experience you had and I'm so happy for you. A great look at Taft! And, yes, your students are SO lucky to have you for the caring teacher you are! Hope your week is off to a good start!

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  5. Great blog, Sandy, I really liked it!
    I'll follow you.
    Cheer from Argentina.
    HD

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  6. What a beautiful spot for learning and bless you for doing this on your own....so many teachers do that.

    I agree about the shame of protection for the retired-in-place bad teachers; however, it would be awfully easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater here -- we go back to the era when a teacher with too much training could be, and often was, let go by the school board because a young new teacher could be got for so much cheaper (and why did the grade school kids need someone who knew that much anyway?) (My husband was actually told that at his first job -- pre-union!) Like all of life, there needs to be some balance that's for sure.

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  7. Oh I agree with you Sandy. There are teachers who spoil it for every one and the Union protects them.You'd think the union would also speak for kids wouldn't you?
    Today it's important to love math and yet they always allow people who are bad in math to teach it in highschool This loses the interest of so many kids who would benefit and would give back to the country and future generations, thus promoting a good life to live.

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  8. What a wonderful post and fantastic photos ~ excellent ~ and what an experience for you ~ Wow! ~ thanks, ^_^ (Creative Harbor)

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  9. Wonderful shots of the campus. This is real good place for academics.

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  10. Timeless captures!

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  11. B&W effect adds a lot of mood to the captures.

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  12. Like my friend Mercury there I'm kicking up my heels at your delightful gift to yourself.

    I am J to the ealous!


    Enjoy, Sandy


    Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    <(-'.'-)>

    > < } } ( ° >

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  13. Anonymous3:05 AM

    What fabulous shots.

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  14. Hi there - great post - especially the "PS". As an ex-teacher I was driven half mad by some of the other teachers I worked with!

    Cheers - Stewart M

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  15. So nice that you had a good learning time. And I agree. There are some wonderful teachers out there. Don'it know where I'd be without some of the ones in my life, whose influence made me realize that I had choices. Wish the good ones, like you, could be cloned.

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  16. Great glimpse of Taft. I agree with the last paragraph wholeheartly.Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  17. I was a teacher for more than thirty years, so I completely agree with you about the attitude of most teachers. It's too bad a few rotten apples give everyone a bad name. I am glad you could take your course in such wonderful surroundings.

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  18. Very interesting post and a great tribute to schools and teachers.
    I love the images, they have a perfect old school atmosphere about them, your iPod did a great job!;)) And so did you.;)
    xoxo

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