The Joy of Math Club

Eagle Rock School’s Math Club started out with a small group of students hanging around after class to play some games — specifically, the students and I spent the hour before dinner playing code-breaking and multiplication games, and it soon became apparent that Set was evolving as the game of choice.

The game of Set pushes its competitors to discover patterns in sets of three cards at a time, and it quickly became an addictive pastime for my Math students. They began playing in the Lodge at mealtimes, then found themselves playing a few hands during class breaks. This soon spread to the evening hours with participants “practicing” in their houses.

Game Of Set

Turns out that, for the most part, these card-carrying Set players were also heavily involved in recruiting for the school’s Math Club.

Faith Kroma, who graduates this trimester, is the founder of Math Club. It was Faith who persuaded anyone and everyone she ran across that they should show up after class for Math Club, and what students soon discovered was a Continue reading…

Another Highly Anticipated Explore Week is Now Underway

From deftly dribbling a basketball to graceful salsa dancing, Eagle Rock’s student body is immersed in alternative courses this week during Explore Week, an event that occurs three times each year and is highly anticipated by students and instructors alike.

The reason behind this enthusiasm is the opportunity Explore Week presents to students to take on non-traditional courses that don’t necessarily fit into the mold of an academic curriculum.

This week’s event features courses taught by our own instructors, current Public Allies fellows, folks from our mountainside community, as well as noted experts in the courses offered.

Below is a list of courses — and a little about their instructors — from this trimester’s Explore Week, which wraps up Friday afternoon:

Improv Theater

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When you make something up on the spot, it’s called improvisation. In this Explore Week course, students are practicing improv theater through active games and exercises. They are learning how to control their Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s TLC: Teachers Teaching Teachers to Teach

One of the major “perks” of becoming a part of our cohort of Public Allies Fellows at Eagle Rock is the opportunity to participate in a Colorado state alternative teacher licensure program, which is paid for by Eagle Rock.

An important portion of that program centers on weekly meetings with new licensure candidates on campus to hear fresh teaching skills from our Professional Development Center team members as a means of boosting the candidates’ instructional techniques.

Eagle Rock School Alternative Teacher Licensure

Offered through our Fellowship Program in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education and Public Allies Inc., these “mini” lessons — known as Teaching and Learning Convenings (TLC) — are intended to improve the quality of teaching and awareness each candidate can produce within a classroom setting. The learnings range from classroom culture to simple and effective practices that can improve each student’s experience.

At the same time, the lessons allow each candidate to receive feedback from his or her peers — in addition to our own Continue reading…

Help Wanted: Line Chef Instructor With a Pinch of Patience

Like nearly all of our job postings here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, there is an important proviso for potential employees and that caveat is this: You must be willing to empower an active student body and work closely alongside these young charges.

Our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colorado, is in need of a line chef instructor, and our big concern isn’t that you be able to prepare chateaubriand with your eyes closed. Our big concern is that you can take teen-aged students under your wing and patiently teach them what you’ve learned in your culinary career.

Eagle Rock School Kitchen

We aren’t looking for a strict disciplinarian behind the counter or the arbitrarily shouting of “No soup for you!” Rather, we are seeking a chef willing to support students in finding and nurturing their own particular kitchen skills while simultaneously receiving the benefits of becoming reengaged in their own education. As a result, we seek someone who can help our students develop and customize their own potential passion for cooking, and we need someone to lead the way rather than bark orders like a fry cook.

Equally important for our successful applicant is the ability to Continue reading…

Spring 2017 Update from the Professional Development Center

Since beginning my Public Allies Fellowship with Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center last fall, I have taken note of the many traits that make our professional development team so successful.

As background, the Professional Development Center team is charged with executing on a mission to support schools (we refer to them as “partners”) around the country to increase high school student engagement. What is not well known is that the team provides those services to our partners at no cost to them, and our team consists of just four facilitators who regularly provide our services. This presents an interesting challenge as we cannot increase our headcount despite the ever-increasing demand for our services.

Professional-Development-Center-Update-Eagle-Rock

To meet that challenge, the team has developed a set of practices characterized by working smarter rather than harder. Hallmarks of the team’s practice include organization, efficiency, and constant communication among staffers. Everyone understands what the goals are for each trimester and how their portfolio of partners needs to be shaped for maximum impact.

In normal circumstances, observing such traits among a high-functioning team should be a simple matter. But circumstances here at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center are not normal, with all six members of the professional development team constantly Continue reading…