Posted by: csdailyblog | February 1, 2011

First Day of Class: Snowshoes and Slinkies

Michael Salat, History Teacher, helps a student with his snowshoe bindings at the end of history class.

After reviewing today’s photos, I thought I should give a special shout-out to Michael Salat, Conserve School History Teacher. Not only does he teach history class, he serves you lunch, he takes you out snowshoeing on the first day of class, and he even gets down on his knees to help you on and off with your snowshoes.

Michael serves student Danielle a piece of pizza at lunch.

Thank you, Michael, for your hard work today!

Conserve School staff members often put this level of involvement and dedication into their work with students. Here are a few more snapshots of our staff members with students, round the clock from morning ’til evening. Below you can see Cathy Palmer, Director of Residential Life and Outdoor Programs, helping students clean tables after breakfast (7:20 AM).

Student Rachel and Director of Residential Life Cathy Palmer cleaning up breakfast tables.

Here, you can see Stefan Anderson having lunch with students (11:30 AM) …

Head of School Stefan Anderson shares lunch with students and staff members.

… and running a student meeting (7:00 PM).

Head of School Stefan Anderson leads community meeting activities.

Notable happenings on our first day of school:

  • Students commented with surprise on the fact that that there are no bells and no packed hallways between periods.
  • Three of the four core classes took place outdoors.
  • Gremlins got into the Internet and caused it to go down just in time for the first period (but it came back online fairly quickly).
  • Students couldn’t quite believe the small size of their classes.
  • Almost everyone got to class on time and in the right place. Those who suffered minor mix-ups were gently redirected. (You’ve got to expect a little confusion on the first day of class.)
  • Spanish students’ comments on the Conserve School Spanish Teacher, Kathleen O’Connor: “She’s really serious about getting us to speak Spanish in class! And she speaks Spanish the whole time!!”
  • Kathleen’s comments: “They’re all so shy! Everyone is hoping I won’t call on them!” (Just first day jitters, though — Kathleen is wonderful at drawing students out. By May, students will all be amazed at how much Spanish they can speak.)
  • The science teachers gave everyone a pre-test in order to help them understand students’ skill and knowledge levels.
  • Nancy Schwartz, Conserve School Art Teacher, treated Earth Art students to her special first-day-of-class Tuareg Tea Ceremony, which is featured in this Youtube video that Nancy made as part of the National Association of Independent Schools Teacher of the Future competition. (Nancy went on to be one of 25 teachers honored with this award in 2008.) You can see Nancy’s description of last semester’s Tuareg Tea ceremony on her website.

Students take a pre-test in one of the science lecture rooms.

All in all, a very fine first day of school.

Enjoy more photos of last night’s community meeting and our first day of school below.

Mary Anna

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