Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to: 

  • connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
  • share ideas about learning and human development;
  • spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy. 

Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing. 

Michael Ulku-SteinerHead of School 


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What really sticks

More than half of the teachers at Durham Academy are also DA parents (of current students or alumni). This experience as parents - whether with wide-eyed preschoolers or glaring adolescents - adds profound insight to our craft. 

This week Middle School Math Teacher Kim Aitken returned to work after her maternity leave last winter and spring. As she leaps back into the maelstrom of faculty meetings, syllabus planning, and classroom decoration, she sent me a timely reminder of what really matters to our charges. Click here to see the full article. Below, an excerpt: 

Because we want our students to think we’re the very best at what we do and we believe that this status of excellence is achieved merely by doing. But we forget- and often. Excellence is more readily attained by being.

Being available.
Being kind.
Being compassionate.
Being transparent.
Being real.
Being thoughtful.
Being ourselves.

And of all the students I know who have lauded teachers with the laurels of the highest acclaim, those students have said of those teachers that they cared.

You see, kids can see through to the truth of the matter. And while the flashy stuff can entertain them for a while, it’s the steady constance of empathy that keeps them connected to us. It’s the relationships we build with them. It’s the time we invest. It’s all the little ways we stop and show concern. It’s the love we share with them: of learning. Of life. And most importantly, of people.

Posted by Michael Ulku-Steiner on Wednesday August, 13, 2014

1 Comment:

Perfect message!  And how wonderful to be coming from Kim Aitken, who is about to become a DA parent as her daughter begins PK next week!  

from Virginia Hall on 08/13/14 at 04:28PM

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