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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Master teachers

Amidst a heavy week, lightness of being has been difficult to find.

Still, the sun keeps shining brightly – and reflecting back in a hundred rays of light. Here are two: shared by a pair of DA parents.  

Yesterday, Pre and Lower School parent Drue Moore told me about Vsauce, a YouTube education channel hosted by the kind of smart, quirky, passionate teacher that abounds at DA. Click here to read a profile of super-teacher Michael Stevens. Or just read the first few paragraphs below and save your time to watch one of his videos.

When I told my sons, ages 11 and 15, that I would be interviewing a series of unconventional and inspiring educators about their teaching methods, they insisted—nay, demanded—that I sit down with them and watch their favorite teacher, Michael Stevens, host of the wildly popular YouTube education channel Vsauce.

They queued up their favorite episodes, “What If The Earth Stopped Spinning?” “What If the Moon Was a Disco Ball?” and “Why Are Things Creepy?” These particular videos have been viewed an average of 4 million times each, so my sons are clearly not the only Vsauce enthusiasts out there. Far from it—Stevens’ Vsauce channel boasts nearly 8 million subscribers and 700 million views.

Three hours and two bowls of popcorn later, I’d become yet another number in the Vsauce subscription and view counter, and I’d also pieced together some theories on what makes Michael Stevens such an effective and popular teacher.

Today, Upper School parent Frank Morgan shared the photo above – snapped on his way out of DA’s driveway – a testament to the loving guidance of DA Field Hockey Coach Judy Chandler. This year’s varsity girls team was as strong as any in her three decades of coaching. Only a deflected goal in overtime of the final game kept them from a state championship. Still, Judy's words at Tuesday’s Athletic Awards Ceremony (like those of all her coaching colleagues) made it clear that the real objective of our athletic program has little to do with wins and losses. Here’s to positive coaches who take the long view! 

Posted by mulkus on Thursday October, 30, 2014


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