Summer Teaching Symposium at Hotchkiss

About the Program

The Summer Teaching Symposium at Hotchkiss is an intensive weeklong opportunity for educators from around the country to come together and cultivate their craft of teaching.

July 8-13, 2018

(Sunday afternoon thru Friday)

$1,200 per person

Includes tuition, materials, meals, dormitory lodging, and the use of Hotchkiss facilities (Forrest Mars Jr. Athletics Center, Hotchkiss Golf Course and lake access to Lake Wononscopomuc)

Collaborating together with peers from other schools, participants will discuss and reflect upon their current practices and other trends in teaching. At the end of the week, participants will leave with a cohort of fellow teachers and administrators who can help sustain and support on-going practices, professional development, and further learning. Symposium topics include:

  • Pedagogical skills directly relevant to teaching, observing, and evaluating
  • Classroom observation and evaluation templates
  • Ongoing professional development with the cohort of Symposium classmates, including video and online resources, for continued growth and learning
  • An invitation to participate in a Summer Teaching Symposium alumni network to help support ongoing professional development and resources.
Reading Materials:

  • The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom by Stephen Brookfield (2015)

  • The Hotchkiss Summer Teaching Symposium Reader (will be supplied at the Symposium) Includes selections from educational thought leaders: Alfie Kohn, Angela Duckworth, Daniel Willingham, Jennifer Roberts, Annie Murphy Paul, Paul Tough, and others.

Faculty

Michael Eckert

Dean of Academic Life
Director of the Hotchkiss Summer Faculty Symposium

Mike Eckert has taught AP U.S. History and in the Humanities Program at Hotchkiss since 2013 and has served as the Associate Dean of Academic Life and the Director of the Hotchkiss Summer Faculty Symposium since 2014. He previously taught both English and history at Avon Old Farms School (CT), the American Overseas School of Rome (Italy), and Blair Academy (NJ) and holds an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from The Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. Mike coaches x-country and Varsity lacrosse, and he lives in Redlich Dormitory with his wife Heather, three sons Reece, Cormac, and Mather, and his loyal golden retriever Jambo.



Vision

Symposium Vision

To provide an intensive week of intentional practice centered around the art and craft of teaching for educational professionals who wish to discuss and reflect upon their work while developing relationships that will foster ongoing professional development.

Symposium Takeaways:

  • Develop a variety of pedagogical skills directly relevant to teaching, observing, and evaluating.
  • Create observation and evaluation templates that improve the classroom experience and outcomes.
  • Foster and support an on-going professional development cohort using video and on-line platforms for continued growth and learning.
  • Joining an alumni network of Summer Teaching Symposium participants, who will serve as ongoing professional and personal resources for participants.

Working Agenda

Sunday Afternoon (July 8)

  • Arrival & Registration
  • Welcoming Dinner at Hotchkiss’s Fairfield Farm

Monday (July 9)

Session 1 (9 a.m. - Noon)

  • Welcome...Pre-Symposium Self-Assessment - Reflective Journaling
  • Conversation Exercise...Reflection...Discussion
  • Introduction New Teacher Primer Project

Noon - 1:30 p.m. -- Lunch (Hotchkiss Dining Hall)

Session 2 (1:30 - 4 p.m.)

  • Discussion of Brookfield
  • Discussion Ground Rules: Group Created Discussion Essential Elements
  • Observation Techniques
  • Exit Ticket

Tuesday (July 10)

Session 3 (9 a.m. - Noon)

  • Sample Lesson
  • Video Review
  • Written Observations...Self-Reflection by Instructor...Group Discussion and Feedback
  • Exit Ticket

Noon - 1:30 p.m. -- Lunch (Hotchkiss Dining Hall)

Session 4 (1:30 - 4 p.m.)

  • Symposium Participant Teaches a Class (#1) with Hotchkiss Portals students (Video)
  • Other Symposium Participants: Discussion... Homework, Assessment, Grading & Schedules...Small Group Gallery Walk
  • Exit Ticket

Wednesday (July 11)

Session 5 (9 a.m. - Noon)

  • Symposium Participant Teaches a Class (#2) with Hotchkiss Portals students (Video)
  • Other Symposium Participants: Video Review (#1)...Written Observations...Self Reflection by Teacher...Group Discussion
  • Introduction to the Flipped Classroom...Eileen Sullivan, Instructor in Chemistry (The Hotchkiss School)
  • Exit Ticket

Noon - 1:30 p.m. -- Lunch (Hotchkiss Dining Hall)

Session 6 (1:30 - 4 p.m.)

  • Symposium Participant Teaches a Class (#3) with Hotchkiss Portals students (Video)
  • Other Symposium Participants: Video Review (#2)...Written Observations...Self Reflection by Teacher...Group Discussion
  • Teaching Covenant Exercise
  • Exit Ticket

Thursday (July 12)

Session 7 (9 a.m. - Noon)

  • Symposium Participant Teaches a Class (#4) with Hotchkiss Portals students (Video)
  • Other Symposium Participants: Video Review (#3)...Written Observations...Self Reflection by Teacher...Group Discussion
  • New Teacher Primer & Teacher Covenant
  • Exit Ticket

Noon - 1:30 p.m. -- Lunch (Hotchkiss Dining Hall)

Session 8 (1:30 - 4 p.m.)

  • Symposium Participant Teaches a Class (#5) with Hotchkiss Portals students (Video)
  • Other Symposium Participants: Video Review (#4)...Written Observations...Self Reflection by Teacher...Group Discussion
  • Unconference
  • Exit Ticket
Friday (July 13)

Session 9 (9 a.m. - Noon)

  • Video Review (#5)...Written Observations...Self Reflection by Teacher...Group Discussion
  • Closing Ceremonies/Readings/Reflection/Cohort Future

Noon -- Closing Meal at Fairfield Farm/Departure

Testimonials

New to the teaching profession - only a year under my belt - this kind of discourse is particularly helpful; getting to watch veteran teachers teach is a gift. I am part of a Teaching Fellowship program through the University of Pennsylvania, and it was exciting to me to watch how our conversations of best practice overlapped here. I had learned about certain pedagogical techniques and classroom practices, but talking about them through a Hotchkiss lens made them that much more relatable.
--Teaching Fellow, Instructor in Science

I have often participated in one or two day workshops addressing a particular aspect of my work. But I have never had the opportunity to reflect upon teaching in such a comprehensive way as I did during this symposium. This has been without a doubt the most thorough and useful professional development work I have ever done.
--Instructor in French

Our conversations focused on the student experience and how best to foster greater learning and growth. We quickly came to a consensus that our students need more time for pause and reflection in their academic day...I know that we all will enter our classrooms next fall with a greater awareness for our students’ experience and how our practices affect them. I cannot think of a greater way to make a positive impact on a school.
--Instructor in Film

One of the things that struck me about the Symposium was its attention to craft over content. And while I was awestruck by some of my colleague’s ability to deliver content with grace and humor, it was the conversations and concern for the student experience that hit home. Anyone can guide a discussion when the participants are smart, eager and driven. Not everyone can make sure the discussion progresses in a way that allows everyone to participate, hurts no one unwittingly, while encompassing the big ideas along the way.
--Curator of Special Collections

Although I’m a reflective teacher and frequently think carefully about how I can challenge and support students, the Symposium was a refreshing opportunity to wander outside my own thoughts and to be exposed to a buffet of new ideas and techniques. For five days we questioned educational standards, deconstructed the classroom experience, and endeavored to identify effective instruction. We assessed the value of assessment, held forth about homework, and even re-imagined the entire academic schedule, all with a focus on determining what would be most conducive to learning.
--Instructor in English & Theatre

After 25 years teaching Latin and Greek, I usually know exactly what I’m going to do with a student, in a class and for a course. This symposium challenged me to step back from those easy answers about teaching to make clear to myself and to others why I do what I do.
--Instructor in Classics

I have just spent a week working alongside like-minded colleagues who are curious, insightful, and want to delve deeply into exploring their philosophies of teaching. We have discussed our practices, our students, our fears and our hopes and dreams. We have done this in a space free of judgment, daily pressures, and general distractions. It has been a space in which we have taken risks and questioned; we have modeled the learning we wish our students to emulate.
--Instructor in Spanish