Professional Development in Action: Ellen Greenblatt in Johannesburg

One of our very own, humanities teacher Ellen Greenblatt, recently served as a consultant presenter for the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) at their 2012 Conference in Johannesburg, which drew 700 delegates from all over Africa. There she represented The Bay School in presenting three separate workshops: Writing to Learn: A School-wide Initiative; Strategies for Teaching Literature; and Student-made Films as a Vehicle to Interpretation.

Here she is with a group of her workshop participants:

To her presentations abroad and her classes at The Bay School, Ellen brings a background rich in English teaching experience and qualification. With a bachelor’s in English from Cornell and a master’s in teaching English from Yale, Ellen was a teacher of literature and writing at University High School in San Francisco for 16 years. She has been a consultant to the College Board for Advanced Placement English and has served on test development committees for the SAT Literature exam. She regularly speaks and publishes on a variety of subjects involving the teaching of English in high schools.

“In some sense,” Ellen writes, “I feel as if I have been preparing for such a position [at The Bay School] for my whole career. My desire is to help students learn how to navigate in a world of ambiguity and uncertainty. My goal is to lead students to an understanding that exploring different answers, even as they know there will be no unequivocally right answer, is the richness of education—and of life.” In her travels to conferences such as AISA’s, Ellen consistently sets a positive example for her students, who cannot help but notice and benefit from the emphasis she places on thinking globally, being of service and raising awareness about world cultures.

In hosting this annual conference, AISIA furthers its objective to “facilitate school effectiveness and to inspire student learning in the international schools of Africa by promoting communication, collaboration and professional development.” More:

Representing international schools on the continent of Africa, AISA has a membership of schools which range in size from 20 to 3600 students. AISA schools are strongly influenced by their location in Africa and their cosmopolitan student enrollment and teaching staffs who emanate from countries across the globe. Some AISA schools have an American-based curriculum, others are British, and still others have an eclectic mix. All have an international focus.

Check out the AISA website for more information: http://www.aisa.or.ke/.

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