CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
The Learning Curve
IF I WERE EGYPTIAN… After studying ancient Egypt, kindergarten students at St. Paul’s Day School in Westfield took an imaginary plane trip to visit the pyramids of the Nile. Brendan Oster, pictured above, and the other students had an opportunity to dress up as pharaohs and princesses as part of the unit. Their trip began with the issuing of passports, which will be used when they “visit” other countries this year. St. Paul’s offers two fullday kindergarten classes. A presentation on the school will be offered on Monday, January 24, at 9: 30 a. m. at the school. For more information, please call (908) 2335417. Nurses League to Discuss
Biological Warfare at Event
SCOTCH PLAINS – Marie Kassai, Manager of Performance Improvement and Infection Control at General Hospital Center in Passaic, will address the League For Educational Advancement for Registered Nurses (LEARN) on Monday, January 24, at 7: 45 p. m. at All Saints Episcopal Church in Scotch Plains.
The topical program is entitled, “Biological Warfare: Its Meaning for
Nurses.” Nurses attending will receive information about why bioterrorism is considered a threat in society. Various methods of dissemination and the available biologically lethal agents will be examined.
The educational program, which has been approved by the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA), will provide 2.4 contact hours. NJSNA is accredited as an approver of Continuing Education in Nursing by the American Nurses Association Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
LEARN, a professional organization for registered nurses, offers eight program per academic year on current nursing topics. The next program will be “Childhood & Adolescent Cancers in the New Millennium” on Monday, February 28.
LEARN’s annual membership is $35, or a guest fee of $10 per program.
For more information, please write to LEARN, P. O. Box No. 6, Scotch Plains, 07076, or call the Program Coordinator at (908) 2727239.
Amanda Podlas Earns Special Scholarship At Campbell University
SCOTCH PLAINS – Amanda Podlas of Scotch Plains has been selected to receive the Hazel P. and George R. Perkins, Jr. Scholarship at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N. C.
Amanda, a junior, is a television/ sports production major. She also participated as a member of the junior varsity softball team.
Amanda is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Podlas, Jr.
School Bd. Candidacy Info. Available in District Office
SCOTCH PLAINS – The deadline for filing nominating petitions to run for positions on the Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education is Monday, February 28, at 4 p. m. The election is slated for Tuesday, April 18.
Prospective school board candidates may obtain a “School Board Candidate Kit” at the local school district office. Published by the New Jersey School Boards Association, the kit includes information about legal qualifications for school board candidacy, campaign procedures and the role of the school board member.
Information about the New Jersey School Ethics Act, important dates
in the school election process and briefing sessions for school board candidates are also included in the kit.
“I urge citizens who believe they can make a contribution to their communities’ schools to consider board of education membership,” said Charles V. Reilly, New Jersey School Board Association President. “You don’t have to be an education expert to serve on your local school board. What counts most is a sincere interest in children and their education.”
Kent Place School Names New Head of Upper School
Susan C. Bosland, Head of Kent Place School, has announced the appointment of Eileen M. Core as Head of the Upper School.
Ms. Core is a longtime Kent Place science teacher, Department Chair and Director of Studies.
“Kent Place has been fortunate to have Eileen on its faculty for the past two decades,” said Ms. Bosland. “Throughout her tenure, Eileen has developed a demanding and innovative curriculum that enables our students to meet and exceed national standards.”
Ms. Core’s career has included public school and independent school experiences in the United States and Europe, spanning the primary through upper school levels.
Ms. Core graduated summa cum laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she earned a Bachelor
of Science Degree in Secondary Education with a minor in Chemistry. She also studied in Zurich, Switzerland, completing a Masters research project in chemistry. She earned a Masters in Science Degree in Engineering Science from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
David L. Osborn Earns Dean’s List Status At Rochester Institute
WESTFIELD – David L. Osborn, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Osborn of Westfield, has been named to the Dean’s List for the fall quarter at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N. Y.
A fourth year student in the College of Applied Science and Technology, David is studying mechanical engineering technology.
He is a 1996 graduate of Westfield High School.
Tripp Madsen Earns Honor Roll Status At The Taft School
WESTFIELD – Tripp Madsen, the son of Mr. and Mrs. M. Peter Madsen, 2nd, of Westfield, was recently named to the honor roll at The Taft School in Watertown, Conn.
Tripp is a member of the Class of 2000.
Financial Aid and Information Session Set at Magnet School
SCOTCH PLAINS – The Union County Magnet High School for Science, Mathematics and Technology in Scotch Plains will host its third information session for interested applicants and parents in next September’s freshman class on Saturday, January 22, at 10 a. m. in Mancuso Hall.
The information session will address questions about the curriculum, admission and purpose of a magnet school.
For more details on the information session, please call the Admissions Office at (908) 8893800, Extension No. 201. The school will also host its first annual “College Financial Aid Night” on Thursday, January 20, at 7: 30 p. m. in Mancuso Hall.
Leah Fletcher, Assistant Director of Client Services for the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Department, will present general information on financial aid, assist in completing financial aid forms and generally review the entire financial aid process.
Ms. Fletcher’s agency administers the state’s grants, scholarships and
loan programs. A question and answer period will follow.
For more information about the Financial Aid Night, please call (908) 8893800.
Teaching in the Hot Zone Holds Many Rewards For Students, Teachers Alike
By JOSEPH R. STEFANI
Earlier this year I was working quietly in the school office and listening in the background to a sixth grade science class across the hall having a closing discussion on their lab about magnetism.
To this day I do not know the specifics of their discussion, but I remember distinctly a wonderful sound that came from that room.
All at once the class let out a chorus of “wows!” and “whoas!” I knew immediately from that sound that the class had entered the “hot zone” of teaching. It is that point where kids have so completely connected with something going on in a classroom that the excitement about it lets loose.
For teachers it is this outpouring of emotion that makes teaching so exciting. Many would place it high on their list of reasons why they teach in the first place.
As I walk through the school and sit in on classes, I am treated to a variety of teaching styles. So varied are these styles that it would be impossible to say that one worked better than another. In all of these classes I see, however, a common theme in the interaction with students that seems to ensure that classes enter the hot zone on a regular basis.
There is a recognition of the idiosyncratic relationship between students and the material that is being presented. Teachers understand that students are individuals and that they will react as individuals to what they are studying. Without this recognition and the variety of presentation styles that it implies, some students would be at a loss to make the connections so important to the learning process.
Teachers create a varied and exciting environment that ensures engagement through their recognition of this important component of education.
The idea that education is a process and not a product is an idea foremost in the minds of teachers. Processoriented teachers encourage students to be active participants in a classroom that embraces experimentation, exploration and discovery.
These teachers demonstrate and model processes, provide feedback, and actively assess and evaluate. This emphasis on process enables students to make an important connection with the information being addressed.
Reflection holds a critical place in the processoriented teacher’s class room. Reflection is yet another opportunity
for students to make the vital connection that will help them, and ultimately the class, make it into the hot zone.
Teachers foster independence by encouraging students to accept ownership of the material. This is achieved by asking students to work together and, in a sense, become colleagues in the learning process.
Interdependent, interactive, accountable groups offer students an invaluable opportunity to work with their contemporaries to achieve a common goal.
Teachers can take a step back in these situations and act as facilitators of the learning process while students take a step forward and act as owners of the learning process.
Ownership of the task at hand is clearly an integral part of a student’s feeling connected with what is happening in the classroom.
What I see clearly in classrooms is an emphasis on connections. Teachers connect first with the material and then with students. The connection that teachers make with students focuses on the learning process and the individual nature of that process.
As that connection is being made, teachers step back and allow students to begin to cultivate their own connections; first with the teacher, then with the material and then with their peers.
The results are not only impressive but they are what makes it exciting to teach. Teachers are processoriented, and they create an environment in their classrooms that recognizes a variety of learning styles and offers students ample opportunities to participate in autonomous group work.
It is these environments that create abundant occasions for students to connect so completely with their work that at times they cannot help but shout about it, or should we say, enter the hot zone.
* * * * *
Joseph R. Stefani is currently serving his fifth year as Middle School Principal at Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset. He has been a faculty member for 10 years at the school. Mr. Stefani holds degrees in history and psychology from Hartwick and Rutgers University. He has also earned his master’s degree in education from Rutgers. He lives with his wife and their three children in Lambertville.
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Open House • January 18– 21 Resumé Writing, Interview
Workshops Set at College
CRANFORD — Union County College in Cranford will offer a firststep opportunity for new employment seekers this January, by presenting two singlesession workshops in resumé writing and effective interview techniques.
Participants will have the option of taking one or both workshops.
The singlesession seminars are designed for individuals who wish to upgrade their status in a chosen field, as well as for those looking to start an entirely new career path.
The seminars will take a practical approach and provide participants with an opportunity to address their own personal concerns, according to UCC spokeswoman Georgia Hartnett.
“Make Your Resumé Work for You” will allow students to discover the rationale behind effective resume writing and how it can work to the individual’s advantage.
Class members will review the mechanics of writing a resumé and cover letter; learn how to balance marketability with accuracy and become familiar with the do’s and don’ts of good editing practices, layout and professional printing strategies.
The college will conduct the seminar on Monday, January 24, from 7 to 9 p. m. at its Cranford campus.
“Developing Confidence for the Job Interview” will enable participants
to develop strategic selling skills for the employment marketplace and teach them techniques to prepare effectively for a job interview.
Participants will learn to conduct preliminary research, the importance of networking, handling “trick” questions, types of questions the interviewee needs to ask, negotiating for the salary and how to close the interview to one’s advantage. Role playing will be included as time permits.
The college will conduct this seminar on Monday, January 31, from 7 to 9 p. m. at the Cranford campus.
For more information, please call the College’s Division of Continuing Education and Community Services at (908) 7097600.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)