Summer Institute for Classroom Teachers: Facilitator Bios
Siva Sankrithi: MATH DISCIPLINE FACILITATOR
Siva Sankrithi returned to Lakeside School (Seattle) at nineteen to teach high school math, with his BS Math/Music and MS Applied Math from University of Washington. Throughout his life, he has learned experientially both in the classroom and out, gleaning wisdom from whatever he was doing, whether it was travelling the world with family, cooking with his family, playing his flute or competing over a chessboard, tennis court, or table tennis table. Now he enjoys his time with his wife Aarti and three year old son Sarang. He spent ten years teaching at Lakeside, integrating innovative experiential curriculum into traditional math courses (algebra through multivariable calculus). He’s developed many new courses at Lakeside such as linear optimization, geopolitics, election theory and game theory. He developed and for two years taught the Global Online Academy Game Theory course, honing his pedagogical practices as facilitator and way-finder in the online space. He is currently a full-time stay-at-home Dad and experiential homeschool educator for his son, a part-time educational consultant for students and teachers alike, a part-time analyst in the renewable energy and automotive engineering fields, as well as a flautist and director of promotions for Rainbow City Band. Siva is excited to return to Santa Fe for his second year facilitating the Math discipline group.
Megan Hayes-Golding: SCIENCE DISCIPLINE FACILITATOR
Megan teaches physics at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta. Megan’s classroom now includes a mini-Maker Space to emphasize her motto that Science is Built Here. Examples this fall include the diddley bows, pinhole cameras, and solar cars they built and studied. In the spring, they’ll be trying their hands at a service project to make the campus’ challenge course accessible for students of all abilities. The key, she says, to making a project experiential is twofold: 1) give up your traditional notions of “covering content” and 2) allow students the time and space to genuinely reflect on the experience. Megan has blogged throughout her career in public and independent schools at http://kalamitykat.com and on Twitter from @mgolding. Before finding her way to the classroom, she worked in the factory automation and internet security industries. Megan graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with a MAT in Secondary Mathematics Education and from Auburn University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Materials Engineering. Megan is looking forward to returning for her second year facilitating the Science Discpline group.
Lori Taylor: ARTS DISCIPLINE FACILITATOR
Lori Taylor is the education specialist at The Silk Road Project, an organization founded in 1998 by Yo-Yo Ma to promote innovation and learning through the arts. Lori helps to design and administer The Arts and Passion-driven Learning Institute in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education that brings over 100 teachers and artists together every August. Prior to joining the Silk Road Project, Lori served as Project Director for the Actors' Shakespeare Project in Boston. Lori helped forge ASP, one of the largest professional theater companies in New England, and directed and facilitated ASP's Incarcerated Youth at Play program, community programs, artist residence programs and summer teacher institute with Salem State University. Before working at ASP Lori directed the Teacher Residency Program at The Met in Providence, Rhode Island, a teacher training program that targets young adults from urban communities who aspire to be teachers. Lori worked for nine years at the Cambridge School of Weston where she designed and taught history courses, integrated studies courses, was Dean of Faculty and founded The Shakespeare Ensemble. She was a teaching assistant to Ted Sizer at Brown University where she received her M.A.T. as well as personal assistant to legendary cartoonist HerBlock at The Washington Post. Lori is excited to return to the ISEEN summer institute and collaborating with a new cohort of teachers committed to exploring the power of arts in the lives of young people.
Cris Harris: ENGLISH DISCIPLINE FACILITATOR
English and humanities teacher Cris Harris is the Upper School Coordinator of Experiential Education at Hawken School, directs the Lucier Family Writing Center, serves as faculty chair of Hawken’s Student/Faculty Senate and has also directed Hawken’s three season Outdoor Leadership program for the last 15 years. He regularly teaches classes on poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, Southern Gothic Literature, and a humanities course with emphasis on ancient Mesopotamia, Palestine, India, China and Greece. As an evangelist for experiential programming, he’s had the opportunity to plan and execute a growing list of courses that rely on expeditionary learning, global immersion, service, and hands-on training, including adventures in northern India, Myanmar, Botswana, as well as more local explorations in Cleveland and the Allegheny National Forest. For two the last two years, he has worked in a problem based learning course on the contemporary Middle East designed to maximize student ownership, and is currently building an Integrated Service Learning program with some early success. In the classroom and in the field, he pushes students to take maximum responsibility for their own inquiry, and loves experimenting with different methods to challenge traditional assumptions about teaching and learning. Cris is looking forward to returning to the ISEEN summer institute and collaborating with another cohort of teachers dedicated to finding better ways to help kids discover themselves in literature, writing, and the world.
Meg Bailey: HISTORY DISCIPLINE CO-FACILITATOR
Meg Bailey's work with students is focused on empowering them to be at the center of the learning experience and to strive to be their best. Her practice is informed by over 25 years in Humanities classrooms, ranging from middle school history and English to high school history and senior electives in geography. Meg has also served as a coach, advisor, department head and grade level dean. As eighth grade team leader, she and her colleagues transformed the advisory program so that it was based on an Outward Bound experience. She was a founding teacher of the American School in London's course in Foundations in Character, Service and Leadership, a core part of its high school experiential education program. Before her twenty-four years in London, Meg taught at Princeton Day School in New Jersey, and she is currently teaching at Chadwick School in California. Using techniques more familiar in outdoor education than in the history classroom, she creates activities and lessons for an academic setting: problem-solving activities where student agency is required and valued. Her U.S. history students reflect on regular progress toward their goals as peer-leaders in discussion; in her Western Civilization class, cryptic clues about the Black Death require students first to agree on their process before attempting the solution; geography students review for the AP exam by taking up and then changing positions within the classroom as they recreate and apply a model of industrial location theory. Meg believes that engagement and learning are fostered in environments where students feel safe to take intellectual risks – and where they have fun. The heart of Meg's teaching is applying the experiential learning cycle of plan, do, reflect, apply, and transfer, whether in a classroom, on the river coaching crew or creating opportunities for leadership with her advisees on environmental service trips. Meg loved working with the ISEEN participants and facilitators at the first Summer Institute and is thrilled to return this year!
Judy Kisor: HISTORY DISCIPLINE CO-FACILITATOR
Whether in the hills of Britain, in the classroom, in an art museum or in the Chadwick canyon, Judy loves working with students to help them build competence and confidence in themselves. During her two decades at the American School in London Judy taught AP Art History, Major World Religions, Psychology, Western Civilization, and World Civilizations. A two-week wilderness expedition with students in South Africa inspired Judy to develop a course which would get students out of their urban, concrete classrooms into the green and damp British wilderness where they could learn about themselves, each other, and how to lead. With two colleagues, Judy started, and then managed, the Outdoor Leadership program. As Experiential Education Department Head, she oversaw the development and implementation of a required ninth grade course, Foundations in Character, Service and Leadership; worked with the health teacher to integrate community partnerships in the 10th grade Health and Wellness curriculum; and mentored the Peer Leaders. Currently at Chadwick School in California, she is teaching the History component of a ninth and tenth grade Global Studies/Humanities sequence and is working with over fifty students to maintain five acres of native plants in the school's canyon. Whether in the classroom or on the hills, Judy's pedagogical focus is on student ownership of their learning. Her classroom, she hopes, is like a trail group – a community of students facing challenges, working hard and working together to be their best academic and personal selves. While learning, practicing and fine-tuning the skills needed to be historians, Judy takes students through a sequence of experiential activities. These allow them to get to know and to trust one another, to take on leadership roles, and, in upper level courses, to take much of the responsibility for the production of knowledge in the classroom. Having participated in the ISEEN January Institutes as an outdoor program director, Judy is very excited to be working with Meg Bailey as the History/Humanities Co-Facilitator in the Summer Institute.
Lanting Xu: LANGUAGES DISCIPLINE FACILITATOR
Lanting Xu currently teaches Chinese and World Civilizations I at the American School in London, where she has also been serving as Head of World Languages Department since 2012. Prior to joining ASL, she developed the Chinese programs at La Jolla Country Day School and Bellarmine College Preparatory, both in California. Lanting has taught students from middle school through college levels. Her résumé includes teaching and leadership experience at the Middlebury Monterey Language Academy, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Harvard University, and Kenyon College. She is also the co-author of the textbook, “Huanying: An Invitation to Chinese.” A firm believer in learning as an embodied process, Lanting has always sought opportunities to help students live the language they are studying. In her classroom teaching she consistently challenges students to incorporate purpose, function and social norms in their communication; to help students further develop cultural competency, she also designed and implemented ASL’s global partnership program in China, as well as a travel-study program in Prato, Italy, where students examine the issues of social integration of the Chinese migrant community in Italy. In her leadership role Lanting incorporates the reflective teaching method in the world languages department. In addition to providing daily support for language teachers on instructional practices, she also takes the lead in streamlining the language curriculum according to learning outcomes, as well as conducting workshops on data analysis and Backward Design. Lanting holds an M. Div. and an M. Phil from Harvard University and Peking University respectively.