FB pixel

Essentially Watkinson

Watkinson School’s blog about teaching and learning.

Recent Posts

Reflecting on the Success of David Hemingson ’82

It wasn’t exactly professional development, but we were there as professionals.  It wasn’t quite personal time, but it felt remarkably personal.  It wasn’t loud, showy or grand, but it was a big deal.  Late Wednesday afternoon, approximately forty or so colleagues and trustees traveled to Real Art Ways in Hartford, where our viewing of The Holdovers became

Read More »

Informed Citizenship: A Conversation with Dr. Bilal Sekou

On Wednesday, September 20, Dr. Bilal Sekou, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Hartford, visited our Global Studies Program Seminar to add to the discussion of their summer reading, The Bill of Obligations: 10 Habits of Good Citizens by Richard Haass and the role American citizenship plays in global citizenship. Dr. Sekou focused on our

Read More »
AI at private schools

Empowering Education: How Will AI Revolutionize Schools?

In the constantly evolving landscape of education, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool that has the potential to revolutionize the way private schools operate and enhance the learning experience for students. With its ability to process vast amounts of data and perform complex analyses in real-time, AI can be a valuable asset

Read More »
Professional development at private school.

Making Progress On Your Mission

Watkinson’s Head of School Teri Schrader regularly asserts that the true definition of being a progressive school is that you regularly make progress on how you deliver on your mission. One way that Watkinson does this is by annually offering faculty the opportunity to apply for summer Curriculum Development Grants. Working in cooperation with and

Read More »
Private school leader visits China to recruit international students.

Making Friends For Life

A Reflection on Traveling to China with APEX International After traveling almost 24 hours, our small group of American travelers, sponsored by APEX International, arrived in Guangzhou, China. At the airport, I was excited, but also increasingly anxious about my ability to work with families and meet students in this new country. As we stepped

Read More »

Sixth Graders Make Connections at Duncaster

When students take the skills they are working on out into the world, powerful learning happens. At the end of the last school year, under the guidance of English teacher Lisa Roberts, Watkinson’s sixth graders collaborated on a creative writing assignment with residents of Duncaster, a retirement community in Bloomfield, CT, just down the road

Read More »
high school age private school students build 3D printer

Upper School Tech Club Prevails!

At the end of last week, the upper school tech club, including Ben S. ’23, Jack M. ’25, Nick K. ’23, finished construction of a new 3D printer. When the previous Watkinson 3D printer stopped working, the club (under the leadership of Science Department Chair and Club Advisor Jean Kracke) looked into ways to repair

Read More »

The Bard

A deep exploration into the language of Shakespeare is important to Watkinson’s eighth graders. It’s a tradition, a rite of passage in fact. For almost thirty years, the study and performance of Shakespeare’s plays on Shakespeare Day has been a hallmark of the Watkinson middle school experience. This year, students applied new and refined skills

Read More »

Watkinson Eighth-Grade Milestones & Important Dates

Eighth grade is an important year in the life of a young person, as preparation continues for making the transition from Middle to Upper School. It is an exciting and pivotal time for building the foundation for future educational experiences in Upper School, college, and beyond. Keeping this in mind, our private school curriculum has

Read More »

A Joyous Morning with Renbrook School

Just prior to Thanksgiving, Watkinson had some important visitors from our sister private independent school, Renbrook School. Our four guests included: Their day included attending our All-School Meeting, the centerpiece of Watkinson’s community and culture. Then, as good visits often include a reunion, our guests reconnected with the children they used to teach. Amidst choruses

Read More »
boy at mic

Why A Fringe Festival, You Ask?

Creative Arts Program Director Stacy Donovan has wanted to bring the Fringe Festival experience to Watkinson for a while. She wanted to create the festival feel for the benefit of both those making and seeing art. “Imagine you went to your favorite arts fair and all the artists were there! As a teacher, I want arts

Read More »

Student Foundation Leads Fundraiser for Ukraine Relief

Watkinson’s Student Foundation, a club formed in the early 2000s, recently ran an outstandingly successful fundraiser to support relief efforts in Ukraine. In just over two weeks time, the private school students and their advisor, Dr. Andy Aavatsmark raised $1130 for World Central Kitchen, a global nonprofit that provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate,

Read More »

Interdisciplinary and Relevant

Jeff Sigler has been teaching science for over a decade. In his 4th year at Watkinson, Dr. Sigler is excited about the prospect of teaching a new course to his high school students.  The working title for the course is “Global Climate Change”.  While the course name isn’t settled, the motivating factors driving the proposed

Read More »

Necessity + Inspiration = Idea

What happens when an idea is the product of both necessity and inspiration?  A win-win, that’s what. Recently, Music Director Rob Thomas decided to revise his Music 6 Curriculum.  He describes the need: “in sixth grade, students come to Watkinson from all different schools. They have had differing levels of preparation and instruction, so there’s

Read More »

Middle School: You Should Expect To Thrive Now.

Hear how middle school has changed and why it’s important. On Character Development The middle school years are key for development of morals, values, and character.  Middle School Head Jenny Esposito reminds us, “When we allow students to collect, evaluate, think and decide on their own —generate work on their own, versus teacher-produced tests or

Read More »

A Teacher’s Passion Drives Student Engagement

Read how the 8th-Grade Tech Projects Class took a happy detour. At the end of 7th grade, Watkinson middle schoolers are introduced to their first elective options in their Watkinson education.  Eighth graders have two sets of electives, one set for the fall and another slate for the spring. It’s an exciting moment as it’s

Read More »

Preparing the Whole Athlete

Watkinson Rams Get Ready for the 2021-22 Athletic Seasons We are excited! Interscholastic athletics will return to Watkinson this fall. While our students participated in a variety of intramural sports over the course of the 2020-21 school year, we know that there is an elevated level of play and competition that comes when you compete

Read More »

Looking to Fall of 2021

Knowns and Unknowns as of May 21, 2021 Late spring is always a time of intense planning in school as we take up the important matters related to finishing the current year while simultaneously planning for the fall. This year, that intensity is more profound than ever as we contemplate what school will look like

Read More »

Like A Nimble Boxer

“Like a nimble boxer,” Watkinson has dodged the buffets of bad economic times, demographic troughs and constant competition to continue 140 years of serving central Connecticut’s students and families with an innovative and progressive educational model. The metaphor of Watkinson as a wily boxer is attributed to John Ratté, one-time Head of Loomis Chaffee, and

Read More »

Yes! Save me a spot.

Register for Info Session

"*" indicates required fields

Tell us how to contact you.


Tell us about your student.

How did you hear about Watkinson?