What Teachers Need: Passion in the Era of Efficiency, Part I | Brent Kaneft | 15 Min Read

November 21, 2022

“Everything that is soulful in life is inefficient.”

– Kanul Shah

For a professional development workshop this fall, we designed a “Teacher Movie Day”[1]I am happy to send anyone the PowerPoint if they want to do this activity with their faculty. Just send me an email: [email protected]. for our faculty. We featured a series of movies where one of the stars is a teacher—Kindergarten Cop, School of Rock, Wonder, Harry Potter, etc.—and highlighted specific scenes that related to the daily activities of teaching. When Dolores Umbridge took over “The Defense Against the Dark Arts” course, clip number two, we asked teachers, “How do we balance theory and application in our classrooms?” After Ms. Honey visits Matilda at home and confronts an irate Danny DeVito, our third clip, we asked teachers to discuss, “What boundaries are needed between parents and teachers/school? What are some (un)healthy expectations parents have for their child’s experience?” For an exit ticket, teachers reflected on their favorite scene from the reel of clips. Ms. Honey’s home visit in Matilda received the second-most votes for the favorite clip, and teachers cited the desire to go above and beyond for our…

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1 I am happy to send anyone the PowerPoint if they want to do this activity with their faculty. Just send me an email: [email protected].

Brent Kaneft

Brent Kaneft is Head of School at Wilson Hall School, a PK-12 independent school, in South Carolina. He holds a master’s in literature from James Madison University and earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Indiana University (Bloomington) in May 2022. Since 2016, Brent has led teacher workshops on how to translate Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) research strategies into the classroom, and since 2020, he has focused on research-informed practices in the areas of social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and equity and inclusion. Brent’s recent publications include "The Belonging Apocalypse: Woke Bypassing, Contemplative Practices, and a Way Forward for DEI" (IntrepidEd News) and "The Problem with Nice: Moving from Congenial to Collegial Cultures" (Independent School Magazine).