From My Angle

Welcome to From My Angle, the blog of a life-long educator, a husband and a father of three boys. It is also my privilege to serve as Head of School at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas.

This blog reflects my passions: emerging issues in the ever-changing world of education, leadership and leadership development, and living life with the intent to be a person of impact.  I invite you to share perspectives “from your angle” on the issues and items I post to my blog!

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On Success & Mastery

One of the special moments of my restorative summer was a July celebration marking my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It was a joyful event, obviously, held amidst closest relatives and friends at the lakeside cabins in the Adirondack Mountains of New York where my family has gathered each summer for nearly six decades.

An event of this significance affords one multiple paths for reflection from which to choose, but I wondered most often about what enabled my parents to succeed and …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, ParishProfile, "life prep" on Tuesday August 5 at 01:49PM
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A Good Year, cont.

 

“My previous glimpses 

of a “good year” at Parish, through the lens of my Twitter account, have focused on our vision for what student-engaged teaching and learning looks like and how our unique uses of space support that vision.  Modern learners are powerful  learners – possessive of transferable skills as thinkers, creators and communicators – not just learned managers of content.  A key, and final, component of this vision for …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, Partnerships on Friday May 30 at 09:13AM
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A Good Year, Cont.

In this second blog post on “What A Good Year Looks Like,” I have selected tweets which demonstrate how powerful new spaces on Parish’s campuses promote the type of student-engaged, authentic and skill-building learning experiences which last week’s blog post featured.

Dynamic New Spaces: The Design Den at Midway and the addition of the Fleeger Family Kitchen and Nauslar Family Garden to Beasley STEM Center propel ParishSTEM to an even higher plane.


Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, ParishSTEM on Monday May 19 at 10:27AM
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What a "Good" Year Looks Like...

 “How’s your year been?”

If am asked this question once in the next several weeks, I will be asked it a dozen times. And, there is nothing wrong with it. After all, it is a safe and well-intentioned conversation starter when a parent engages me for a final school-year chat; when a head of school colleague reconnects with me at our association meeting next month; or when family and friends see me for the first time this summer.

The utility of this question is undeniable; …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in ParishProfile, community on Monday May 12 at 11:05AM
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High School Athletics: “The Game” Has Changed But The Purpose Shouldn’t

I recently read a compelling piece about the state of interscholastic athletics in my old hometown’s newspaper, Raleigh’s News and Observer. Long time columnist Tim Stevens opined that “high school sports will face challenges” even as the popularity of sports in our society remain at an all time high. I could not agree with him more, particularly when one considers athletics at the independent school level.

In my more than two decades in independent schools, I am not sure there is another …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in ParishProfile, ParishLeads, athletics on Tuesday April 8 at 12:49PM
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As Income Disparity Grows, Educators Face Challenges on Both Ends of the Spectrum

I recently attended the Tocqueville Society of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas luncheon at which Mayor Rawlings announced his plans to launch a task force to address poverty in Dallas. Quite accurately, the Mayor recognizes this issue as a root cause of the educational challenges facing the close to 200,000 children in Dallas living in poverty (according to a 2012 report from Children’s Medical Center) and as a threat to the continued vitality of our city.

I serve as the head of an …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in education reform, leadership, community on Wednesday March 19 at 03:45PM
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ParishArts: An Integral Part of the ParishProfile

In 2005, with the pace of change caused by the technological revolution reaching an irreversibly breakneck speed, a relatively unknown author named Daniel Pink published A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. It would become instantly impactful, spending over 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List and influencing the thinking of educators like me. 

In short, Pink argued that the conceptual age required "A Whole New Mind." The industrial and information ages had …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco on Wednesday March 5 at 02:48PM
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Perhaps the Most Important Piece...

Within the last week, students in my Upper School Leadership for the 21st Century class were introduced to the following quote:

“No creature can fly with just one wing. Gifted leadership occurs where heart and head – feeling and thought – meet. These are the two wings that allow a leader to soar.” (Primal Leadership, Goleman, McKee, Boyatzis, P. 26)

Typically, upon first reading, the words create some head scratching. What, after all, does “heart” have to do with leadership, a word often …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, ParishLeads on Thursday February 6 at 02:12PM
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Being "College Prep" is No Longer Enough

“The Degree Is Doomed.” The headline of Michael Staton’s Harvard Business Review blog post from January 8, 2014 caught my attention as I perused my Twitter stream earlier this month. As a father of 10th, 6th, and 3rd grade boys – not to mention head of a “college prep” school, the post certainly warranted a closer look.

Staton’s major points are relatively straight-forward:

  • Higher education is “in the midst of dramatic, disruptive change;” he refers to this process as “unbundling.”
  • As a …
Posted by Mr. David Monaco in definitive preparation, vision, Higher Education, "life prep" on Thursday January 23 at 03:37PM
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Making Space for Modern Learning & Final Thoughts from My Excellent College Adventure

In recent blog posts, I have shared observations from my fall visits to a handful of highly regarded colleges and universities, including my tour of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (also known as the d.school). Given Parish's signature program, ParishSTEM, and our own Design Den and Beasley STEM Center, I felt this experience deserved its own reflection.

Stanford’s d.school represents the growing trend, both on higher-education campuses and in communities across …

Posted by Mr. David Monaco on Wednesday January 8 at 11:01AM
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