Tag Archives: Louise Hindle

The Gift of Giving

By Louise Hindle, IEA Program Manager

Supporting Gifted ChildrenIt’s that time of year when we rack our minds to recall, imagine, or anticipate the ‘perfect’ gift. Whether that perfect gift is for a holiday party, for Christmas, for Hanukkah – it just is, unrelentingly, ‘that’ time of year.

Trying to answer why we give is perhaps more complicated. We may give because there is an expectation, arguably enforced upon us by the commercial world in which we live and struggle to escape or hide from; we may give because we feel obliged to do so; but most of all, I’d like to think most of us give because we want to demonstrate our love and appreciation towards our family and our community.

Gift giving does not, of course, have to be a physical or monetary gesture. A gift can be an act of altruism and at IEA, there are many acts of altruism performed daily. My fabulous co-workers help each other with everything and anything daily; Academy teachers give their time and energy in so many ways beyond anything written in an IEA Letter of Agreement; our volunteers turn in to the office regularly and assist us with all manner of tasks; and our parents act with enormous help and initiative during class and in between sessions by recommending us and keeping us growing. These manifold acts are both similar to and different from what we might understand as philanthropy but they are, nonetheless, real gifts upon which a small not-for-profit organization depends.

Read more about gift giving and gifted youth.

Teaching the Gifted

By Louise Hindle

Louise is IEA’s Academy Coordinator. A British import, Louise graduated from the University of Manchester with a B.A. Honors Degree in English Literature and Language, completed her post-graduate teacher training at The University of Cambridge, and recently completed her dissertation in Educational Leadership and Innovation with the University of Warwick. Louise has 20 years of experience in education as a high school literature teacher, lead teacher, administrator, adviser, and consultant. She is also the parent of three fun and active school-aged children.

teaching-gifted-students

Louise teaches a group of gifted students at an IEA Academy Genius Day

Somewhere in the middle of England, somewhere in the mid-nineties, my former self – three years into my teaching profession as an English Literature teacher, new in my role as second-in-faculty – landed the golden opportunity to teach the brightest 10th graders in the school, the ‘top-set’. This 10th grade top set, as we called it, comprised of thirty-two specially selected boys and girls all destined, according to their assessment data, to achieve the highest grades possible in English Literature state examinations. My former self assumed this would be the ‘dream ticket’, that I would be confronted with eager minds, self-motivated, confident young people with similar abilities. After all, if they’d been identified as the ‘top set’, teaching would be straightforward, without barriers, without learning challenges. These kids were high potential, they were gifted, therefore teaching them would be easy – right? How wrong I was, and how quickly I learned to address these misconceptions.

Read the lessons Louise learned about teaching gifted children!

Summer Academy at The Huntington – A Scholar’s Paradise

By Louise Hindle

Louise is IEA’s Academy Coordinator. Academy offers K-8th grade students challenging enrichment classes that focus on exploration and application of knowledge.

A group of Summer Academy students enjoys The Huntington's gardens and has fun with new friends made over lunch

A group of Summer Academy students spends lunchtime enjoying The Huntington’s gardens and having fun with new friends

This year, IEA had the tremendous opportunity to host both 3-week Summer Academy sessions at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, that scholar’s paradise situated in the center of San Marino, known and loved by curious minds near and far, young and not so young! It was a boon to our community to enjoy this remarkable location, and more, to begin to appreciate how such partnering might enrich our classes further. As we conclude our inaugural Academy program at The Huntington, we look back at the summer sessions through the eyes of our most important critics: the Academy students themselves!

See more highlights from Summer 2014 Academy

Chapter 1: The One Thing Needful – What Is It?

By Louise Hindle

Louise Hindle is IEA’s Academy Coordinator. A British import, Louise graduated from the University of Manchester with a B.A. Honors Degree in English Literature and Language, completed her post-graduate teacher training at The University of Cambridge, and has recently completed her dissertation in Educational Leadership and Innovation with the University of Warwick. Louise has 20 years of experience in education as a high school literature teacher, lead teacher, administrator, adviser, and consultant. IEA’s Academy program, described here, provides elementary and middle school students with challenging enrichment classes that focus on exploration and application of knowledge.

Mr. Gradgrind

Mr. Gradgrind

“Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts….Plant nothing else, and root out everything else… nothing else will ever be of any service,” declares Mr. Gradgrind in Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times. Gradgrind is, of course, a grotesque parody of all that education shouldn’t be. Ingrained in his face, Gradgrind, like the educational system he advocates, is “inflexible, dry and dictatorial,” demanding only closed-answer responses with absolutely no space to think, let alone enquire. Inexorable in his approach, Gradgrind looks at his room of students and sees “empty vessels,” vessels he must fill to the brim with the facts he determines most useful. The one thing needful in this context is a 19th century industrialized utilitarian view of education: keep it if it’s “useful,” lose it if it’s not, and let’s not think about who decides what’s useful. Furthermore, it’s an educational system where the distance between the teacher and the students is a steadfastly vast unexplored wasteland, devoid of personal interaction, engagement or – dare we say it – enthusiasm for teaching and learning.
Read Louise’s reflections on “the one thing needful” for our bright young minds!

Looking for Shakespeare? – Try ‘Looking for Shakespeare’ with Andre Martin

By Ellie S. and Charlotte F.

IEA’s Academy program provides young gifted students with challenging enrichment classes that focus on exploration and the application of knowledge. This fall’s Academy session offers a variety of courses, including the new class Looking for Shakespeare, taught by Independent Shakespeare Company actor Andre Martin.

Ellie and Charlotte are 11-year-old Academy students who attended Looking for Shakespeare, an event held by IEA in collaboration with the Independent Shakespeare Company. This is a post Ellie and Charlotte wrote about their experience at this event.

Ellie and Charlotte discuss Shakespeare with actor and Academy instructor Andre Martin

Ellie and Charlotte discuss Shakespeare with Independent Shakespeare Company actor and IEA Academy instructor Andre Martin

A friend of ours involved with IEA invited Charlotte and me, Academy veterans, to a taster for one of IEA’s new fall classes, Looking for Shakespeare. That friend was Louise Hindle, Academy’s new Program Coordinator. The taster was an invite to attend the play As You Like It performed by the Independent Shakespeare Company (or ISC) at Griffith Park last Thursday evening. In addition, as students of Academy, we were able to take a private tour of the backstage area with ISC actor and teacher of the new class, Andre Martin. This was a special treat. After we took the tour, we did a few fun activities with Andre to give us an even better idea of what the class might be like. Andre was very enthusiastic about teaching us, and we all loved learning from him.

The backstage tour was one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening, especially since Charlotte and I share a love of performing Shakespearean scenes. Before the play began, Andre led us all onto the stage and then took us behind the scenes and downstairs to the backstage area, where we could see the actors getting ready, putting on make-up and preparing their costumes. Andre explained some of the plot and introduced the characters from the play. We were lucky enough to meet some of the actors, including the man who played both the evil and benevolent Duke in the production as well as the actor who played Orlando, one of the lovers.

Andre gives Academy students an exclusive backstage tour

Andre gives Academy students an exclusive backstage tour

Following Andre, we left the stage and gathered on the grass for Andre to lead us in an acting game. “Imagine how a kind Duke would walk,” Andre told us. Charlotte, the other students and I walked in circles around Andre, imagining ourselves as a charitable person in authority. “Good,” Andre said. “Now how do you think a lover would walk?” A few of us wandered aimlessly, donning a dreamlike expression, and he laughed. I was beginning to wish my schedule would permit me to take this class…

Andre also led the students in acting games that included walking like different characters

Andre also leads the students in acting games that include walking like different characters

Leading us back to our seats, Andre encouraged us to pay careful attention during the play and kindly offered to answer questions or confer with him during intermission. As Charlotte and I took our seats and waited for the play to begin, we started to chat about our activities with Andre. We both agreed that Andre’s class would be an amazing and informative class to take. We also conversed about some of the things we had already learned with Andre. He had explained to us the plot of the play and quizzed us on the characters. We also got to hear his insights and opinions on certain parts of the play, such as the famous “Seven Ages of Man” speech and the fascinating character, Touchstone. We both took pleasure in hearing and learning about all of these things. Andre was very fun and energetic while he taught and was excited when we expressed our love for and experience with Shakespeare.

Once the play started, we were immediately pulled into its plot. The skilled actors captured our attention with their life-like portrayal of emotions and character traits. Soon, we noticed the different styles of the costumes used to represent the differing groups in the play. The courtiers dressed in elegant, fancy dresses and suits, while the forest exiles were dressed in more practical clothing for their setting. Also, the characters traveling into the forest wore clothes they thought would be suitable but were not and so they had to change identity.

Both Charlotte and I appreciated the depth of the production. When it was over, we thanked Louise and Andre for inviting us to the inspiring performance. Any kid taking Andre’s class in the Fall will surely enjoy it, we thought. As for this special taster event: now that night was one we would never forget.

Interested in Academy classes for gifted Kindergarten – 8th graders? The fall session starts September 21. Sign up today!

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Meet Min-Ling and Louise!

We are excited to announce that we have two new additions to our IEA staff! Louise Hindle and Min-Ling Li have both been involved with IEA and our programs before and have recently joined the team as Program Coordinators. Get to know more about these amazing individuals who will be leading some of our programs this year!

Learn about Min-Ling and Louise!