IBSC Building Blocks of Boyhood

IBSC Building Blocks of BoyhoodOctober 22 - 24, 2023
Presbyterian Day School
Memphis, Tennessee, United States

A Conference for Teachers and Leaders in Boys' Elementary Schools



STEM 1.0: Embedding Student Well-Being in School Culture
Prior to the pandemic Crescent School, along with alumnus Greg Wells, launched an approach to student well-being based on the principles of STEM (Sleep soundly, Think clearly, Eat smarter, Move move). Now post-pandemic the importance of mental health sits at the forefront of education. Embedding STEM 1.0 into school culture provides boys with the tools they need to succeed and thrive.
Presenters: Sandra Boyes and Trish Cislak, Crescent School (Canada)

Significance of Water in Daily Life: Service Learning and Curriculum Integration
How can you guide students through the Harvard thinking routine “Identify, Feel, Imagine, and Say?” Throughout this cross-curricular unit that begins with A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, students' social-emotional and content-area learning merge to build empathy. Students participate in perspective taking and considering different options.
Presenters: Ivy Phillips, Diane Perry, Sherry Creasman, and Terri Jarratt, Presbyterian Day School (United States)


Building a Teacher Research Culture
Since 2014, St. Christopher’s School has operated the Center for the Study of Boys with a mission dedicated to promoting best practices in engaging and teaching boys through research, professional development, and programming. Over the past decade we have used research as a guide to support our boys and their families to reach their full potential. Join us for a workshop designed to explore strategies for building a research culture within an independent boys’ school.

Experienced educators who coordinate the work of the Center for the Study of Boys in Richmond lead the workshop. They have successfully implemented a teacher research program at St. Christopher’s School and have seen positive results—while learning many pitfalls along the way. Hear their stories, challenges, and strategies and gain practical tips and resources for promoting a research culture in your school.
Presenters: Laura Sabo, Derek Porter, and Jen O’Ferrall, St. Christopher’s School (United States)

Building Boys Through Ritual: Character Education in Chapel Programs
Discuss ways to organize school chapels in boy-friendly ways that facilitate the flourishing of boys in regard to character education and spiritual formation from a Christian perspective. Explore organizational strategies to best utilize the time in which your school meets for chapel. Small-group discussion follows the presentation.
Presenter: Tony Rudzena, Presbyterian Day School (United States)

Laying the Foundation: Values, Leadership, and Community
Does the idea of designing and implementing a curriculum that simultaneously integrates core values, leadership, and inclusion all while teaching your grade level content feel overwhelming?

Explore ways to create and support opportunities that strengthen your boys’ capacity to lead, through formal and informal instruction. Discuss how to help students recognize and develop their core values and leadership qualities while strengthening the foundation that will set them apart and up for success. Examine the elements of a more formal approach that allows faculty to collaboratively implement an integrated yearlong curriculum with a focus on monthly core values through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to provide common language and establish consistent expectations for all students.

Intentionally and actively fostering a culture of leadership and community while teaching the whole boy means more than creating a strong and diverse academic curriculum. Through both structure and guidance, learn how to provide opportunities to develop a culture of leadership and foster an inclusive community with and for your students and their families.
Presenter: Jen O’Ferrall, St. Christopher’s School (United States)

A Holistic Approach to Character Education: Building Boys Making Men
Presbyterian Day School celebrates 75 years this fall. With our mission of striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we take a holistic approach to education, nurturing the heart, soul, mind, and body of each boy. For over 20 years, our character education program, Building Boys Making Men (BBMM), has played a vital role in the development of each boy and has been woven into every aspect of the school. The purpose of the program is to give the boys a vision and definition of manhood as well as to encourage them to make proper choices in their teenage years, strengthen father-son relationships, and strengthen school-parent relationships.

To give the boys a vision and definition of manhood, we recognized seven virtues that we feel will help each boy grow in his understanding of what it means to be a man. We approach each virtue intentionally, spending a month talking, discussing, teaching, and acting on just one virtue. From our chapels, class meetings, mentoring, Virtue Breakfasts,  father-son events, Virtue Reality (community service), seminar classes, everyday teachable moments, parent meetings, and other events, we truly feel that BBMM is not just a program but it is who we are.
Presenters: Mark Fruitt and Palmer Albertine, Presbyterian Day School (United States)

Equity for Boys in Action: The Story of Literacy Implementation in One Memphis School
Post COVID-19 literacy rates for students in public schools declined to 14% in Memphis and 32% in the state of Tennessee (as measured by the third-grade ELA state assessment).  In response, Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR) created the Memphis Literacy Institute (MLI), which aims to equip schools for literacy success such that every student in Memphis would experience the dignity and equity of reading on grade level. We'd like to tell you the story of our work as we believe this story highlights three key things boys need in literacy instruction to be successful and eager readers:

  1. strategic, early oral language development,
  2. a school-wide structured literacy approach to instruction, and
  3. an infusion of joy and curiosity across literacy experiences.

Presenter: Megan Salemi, Memphis Teacher Residency


Escape the Classroom! Designing and Teaching in an Outdoor Space

Delve into research on the benefits of teaching in an outdoor setting for children and the PDS faculty vision for an outdoor space tailored specifically to boys. We know boys benefit from hands-on, experiential learning in natural, outdoor settings. Get a reminder of the impact that nature has on boys’ physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Explore key planning events, group strategies, design concepts, and proven research.
Presenters: Jackson Boyd and Stephanie Taylor, Presbyterian Day School (United States

Behind the Mask: Uncovering Boys' Confidence in Emotional Expression

Traditional expectations of masculinity have cut off our boys from their emotional, authentic selves. Hear how we educated boys on emotional expression and the use of masks and got them thinking about how they might be using a mask to hide their own emotional expression. The undertaking helped boys build confidence in their emotional expression.

Explore materials and findings from the 2022-23 IBSC Action Research conducted with sixth grade boys. Learn how traditional views of masculinity hold our boys back from self-expression. Discover how hand-out activities, such as mask making, not only build emotional literacy but also boys' confidence in expressing their authentic feelings. Presenter: Rosa Tutor, St. Louis School (United States)

PDS Elementary Learning Walk

More details coming soon. 
Presenter: Laura Glenn, Presbyterian Day School (United States)