Mr. Halvorson

Stories

My most powerful personal experience in a learning community did not take place inside of classroom walls. In fact, I was in bed, missing my sixth-grade Christmas party due to the dreaded chicken pox. What timing! I had been looking forward to the event for weeks. Everyone was bringing in treats, and our teacher had a number of games and … Read More

Literacy is Powerful

Stories

My name is Milton Whitley. I am 57 years old and until five years ago, could barely read or write. School was especially hard for me. The teacher used to spank me with a big stick when I didn’t know something. It put fear in my heart and made it hard for me to learn. People called me retarded. I … Read More

4.4 speed

Stories

One of the most important things I learned is that practice makes perfect. I say this because I used to be the slowest person in the school. Therefore, I started practicing on my speed, getting my legs stronger, and doing so because I wanted to get faster. As the days went on, I recognized that I was getting faster after … Read More

Education is the key to everyday learning

Stories

The most important thing that I have learned and experienced is working with young children. I know that all my life helping kids has brought me great joy. Now I am a Sunday school teacher, and I work at a daycare/after school facility. Next school year, I will be assisting a daycare teacher who teaches two year olds. The career … Read More

Well Rounded Education is Best

Stories

I was in third grade when a very caring teacher, Mrs. DeCarlo, realized that although I was “smart,” I struggled in class and that maybe something was going on. I got evaluated for IQ and learning disorders and they discovered I was Dyslexic. Having a label to put with my struggles helped me to get the right interventions needed to … Read More

It had already been a long school year and it wasn't half over.

Stories

It had already been a long school year and it wasn’t half over. I was vice president of my daughter’s elementary school PTA and our school community was in its second year of a new principal. The start of the previous school year, we’d not only welcomed a new principal, but also a new assistant principal, new teachers, new students, … Read More

"I want to tell my mom about the skunk track!"

Stories

“What is that?” the boy asked the old man pointing at a spot in the mud. “Looks like a critter track. I bet you left one too,” said the old man, looking around at the muddy footprints on the rocks near the boy. The boy looks at his own tracks in the mud and on the rocks and asks, “Who … Read More

A church basement on the South Side of Chicago

Stories

I grew up going to my mother’s afterschool tutoring program in a church basement on the South Side of Chicago. It is the best learning community I’ve ever been a part of and the best learning experience I’ve ever had. That is high praise because I have been lucky enough to attend extraordinary schools and to have great professional development … Read More

We need a renaissance of creative thinking

Stories

As a consultant to early childhood teachers, I hear, daily, complaints about people being made to be with children in ways they believe to be injurious; between the current penchant for testing and the current belief that naming de-contextualized letters leads one to reading, and that everything is better taught to younger children, there is a great deal of pain … Read More

Randy Ross' Learning Story

Stories

I believe that learning is optimized when every student has an effective educational advocate(s). In my experience, great educational advocacy is exemplified by stalwart ‘door knockers’ such as Mr. Bishop. As a college-prep math major in high school (many moons ago), it was not until my junior year that I could take an elective. I opted for a course in … Read More