Learning To Learn

Stories

I believe the most important thing to learn is to learn how to learn. I’ve been in school for ten years and from my experience with my studies I realize that I would be no where if I didn’t know how to successfully learn. I remember very vividly a time when learning was key to moving forward. I was in … Read More

Learning a Lesson

Stories

I was in the fifth grade at Barnett Shoals Elementary School, a small elementary school in Athens, Georgia. My best friend was Alexis. We’ve been friends since third grade, and we became very close. I didn’t have that much when I was a kid. Even though she was my friend, I wanted her purse because I didn’t have one. I … Read More

Honoring The Kiss

Stories

When I entered 1st grade in 1939, Mrs. Dickerson, a kind, soft spoken, gentle woman was our teacher. One day, she assigned some quiet seat work to the class and then invited my friend Donnie and me to sit by her and read with her. Neither of us knew that she was giving us some individualized attention because we were … Read More

Flunking Out to Figure It Out

Stories

I was a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, and I had just gotten back into school after flunking out my freshman year, so I thought I was ready to get serious, but I wasn’t exactly confident about my prospects. I took a course on African-American Music & Literature with Craig Werner, and for the first time, a light went … Read More

A beacon of hope — in apartheid South Africa

Stories

In a Cape Town, South African Colored high school rife with the inequalities of apartheid, Mrs. Hilda Levin, my English teacher, represented a beacon of hope and encouragement. She was a White teacher, venturing each day into the Colored neighborhood where I lived (apartheid’s success was evident in our tendency to think in terms of racial categories); a courageous act … Read More

What a Difference a Word Makes

Stories

In 9th grade my English teacher would say to us, “PEOPLE, we are going to begin an essay today.” At first I thought it was a mistake. People? Really? But again and again she referred to us with a word that meant to me respect, acceptance and relevance. We were important to her, we were important in the classroom, we … Read More

Jan Resseger's Learning Story

Stories

My primary school in an upwardly mobile neighborhood of a small Western town in the early 1950s was new and clean. The floor was vinyl, the walls a pale pastel. Dim round ceiling lights produced what was said to be the correct amount of light without glare. Desks in rows, we were arranged in alphabetical order. Paragraph by paragraph we … Read More

Barnett Berry's Learning Story

Stories

I had a few powerful teachers who shaped my long career in advancing teaching as a 21st century profession. One was Gloria Smith — who taught me 9th grade civics (1970) and gave me a framework at 14 years of age for making a disciplined and educative case against the Vietnam War. Gloria was very sympathetic to my developing anti-war … Read More

Andrew Margon's Learning Story

Stories

A great teacher’s lesson can give you goosebumps and if you’re lucky, mindbumps too. Marlene was my English Teacher and Choir Director in High School. She was everywhere. If your jacket smelt like stale cigarette smoke she would let you have it. In the classroom, she shined some light into your lazy, dormant, misunderstood, overactive, apathetic or whatever-other-state your adolescent … Read More