Sometimes when you fall, you fly.

Stories

I’ve always profited from taking risks with my education. Not to say that my most insightful papers were written in a batting cage, or that I had a moment of enlightenment whilst reading poetry on a 10 story ledge, but my experience has been that when you ignore that little doubtful voice in the back of your mind and jump … Read More

Suzuki violin

Stories

I think I learned more about teaching and learning from my training as a Suzuki violin teacher than from anything else I have studied. I first encountered this method as a traditional teacher who took a pair of students who had just moved to town from a big established Suzuki program elsewhere. It astounded me that the mother came to … Read More

The Three Most Important Questions in Education

Leadership, Learning, Organizational Change

It’s graduation season again – yet nobody seems to be celebrating. On college campuses, graduates are entering an economy in which the stable career paths of yesteryear are disappearing – and the specialized job opportunities of tomorrow have yet to appear. And in communities across the country, parents and young people are left wondering what exactly those past four years … 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

What's in that box?

Stories

In first grade my teacher, Ms. McDonald, came to class one day armed with a big cardboard box that was so big one of us could have fit inside it. We went quiet as we were all guessing what was inside and what this was all about. Ms. McDonald opened the box and pulled out another box that was white … Read More

My Poems

Stories

I am a high school English teacher. The learning communities that I have been a part of that were most powerful were my graduate classes in literature. In most of them a group of 15 or 20 people who loved literature sat in a circle and discussed novels and stories and poems. We batted about ideas, we interpreted and reinterpreted, … Read More

I want our children to be taught how to think!

Stories

I was educated in England and best remember my High School English teacher, a woman who inspired through enthusiasm. She was in love with language and literature, and her unfailing, bouncing enthusiasm and permanent grin enthused us all.There were no non-participants in that class – the boys at the back of the class sat up, listened, read the texts, and … Read More

Professor Geer

Stories

It was Bill Geer who launched me on my “life of unlearning.” In fact, Professor Geer (as we insisted upon calling him no matter how often he said ‘call me Bill’), challenged us to live just such a life, taking the term from Lincoln Steffens’ essay. It was, he would bellow from the front of the class room, “a damn … Read More

"Prison gave me a sense of urgency."

Stories

My soul looks back and wonders how I got over. How I stumbled past classrooms that couldn’t hold my attention into jail cells that couldn’t hold my hunger for knowledge. I’ve come to realize that a thousand baby steps led me to prison, steps that aren’t always definable, aren’t always recognizable. But the steps that took me away from the … Read More

Mr. Riggs

Stories

After a somewhat rocky start in elementary school I had a life changing experience in Mr. Riggs' 5th grade classroom. What I remember is how my love of learning grew that year, particularly learning in math and science. Mr. Riggs had a way of luring us into the ideas he was trying to teach in ways that made us want … Read More