First Grade

Stories

My first school experience. Color the apple red. Important. Neat. Concrete. Reading Group Watch friends like a hawk. Make sure to open to the same page. Heart pounding concentration. Listen-watch-listen-watch. Carefully now, See Dick run. Run, run Dick. See Jane run. Run, run Jane. “No Dear, we are here at the bottom of the page.” I stare hard at the … Read More

I, the teacher

Stories

I learn so much from my students. I teach ESOL — English for Speakers of Other Languages — and from my students I learn about the world. Although I’m teaching kids in public school right now, I previously taught adults. One of my most powerful learning experiences happened with my adult class at New Neighbors Education Center in Alexandria. Over … Read More

Swimming by YouTube

Stories

It started innocently enough. An email from a friend suggesting that we do a super-short-distance all-women triathlon near where I live. Well, that’s easy! No, I didn’t know how to swim (not-drowning was about as far as I could go), I didn’t own a bike (other than the broken-down oversize man’s bike under the house that I’d rescued from a … Read More

Alec Wyeth's Learning Story

Stories

Larry Myatt’s story is much like one of mine. I had a passion to be a surgeon and in high school I read all the books I could find on the heart and heart surgeons. During my junior year I spent a month at Bellevue Hospital in NY volunteering in the Recovery Room. I observed surgery and spoke with patients. … Read More

Wood shop was something my Counselor advised me not to take.

Stories

I remember very little from any of my classroom experiences in high school which alone says something. Other than playing basketball and baseball, and having our own 6-piece dance/rock-n-roll band – I played guitar – I do remember three things which are the only things that stand out: wood shop, my presentation in sophomore English on jazz, and my research … Read More

Jenerra Williams' Learning Story

Stories

At Mission Hill School, we publish a weekly newsletter that goes out to our extended community, both near and far. Within the newsletter is a short piece from each classroom teacher. Usually, the piece is a reflection on the children’s learning and growth. As I searched a few weeks ago for a topic to write I stepped away from writing … Read More

Walking for Sanity

Stories

My whispered prayers today are for Mike, an ESL teacher from Hartford, Connecticut who I met last night. Mike explained that since the advent of “NCLB” his time testing students keeps growing. He now spends 61 out of 180 days each year testing rather than teaching his students. Another Hartford Special Education teacher, Candace, said she is spending the same … Read More

Kenneth Bernstein's Learning Story

Stories

Can we call this learning how important it is to empower students? My last year at Kettering Middle School, where I first taught, I had only two classes of 8th grade students, each of which I saw for two 73-minute periods a day, teaching them English, Reading, and American History. I wanted them to work on being able to tell … 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

Raechel Waddy's Learning Story

Stories

I could never narrow down the path of learning which has led me to this point in life. I can’t pin it all on one defining epiphany that woke me up and made me pay attention. I can tell about all the small things which have added to my experience. These things may be the “…so you can get into … Read More