Learn about readings by Neil Postman, Lois Hetland, Howard Gardner, Dennis Yuzenas, Abe Fischler, Dan Pink, Thomas Friedman, John Corlette, Will Sutherland, Tom vander Ark, Marshall Thurber and other innovative educators.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
What can we do to improve schools?
What is Next?
What can each of us do to turn big schools into small schools?
What can each of us do to help small schools become stronger?
Just keep asking those two questions. The answer will come.
We can help small schools succeed.
Become a mentor. Small schools need adults to come into the school and to listen to questions from students. As a mentor, your role is easy: Make sure the students you talk with are given something unconventional. Give them a role model.
What Can We Do? Let’s get going…
1. Visit a middle school. There is one task that a teacher can’t do or pay for: Getting an adult to speak with a small group of students in a class and to answer their questions. Your time will spark something in the brains of the kids. A teacher can’t always make that happen. You can. You are a mentor.
2. Record yourself and post the video on youtube. Send the link firstname.lastname@example.org. Let students hear your answers to: What do you remember from school?
What did you do to learn to read? What did you like to read?
What books or articles or magazines do you recommend others to read? Tell us about an article that you read recently.
What did you learn in school that you really value today?
What did you learn outside school that you use in your life today?
Do you remember a teacher’s name? Tell the camera the name of that teacher and why that teacher sticks out in your memory.
3. Become a phone mentor. One phone call per day. Just five or six calls each week.
4. Ask to become a mentor to a class. The best teacher is a facilitator who allows mentors (adults who are not teachers) to talk with and listen to students..
5. Read some of these books:
A Whole New Mind and Free Agent Nation by Dan Pink
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and anything on snopes.com Studio Art by Lois Hetland
http://www.pz.harvard.edu Project Zero’s site at Harvard university for continuing education, click on “products and services” and join the mailing list. Ask your child’s teachers and principal to subscribe to learn what’s new and effective.
I am a taxpayer and I believe that teachers, students, principals and parents need descriptions of a new way of teaching. I wake up every morning with Dr. Fischler's question in my head: "How do you become a visible change agent in this environment?" and "Time is a variable" and "The Student is the Class." The words of Daniel H. Pink, Will Sutherland, John Corlette, Eliot Levine, Elliot Washor, Charles Mojkowski and Dennis Littky inform my daily work.