Saturday, May 4, 2013

Build relationships (don't run away from students): That's the key message in Dennis Littky's 2004 book The Big Picture: Education is Everyone's Business

I saw this post at Rita's TED presentation:

I posted the following reply to Tom Comerford's post:

In 2002, I switched careers and started learning to become a math teacher.   I was told by a teacher to tell my students three things:  Which football team I support, my age and where I went to university.  "After that, the only thing to talk about is the textbook."   This is the standard "just stick to academics.  Send the kid to the guidance counselor for any emotional questions."

Then I read Dennis Littky's book in 2005 (The Big Picture:  Education is Everyone's Business) ... you can learn more at  and  BigPicture d o t   org.  I heard his interview on NPR on April 25, 2005.  I visited his school in Providence, Rhode Island.  I read Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski's book  "Leaving to Learn."  Now I know that it's important to build relationships with students and let them steer the discussions.   I begin every class with "What do you want to discuss today?" and I listen, on twitter, email, facebook and I maintain connections with students that were in my class five years ago.   Bravo to your daughter.   She will deliver a special "thank you" to that 6th grade teacher if she keeps in touch and visits the class, even virtually, and becomes a mentor to some of her 6th grade teacher's current students.   

The key is to transform education one relationship at a time.   
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