When I first started teaching, the school I worked at was still using carbon paper to create triplicates of each student report. To be fair, it was a long time ago. So, I sat down at my computer and created a simple spreadsheet to create, merge, format and print as many copies of the reports as needed. The next day, the principal had me running a tutorial for all the other teachers. Thus began my career in education technology!
It’s been a while since I’ve been responsible for a classroom of students, but I was always interested in Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins. He’s viewed as controversial by some, but what rings true to me is the fundamental belief of starting with a goal and working backwards from there. This seems like a great strategy for the classroom or for life. We should always be able to answer the question, “What are you doing and why are you doing it?”
My favorite teaching honor was when the seniors voted me “Coolest Teacher” of the year. I was teaching the Desktop Publishing elective to help them work on their yearbook layouts. I ended up turning it into a Design Theory course and took them to an exhibition on Henry Dreyfuss at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. I guess it worked! I’ve also been fortunate to get some attention for a few projects I’ve worked on. NYTimes Bestseller List, 15 million copies sold and 2million+ kids registered in over 191 countries for The 39 Clues Series, published and produced by Scholastic Inc. SIIA Codie Awards Best Professional Development Product or Services for Educators and Best Post-Secondary Education Instructional/Curriculum Solution for Seminars on Science, at the Museum of Natural History.
MA, Education Leadership Teachers College, Columbia University New York, NY BA, Sociology Wesleyan University Middletown, CT
Schools and education are major themes in our NYC household. My wife is a Special Education teacher for middle and high school students, my 14 year old son is a rising high school freshman, and my 11 year old daughter is a rising 6th grader. We also just got a brand new puppy, who will be the happy beneficiary of all their attention this summer!