Teaching With Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach
Are you like one of these teachers? Does poetry sustain your soul?
The high school English teacher who carries around a laminated index card of a Goethe poem that he pulls out to recite to himself after a day in which his best hopes go awry.
The superintendent who, after a depleting and challenging year, sits down on the beach during his family vacation and comes across a poem in the New Yorker that inspires a whole new way to talk about scarcity and budgets with teachers.
The middle school principal who has students read Rudyard Kipling’s “If” during meetings of the discipline team.
The teacher who keeps a copy of May Sarton’s “Now I Become Myself” next to her bed stand to read each Sunday night to remind herself to face the new week and its forthcoming events with integrity and strength.
The former corporate lawyer who shares how reading Marge Piercy’s “To be of use” helped solidify her decision to leave the boardroom and begin teaching in a Chicago charter school.
Each and every day teachers show up in their classrooms with a relentless sense of optimism. Despite the complicated challenges of schools, they come to and remain in the profession inspired by a conviction that through education they can move individuals and society to a more promising future.
In Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach a diverse group of ninety teachers describe the complex of emotions and experiences of the teaching life – joy, outrage, heartbreak, hope, commitment and dedication. Each heartfelt commentary is paired with a cherished poem selected by the teacher. The contributors represent a broad array of educators: K-12 teachers, principals, superintendents, college professors, as well as many non-traditional teachers. They range from first year teachers to mid-career veterans to those who have retired after decades in the classroom. They come from inner-city, suburban, charter and private schools.
The teachers identified an eclectic collection of poems and poets from Emily Dickinson, to Richard Wright, to Mary Oliver to the rapper Tupac Shakur. It is a book by teachers and for all who teach.
The book also includes a poignant Foreword by Parker J. Palmer (The Courage to Teach), a stirring Introduction by Taylor Mali (What Teachers Make), and a moving Afterword by Sarah Brown Wessling (Teaching Channel).
Where Teaching with Fire honored and celebrated the work of teachers; Teaching with Heart salutes the tenacious and relentless optimism of teachers and their belief that despite the many challenges and obstacles of the teaching life, much is possible.
Pre-Order Teaching With Heart today at Amazon.com. Launch date is May 19, 2014.
Related Poetry Books
Teaching with Heart is a brand-new edition modeled on our best-selling Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach (2003) and Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead. In 2013, Teaching With Fire was named the #2 book on Edudemic's list of 50 Most Popular Books for Teachers.
Endorsements for Teaching With Heart
I wish I could afford to buy copies of Teaching With Heart for all the teachers I have interviewed in my 40 years of reporting. My budget can't handle that. Instead, I recommend that all of us non-teachers buy copies of this inspiring book for teachers we know. You will probably want one for yourself too.
– John Merrow, Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour, and President, Learning Matters, Inc.
Check out Merrow's full review of "Teaching With Heart" on his blog, Taking Note, where you can also read one of the poems featured in the new book, "Purple" by Alexis Rotella.
Teaching With Heart is the rarest kind of book: one that actually does justice to the full range of emotion and skill teaching requires. These remarkable poems selected by teachers and accompanied by their moving commentaries provide a personal and powerful antidote to the caricatures and misperceptions we often see in the headlines or popular culture, and speak to the heart of the teaching experience.
– Wendy Kopp, Founder, Teach For America & CEO, Teach For All
Although we understand that teaching is an intellectual activity, we also understand that it is a moral activity. To do it well we must engage both the mind and the heart. Teaching with the Heart is a wonderful combination of the heart and mind that all great teachers engage.
– Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Chair in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
At its best, teaching is like poetry: it inspires, challenges, and transforms. In this exhilarating collection, ninety teachers use poetry to illustrate the ups, downs, joys, frustrations, and, ultimately, the redeeming value of both teaching and poetry. In spite of the increasing demands on teachers, the disrespect with which they’re treated, and the appalling conditions in which so many work, these teachers, and millions of others, continue to practice their craft with courage, hope, and love. This book will be a bedside companion to teachers who need to know they are our nation’s unsung treasure, as well as a wake-up call to the nation about the value of its teachers.
– Sonia Nieto, professor emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds: Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Practices in U.S. Schools
As a poet and a teacher, I’m always looking for what is essential and how it can be of use. In Teaching with Heart, you will find both food and tools for anyone who wants to learn or teach. It inspires and models the use of what matters in life and community. A must for any classroom.
– Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakening and Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
"Warn the whole Universe that your heart can no longer live without real love." Those words from the poet Hafiz are the reason you must buy this book, as the best possible field guide to accompany you through the brambles, over the chasms, up and down the treacherous slopes that every teacher with heart traverses every day of the year, while carrying society's most sacred trust.
– Diana Chapman Walsh, president emerita, Wellesley College
Thank you to all the wonderful educators who contributed their reflection with their favorite poem.
Safaa Abdel-Magid has been teaching elementary-level classes in the Khartoum International Community School in Khartoum, Sudan, for four years. She was born and raised in Sudan, attended college in the United States, and moved back to Sudan after she finished college.
Richard H. Ackerman, a former school teacher and administrator, is a professor of educational leadership at the University of Maine. He is the coauthor of The Wounded Leader: How Real Leadership Emerges in Times of Crisis.
Nina Ashur has been an educator for more than thirty years in public schools, a community college, and a private university. Currently she is an associate professor and director of the Learning Enrichment Center at Azusa Pacific University, where for nineteen years she has coordinated a variety of academic support services and taught undergraduates.
Will Bangs is a middle school humanities teacher in Northampton, Massachusetts. He is a proud recipient of the Pioneer Valley Teacher of Excellence award. When he is not teaching, he’s usually hanging out with his family or writing music.
Mark Bielang has been superintendent of Paw Paw Public Schools in Michigan since 1995. Prior to that he was a high school principal, assistant principal, and teacher. In 2009–2010 he served as president of the American Association of School Administrators.
Hugh Birdsall began teaching high school French in 1977. Since 1995 he has taught English to speakers of other languages at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London, Connecticut. Since 2001 he has also served on the summer faculty at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Sandi Bisceglia is the executive director of the International Network of Principals’ Centers (INPC), originally founded at Harvard University, and past president of the Florida Association of School Administrators. As a twenty-three-year pre-K–8 public school principal emeritus, she now spends her time creating “conversation venues for school leaders” through INPC and the website http://southernmostleadershipnetwork.com.
Rachel Boechler is the superintendent of schools in the Fox Point–Bayside School District in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Previously, for five years she was the chief operating officer at CPS Human Resource Services in Sacramento, California. Her career spans twenty-nine years in various roles in K–12 education. Rachel has been engaged in the work of the Center for Courage & Renewal for over twelve years.
Jennifer Boyden taught creative writing, literature, and composition for nearly twenty years at various places, including Walla Walla Community College, Whitman College, and Soochow University in China. She also teaches independent writing workshops and is research coordinator for the Community Council in Walla Walla, Washington. She is the author of The Mouths of Grazing Things and The Declarable Future.
Annette Breaux is an education speaker, author, and consultant. A former classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, and teacher induction coordinator, she is the author of the best-selling 101 Answers for New Teachers and Their Mentors. She has also coauthored books with both Harry Wong and Todd Whitaker.
Emily Brisse has worked as an English teacher for nine years at Minnesota’s Watertown-Mayer High School. She earned her master of fine arts degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and loves teaching creative writing best.
Judy Sorum Brown teaches leadership for the public good through the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. She is also a writer and a poet. Her latest book is The Art and Spirit of Leadership.
Caridad Caro has been an educator in New York City public schools since 1995, teaching at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School for twelve years. She is currently at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx as a founding assistant principal.
Ruth Charney cofounded Northeast Foundation for Children and Responsive Classroom. She taught students from kindergarten through high school for over thirty-five years and worked with classroom teachers and school leaders to effect progressive change. She authored several books, including Teaching Children to Care.
Donna Y. Chin is a literacy coach and teacher of English as a second language at Shuang Wen School (P.S. 184) in Lower Manhattan. She has been teaching and coaching in the New York City public school system for fourteen years. She lives with her family in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Amy Christie taught third grade in New York City through Teach For America in 2001. In 2006 she founded and directed the college office at the Bronx Lab School. Currently she is the network director of college for Achievement First Public Charter Schools.
Kayleigh Colombero received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College and her master’s degree from Western New England University. She taught middle school and high school English and history for four years. She is currently the director of Project Coach and coordinator of urban education for Smith College.
Liam Corley has taught for about fifteen years. He is an associate professor of English at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Liam is spending 2013 to 2016 on military leave to serve as an instructor at the US Naval Academy. He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).
Michael L. Crauderueff has been a language teacher for thirty-five years, and is currently teaching high school Spanish and peace studies at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
Hannah Cushing is embarking on her eighth year of teaching high school language arts. Currently she has the honor to spend her days learning with and from the students at West High School, a setting IV emotional and behavioral disorders program in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Vicki Den Ouden has worked as an elementary school classroom, learning assistance, and reading intervention teacher for almost thirty years. After completing her master’s degree, she also taught university courses in literacy education. She resides in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Kent Dickson is a professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Previously he was a middle and high school teacher of Spanish in North Hollywood, California. He has been a teacher for eighteen years.
Brian Dixon is the founder of the Mentorship Academy, a project-based public charter school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He helps classroom teachers and school administrators with practical strategies to prepare today’s students for the changing world of tomorrow.
Nell Etheredge is a Teach For America (TFA) corps member teaching fifth grade in Baltimore City Public Schools. Before joining TFA, Nell was a legislative policy analyst with the Council of State Governments in Washington, DC, working in the areas of education and health policy.
Rachel Fentin is a first-year teacher in Detroit. She teaches fourth grade at University Prep Academy–Mark Murray.
Leatha Fields-Carey has taught in North Carolina in Johnston County Schools for twenty years. She currently teaches English and serves as the testing coordinator for Johnston County Middle College High School, a nontraditional public high school in Smithfield, North Carolina.
Lily Eskelsen García is vice president of the National Education Association. She began as a school lunch lady, became a kindergarten aide, and then became a sixth-grade teacher. Nine years later, she was named Utah Teacher of the Year. She is one of the country’s most influential Hispanic educators.
Maureen Geraghty has been teaching for over twenty years. Fifteen of those years have been in some type of alternative school setting. She has taught everything from girls’ fitness to US history and is currently teaching high school language arts. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Kathleen Glaser has over thirty years’ experience in public schools, serving as a teacher, principal, and college professor. She is a Center for Courage & Renewal facilitator, received the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award, and is a cofounder of the Chesapeake Public Charter School in southern Maryland.
Mel Glenn retired in 2001, after teaching thirty-four years of high school English. He is the author of twelve books for young adults, including Jump Ball, Split Image, and Who Killed Mr. Chippendale? and speaks across the country at conferences and schools. His website is www.melglenn.com.
David S. Goldstein is a senior lecturer at the University of Washington Bothell, where he has taught for fifteen years, and also serves as director of its Teaching and Learning Center. He is the recipient of the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award. His research and writing lie in the scholarship of teaching and learning as well as in ethnic American literature.
Veta Goler is arts and humanities division chair and associate professor of dance at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been a dancer and dance teacher for over thirty-five years. She is also a national Circle of Trust facilitator and leads retreats and workshops with the Center for Courage & Renewal.
Ronald Gordon has been teaching for forty years. He is full professor of communication at the Hilo campus of the University of Hawai’i. He teaches seniorlevel courses in listening, dialogue, and leadership, and is the author of On Becoming an Attuned Communicator and Actualizing: Mindsets and Methods for Becoming and Being.
Julie A. Gorlewski is assistant professor in the Department of Secondary Education at the State University of New York at New Paltz. In addition to serving as a parent advocate and education activist, she taught English in grades 7 through 12 for fifteen years. She has written several books and coedited Using Standards and High-Stakes Testing for Students: Exploiting Power with Critical Pedagogy.
Glendean Hamilton is a recent graduate of Smith College. She was a student teacher during the time of her commentary. Prior to that, she had numerous teaching internships while in college. In 2013 she will begin teaching sixthgrade English language arts in Lawrence Public Schools, Massachusetts.
Karen Harris is a lead teacher at the Favorite Poems Project’s Summer Institute for Educators and an English teacher at Brookline High School. She is the mother of two children, and guitarist, songwriter, and singer for the rock band the Vivs. She lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Amy Harter is in her fifth year of teaching. She currently works at Sheboygan Falls High School in Wisconsin, teaching sophomore and senior English, Advanced Placement literature, and theater arts. She maintains a professional, reflective teaching blog at www.universeastext.com, and looks forward to the rest of her career journey.
David Henderson has been involved in pre-K–12 education for over twenty years. He currently teaches educational leadership at Montana State University in Bozeman, and serves as a facilitator with the Center for Courage & Renewal. He continues to study and research the intersection of the inner life of leaders with their practice of leadership.
Mary Beth Hertz has been teaching in Philadelphia since 2002. She is certified in four different areas and holds a master’s degree in instructional technology. She was named an ISTE Emerging Leader in 2010, and in 2013 was PAECT Outstanding Teacher of the Year and an ASCD Emerging Leader.
Julia Hill began teaching in 1998 with one trial-by-fire year with Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta. In the time since, she has pursued her passion for bringing progressive educational philosophy to urban communities from Minneapolis to the South Bronx and currently works as a reading specialist in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Kevin Hodgson has been teaching sixth grade for ten years at the William E. Norris Elementary School in Southampton, Massachusetts. He is also the technology liaison with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project and writes regularly about teaching and composition on his blog, Kevin’s Meandering Mind
Dennis Huffman has been program director of Prince George’s Community College at University Town Center in Hyattsville, Maryland, since 2000. He grew up on an Ohio apple farm and holds a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language and a doctorate in community college education from George Mason University.
Christine Intagliata spent thirty years as a freelance writer and producer of nonfiction television and videos. She is working toward a dual master’s in elementary education and special education with the Urban Teacher Center, a clinical master’s program that trains teachers and places them in urban schools. She is a teaching resident in the second grade at Wheatley Education Campus in Washington, DC.
Gregory John has worked in education for thirty-six years—thirteen as a teacher, twelve in educational leadership, and eleven as a school principal. He now serves students as a principal at Starr King Elementary School in San Francisco, where students from all walks of life come to learn how to read, write, think, and navigate their differences with grace.
Katie Johnson has taught in primary grades in Maine and Washington for thirty years. She has published books about writing (Doing Words, More Than Words, and Reading into Writing) and about movement and vision (Red Flags for Primary Teachers). Leaning more toward poetry lately, she admires Billy Collins and Valerie Worth.
LouAnne Johnson is a teacher and the author of several books, including Dangerous Minds, Teaching Outside the Box, Kick-Start Your Class, and the young-adult novel Muchacho. She also writes for young readers under the pen name Alyce Shirleydaughter. Her website is www.louannejohnson.com.
Cordell Jones has worked at all three levels of schools (elementary, middle, and high school) since 1993. Currently he is principal of Alamo Heights Junior School in San Antonio, Texas; an adjunct faculty member of Trinity University; and executive board member of the School Leaders Network.
Nora Landon has been teaching English for eight years and is a member of the faculty at William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Stephen Lazar is a National Board Certified history teacher who cofounded Harvest Collegiate High School in New York City. He works with teachers across the city and the nation to support inquiry-based instruction, project-based learning, and Common Core State Standards implementation.
Melissa Madenski began teaching in 1971, the first year women could wear pants in the public schools in her district. Currently she teaches writing to middle school students and adults.
Stephen Mahoney has been a teacher and a principal for twenty-five years. In 2005 he started the Springfield Renaissance School, an expeditionary learning mentor school in Springfield, Massachusetts, for students in grades 6 through 12. Renaissance teachers and students have proved that your zip code does not have to be your destiny.
Rob Maitra is director of programs at Harlem RBI. Previously, he was a New York City public school teacher; a teacher education professor at Bryn Mawr College, Hunter College, and Teachers College, Columbia University; and director of educational advancement at the Boys’ Club of New York.
Holly Masturzo serves as professor of humanities and English at Florida State College at Jacksonville. For twenty years she has taught in a variety of settings—at a research university, a historically black college, and a range of community sites. Her approach to arts learning appears in essays in Third Mind: Creative Writing and Visual Art and The Alphabet of the Trees: A Guide to Nature Writing.
John Mayer has taught first and second grade at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon, for six years, after studying for a master of arts in teaching from Lewis and Clark College. Before moving to Portland, he began his teaching career as a preschool teacher in Washington, DC, and considers himself very lucky to work with the brilliance of young minds.
Kathleen Melville has been teaching for nine years. She currently teaches English and Spanish at a small public high school in Philadelphia. Kathleen promotes teacher leadership with Teachers Lead Philly.
Sandie Merriam is a thirty-eight-year veteran science and special education teacher at North Myrtle Beach Middle School in Little River, South Carolina. She has been an advocate for youth empowerment in the areas of racial equity, justice education, service learning, and parent-school partnerships.
Tom Meyer began teaching in public high schools in 1986. Currently he is an associate professor of secondary education at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He directs the Hudson Valley Writing Project (a site of the National Writing Project), a lively network of teachers working together to improve literacy and writing instruction in the Hudson Valley.
Jovan Miles is a nine-year veteran of public education in Atlanta, Georgia. He currently works as an instructional coach for math and science in the Atlanta public schools. His professional interests include culturally relevant pedagogy, public education as a tool for social justice, and early childhood education.
Dan Mindich is a teacher and administrator at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawai’i. In his over twenty years of teaching in public and private schools, team teaching has been central to Dan’s work, and he recently completed his doctoral dissertation looking at teacher learning communities.
April Niemela has thirteen years of experience in seventh- through twelfth-grade English language arts classrooms, and has witnessed seismic changes in the world of education. She is currently a curriculum resource teacher, charged with providing teachers with professional development and mentoring new educators.
Teri O’Donnell is a high school biology teacher in Northern California. For twenty years she has taught all grades from seventh through twelfth and every level from middle school life science to Advanced Placement biology. She is a founding member of her high school, now in its seventeenth year, and serves as science department chairperson.
Cindy O’Donnell-Allen is a full professor in the English department at Colorado State University (CSU) and director of the CSU Writing Project. She was a secondary-level teacher in Oklahoma for eleven years and wrote Tough Talk, Tough Texts: Teaching English to Change the World and The Book Companion: Fostering Strategic Readers in the Secondary Classroom. She serves on the National Writing Project board of directors.
Kirsten Olson is a founding member of the Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA), a national activist organization that aims to transform education through local organizing, and author of Wounded by School. Prior to this, she was a university instructor for eleven years.
Alison Overseth is the executive director of the Partnership for After-School Education (PASE), a nonprofit that works with over 1,600 community-based youth-serving agencies to improve the quality of after-school education programs available to young people living in poverty in New York City.
Emanuel Pariser cofounded the Community School for students who have failed to thrive in high school in 1973, and codirected the school until 2006. In 2011 he cofounded Maine’s first charter school: the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley, Maine, an agricultural and forestry-themed school for students who have been marginalized in conventional education.
Tiffany Poirier is an elementary school teacher and speaker who believes in the infinite gifts of every child. She is the author of Q Is for Question: An ABC of Philosophy (www.qisforquestion.com) and the founder of the Teaching Coats Project. Tiffany teaches online courses at Richer Learning, and she lives and works in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.
Michael Poutiatine has taught and administrated in traditional and nontraditional schools, public, private, and independent, for over twenty-five years, with students from the middle school level to the doctoral candidate level. He currently teaches leadership at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and works with several school reform initiatives based in Washington State.
Wanda S. Praisner has taught for twenty-nine years at the elementary school level as well as in continuing education courses and adult writing workshops. She is currently a poet-in-residence for the New Jersey Writers Project, cosponsored by Playwrights Theater and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Jamie Raskin is a professor of constitutional law at American University Washington College of Law, a Maryland state senator, and majority whip of the Maryland Senate. He is founder of the Marshal Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project and author of several books, including We the Students, which examines the Supreme Court’s treatment of America’s high school students.
Lianne Raymond has taught for twenty years in both middle and high school classrooms. She currently teaches grades 11 and 12 in psychology at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School in Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada.
Kenneth Rocke is the director for the Pioneer Valley District and School Assistance Center. His team works with teachers, coaches, and administrators in schools throughout Western Massachusetts. A retired superintendent, he began his career in education teaching mill and house carpentry at Franklin County Technical School.
Susan Rodgerson graduated from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and founded Artists For Humanity in 1991. She has received many awards, including an honorary doctorate from Tufts University (2008); the Massachusetts College of Art and Design Award for Excellence in Education (2006); and Social Entrepreneur in Residence from PACE University (2005).
Kaitlin Roig teaches first grade at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. She has taught for seven years. Knowing that positive social change was needed, Kaitlin founded Classes 4 Classes (www.classes4classes.org), a nonprofit organization that enables K–5 students to learn compassion and kindness through exchanges with other schools.
Laura Roop is the director of outreach at the University of Michigan School of Education. She directed the Oakland Writing Project, a National Writing Project site, for sixteen years. In 1981 she began working as a high school English teacher, county-level language arts consultant, and state-level networking specialist.
Larry Rosenstock is CEO and founding principal of High Tech High (www.hightechhigh.org), a network of thirteen K–12 public charter schools in California, and is dean of the High Tech Graduate School of Education. He taught carpentry, served as an attorney at the Harvard Center for Law and Education, and directed the federal New Urban High School Project.
Tim Ryan is a congressman in his sixth term serving the Ohio Thirteenth Congressional District, which includes Youngstown, Warren, Akron, and Kent. He is a relentless advocate for increased investments in and improvements to American education and author of A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit.
Leanne Grabel Sander has received funding for an illustrated children’s book, The Little Poet, and is working on a new spoken-word greatest hits show—Call Them Jewels: Thirty Years of Confession. She continues her thirty-year career as a special education and language arts teacher in the Portland Public Schools.
Harriet Sanford is the president and CEO of the NEA Foundation and has led the work of the foundation since 2005. She began her career as a public school teacher, which led to a senior executive career of more than twenty-eight years, with twenty-two as president and CEO of nonprofit and public organizations.
Dena Simmons was raised by a resilient mother who escaped Antigua to come to the United States. After graduating with honors from Middlebury College, she returned to the Bronx as a middle school teacher. She is studying for her doctorate of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where her research is on teacher preparedness as it relates to bullying in the middle school setting.
Thomas A. Stewart was an English teacher in Kentucky for ten years. After two years with the Kentucky Department of Education, he was a public school district administrator for five years. He teaches for Austin Peay State University’s College of Education and is cofounder of Contemplative Learning Solutions Educational Consulting.
Paola Tineo first became involved with education through her own experience growing up in urban cities throughout the Northeast. She taught Spanish for a few years at a Boston public charter school and has recently moved to teach English as a second language in a district charter school in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Lori Ungemah taught high school English in Brooklyn for eleven years. She is currently a founding faculty member of Guttman Community College at the City University of New York, where she is an assistant professor of English.
Tom Vander Ark is the author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning Is Changing the World and CEO of Getting Smart (http://gettingsmart.com/). He is a partner in Learn Capital and was executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a public school superintendent.
Jose Vilson is an educator, Web designer, speaker, and writer at TheJoseVilson.com. He has been featured on Edutopia, GOOD, CNN, and TEDx, and sits on the board of directors for the Center for Teaching Quality. You can find him at www.thejosevilson.com.
Ron Walker is a founding member and the founding executive director of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color. He has forty-five years’ experience as a principal, vice principal, and middle school teacher and a passion for the affirmative development of all students—especially male students of color.
Randi Weingarten has been president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) since 2008. She previously headed New York City’s United Federation of Teachers. She initiated the AFT’s Quality Education Agenda, which advances reforms grounded in evidence, equity, scalability, and sustainability to reclaim the promise of public education.
Rachel Willis began teaching in 2004 through Teach For America. She was the 2009 Atlanta Public Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year and a Milken Educator Award recipient in 2010. She is currently director of teacher and alumni leadership development for Teach For America in the Washington, DC, region.
Margaret Wilson was a classroom teacher for fifteen years, and also taught at the University School of Nashville in Tennessee and in the San Bernardino City Unified School District in California. She is currently leaving Responsive Classroom to become the assistant head of a school and a teacher in Riverside, California.
Andy Wood has taught and coached at the high school level since moving to the United States from England in 2005, and served for three years as the program director of Project Coach, building capacity in urban youth through coaching and leadership opportunities. He currently teaches social studies at Northampton High School in Massachusetts and is the varsity boys’ soccer coach.
Jane Zalkin retired last year, after almost forty years of teaching four- and five-yearold children in neighborhoods with residents of very low socioeconomic status outside of Charleston, South Carolina. She was teaching the children and even grandchildren of her first students by the time she retired.