Welcome to Fearless Teachers! I am committed to helping educators transform learning environments in public school settings so meaningful learning is accessible to all students. I know how frustrating it can be to be a student in a learning environment that doesn’t meet their needs. I know how frustrating it can be to be a teacher trying to change the classroom with the strains of testing requirements, endless initiatives, lack of time and lack of resources. I know how scary it can be to implement innovations that might fail with the threat of administrative retaliation hanging over your head. I know how isolating this profession can feel. It can be difficult to find focus and remain idealistic in this environment. I know. I also know that most educators went into this profession because of their passion for learning. They want to fearlessly try new ideas in their classrooms. Teachers and administrators want to provide learning experiences that motivate students. They want to be partners with students in their learning. Administrators want to be able to market their schools as innovative resources available to the families they serve. Educators can become fearless innovators for the children they serve by focusing on the mindset and perspective present when we tackle these complex challenges.
Since I have been a student in both a personalized system and a traditional system, I can easily see the flaws in the public education system. As a teacher, I have tried to work within the traditional system to make change. While many are giving up on the public system and moving to private or charter schools, this widens the economic and social gap and creates increased inequalities among students. Those students will eventually be adults. What will that society look like? I have been able to keep my idealistic dream of a public school that addresses the needs of all learners. I can see things objectively despite my passions. I collaborate with teachers, administrators and students to get past the fear (many times this looks like resistance) that prevents innovation and transformation. I can break down a large task into smaller, more manageable actions; first steps.
Personally, I live for my three rescue dogs. I would rescue more but simply don’t have the time. I love road trips, roller coasters, socializing, cooking and trying new things. I spend most of my time in the woods with my dogs and traveling to nearby states to visit with family and friends. I cook every night. I find it to be a creative outlet that I have to do anyway so it may as well be fun. I love to experiment while I’m in the kitchen as much as I like to experiment in the classroom. For now, don’t think about the daunting task of transforming your school; instead, read a blog post or check out the “un”professional learning page. Whatever you do, take one small action right now.