Teacher Leaders Cultivate Relationships

The genius of Gary Abud rests in his relentless pursuit of relationships. Gary understands the power of connecting with everyone he encounters, from colleagues to community members to the students he serves as a science teacher at Grosse Pointe North High School. He knows that he cannot teach kids until he has reached them. On a recent visit to Gary's school I witnessed his genius in action. As he hosted me that day, he effortlessly moved in and out of multiple roles. There was Gary facilitating a dynamic lesson on the changing states of matter in his chemistry class, complete with brain breaks for students and an engaging lab activity. There, too, was Gary slipping into an administrative ro

Science for Life in Novi

Emily Pohlonski is the kind of dynamic science educator that truly reaches and teaches her students. As a National Board Certified Teacher, president of the Network of Michigan Educators and an outstanding proponent of the new Michigan Science Standards, Emily creates engaging learning environments every day at Novi High School that consistently bridge the gap between classroom theory and real-world practice. On a recent visit to Novi, I had the pleasure of accompanying a group of Emily’s students on one of their regular trips to Providence Park Hospital’s Van Elslander Neuroscience Center of Excellence. These students have an expressed interest in the medical field, and on this day they wou

Read. Read. READ!

One of the most amazing and pleasurable things I get to do as an educator is read aloud to my students every day. As the Michigan Teacher of the Year I have made it a priority to read aloud to students in classrooms across the state. One of the three components of my MTOY platform is literacy, and educators and parents know the central role that reading aloud plays in the literacy lives of both children and adults. As humans, our brains are hard-wired for stories. We tune in naturally to the familiar architecture of a story arc, with its problems, solutions, characters and setting. Joseph Campbell writes about the Hero’s Journey as a global story archetype, one that is common to all cultures

Relevant Reading at Hamtramck High

Hamtramck High School is a haven for students whose families hail from all over the world. Hamtramck’s success hinges on the dedication of their dynamic staff and principal, Terry George. On Tuesday November 3, I had the pleasure of conducting professional learning sessions on literacy in the content area with three separate groups of teachers from every discipline. We emphasized the Reading Apprenticeship approach to teaching reading, which helps all educators appreciate the important role they play in helping their students read and comprehend course content, whether in a traditional English class, a physics class or physical education. At Hamtramck, with a sizable number of students comin