Kids for Coltrane

Archive for August 2009



This is a touching video posted on You Tube by NYU in honor of teacher and Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt.  His books include Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man where he documents his courageous journey.

Frank McCourt was a 30 year veteran New York City public high school teacher.  The UFT honored him with the John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education in 2006.  Although Frank  died this July he will continue to hold the hands of teachers who enter the classroom each year.  ” I wanted my students to think for themselves,” he stated.  In this tribute film he talks about accepting an honorary doctorate from NYU. “….I am accepting this honorary doctorate not because I wrote 2 books , but because I was a teacher, that’s the main thing.”  Frank McCourt did his undergraduate work at NYU and graduate work at Brooklyn College. He is an inspiration to educators and children all over the world. I am grateful to  Frank McCourt for being an exemplary educator, and a man who followed his bliss.

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I just returned from a most enriching summer professional development experience at Harvard University. This institute was designed to help educators prepare students for the future. We explored how globalization, the digital revolution, and advances in neuroscience are transforming education. I was privileged to be in this exploration with educators from all over our beautiful planet.  It was exquisite to learn from world-renowned  Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty and leading researchers and practitioners from around the world.

~ I am incredibly grateful to Veronica Boix Mansilla, Howard Gardner and David Perkins for leading this institute  brilliantly. This was a breathtaking moment in time that  I will truly treasure.  The intellectual stimulation allowed for the participants to ponder these transformative statements as we learned…”I used to think….and now I think….”  We filled in the blanks as we progressed together.  What a wonderful way to learn…exploring thought provoking through lines.  I returned home with clear answers, and with generative questions to explore as I move into the  future of learning.


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