Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

Saskia TraillFor Teacher Appreciation Week, I’m glad to recognize a few stand-out pedagogues in my life.

Faith Hermann at Hereford Middle School: for attending a play I was in outside of school, and for giving me a terrible grade on a grammar quiz. High expectations, no excuses.

Also at Hereford, Mr. Shank: For hosting a middle school science contest that ended with Mr. Shank sitting on the roof of the school, reading a newspaper as all the buses arrived. Science came alive with Mr. Shank. Every lesson was tied to something we kids cared about (like whether we could actually make a teacher sit on the roof).

Arna Margolis at Bryn Mawr High School: For an oral history assignment that prompted me to ask my grandmothers and great-aunt about their experiences in the second World War. In one writing assignment, Ms. Margolis changed my view of my family and my understanding of history.

I was just on a call about disrupting high school, and how education innovators are re-imagining grades 9 through 12. We discussed how teachers’ roles will shift as students stop learning in traditional classrooms and start learning anytime, anywhere. Someone posited that teachers will play stronger roles in establishing high expectations and guiding meaningful and personalized learning experiences. The teachers I remember most did that for me. At the time, I didn’t realize how much work they must have put in to make learning come alive for me. I’m grateful to them.

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About Saskia Traill

Saskia is TASC’s Vice President for Policy and Research. She leads our policy development and advocacy work, oversees independent evaluation of TASC initiatives and works with our team of TASC researchers investigating the most urgent questions in the field of expanded learning opportunities. She came to TASC and New York from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland.