My summer-reading list included the autobiographies of Mohandas Gandhi and Malcolm X, as well as a book about John F. and Robert Kennedy called Brothers, by David Talbot. Part of my motivation for reading these books came from a desire to understand the process of social change and how, perhaps, that process can help us change schools.
My two favorite times of the academic year are the beginning and the ending, and one of the best things about working in education is that we get all summer to recharge. As I gear up to start a new school year, I've been thinking quite a bit about beginnings.
It is summer, and I am trying to get back to Maine from a conference in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, storms have caused Atlanta's airport to shut down for an hour or so at just the right time to mess up my travel. Ah, well, it is summer, and this is the southeastern United States. Such things happen.
I'm always surprised when I speak with people who expect schools to innovate without support from the outside. Every innovative program I have been involved with has included strong partnerships with businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other community-based organizations. With a shared vision and purpose, partnerships between schools and the community have resulted in some powerful programs and practices.
Last year was my first experience as a tutor at Salvador Elementary School, in Napa, California, for ArtLinks, an after-school arts-integration program created by Salvador and On the Move, a nonprofit organization focused on building effective leadership within the public sector.