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Seeing School Differently

Monday, May 21, 2018

This themed issue of DPI-ConnectEd brings together stories from six teachers across the state who have helped students see school in different and important ways. From first-grade lessons to serendipitous reunions years after graduating from high school, the teachers in this issue have made a colossal impact.

All six teachers are 2018 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellows. Some of them leverage texts or methods to reach students. Others utilize outdoor classroom spaces, intriguing people, art, or animals for students to see school in a different way.

While the teachers’ stories in this issue are unique, there are themes that run through all of them. For example, all of the teachers talk about the importance of building relationships. In order to meet students’ needs, they feel strongly about knowing their kids and the educators they work with.

Whether it’s a grade-level team, a co-teaching model, or targeted outreach to teachers across an entire school, every teacher in this issue also credits the work they do in concert with other educators as a major reason for the successes they have with kids.

Finally, every teacher in this issue incorporates communities outside of the school into their curriculum. The international and state partnerships described help students foster a deeper understanding of people they may never have met otherwise. Local partnerships with artists, dog breeders, professional speakers, volunteer organizations, or employers, mesh student learning with authentic interests, broadening their impacts.

There are so many Wisconsin teachers who help students see school in a different way, recognizing the importance of relevance and relationship-building in the classroom. For all of those teachers, and for the teachers highlighted in this issue, thank you for making a difference.