You’ve found me. Importantly, you have taken that extra step and followed a link from my resume, presumably to get to know me a little better. So I will give you as much as I can without overwhelming you.
What have I done? I am coming into a career in education after what feels like a pretty fulfilling 15+ years exploring. I’ve done many things and spent time in many parts of our country and in some other parts of the world. I’ve driven a Zamboni and coached hockey, from really young kids, 4-5 year olds, to really old kids, 40-50 year olds. I’ve sold, marketed and curated mid century art and design, getting to personally know many of the great designers, like Val Bertoia, Ron Arad, Frank Gehry, and Karim Rashid; working in NYC, Miami, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and LA; meeting other truly interesting people along the way. Being able to speak with a designer and ask them why certain decisions were made or how do they organize their design process was most enlightening. I’ve worked with people from all over the world in investment real estate, learning different attitudes about the global economy and risk vs reward models, and seeing how different people look at urban growth based on experience in other cities.
Why education? I think like any endeavor someone looks to devote a whole lot of time and energy to, I think I can add value. I had a neighbor in Chicago, Joe Cytrynbaum, who worked as an educator and as founder of the Umoja Student Development Corporation in the Lawndale neighborhood, one of the happiest guys I knew because he was consistently adding value to the lives of his students, helping them open up doors for themselves and to realize their lives were not contained to the neighborhood they grew up in but could grow out into the City and the World. He wanted the best for everyone, so when he said he thought I should teach I took it to heart.
Usefulness. I’ve always enjoyed working with kids. My first experience was in high school when I volunteered to coach intramural hockey, both a 4th-5th grade team, and the High School Recreational League. What I learned working with kids that winter was they all enjoy accomplishments, doing something useful to further a cause. I experienced this again in the late 90’s working with P.U.C.K. (Positive Upliftment of City Kids), a hockey team for kids on the westside of Chicago that I helped coach and who played at a Park District Rink I managed. Because we were a rink in one of the poorest areas of Chicago our zamboni would get taken away to be used at “more important” venues. This could have been a negative, but the kids made it a positive, manually shoveling snow from the prior skating session off the ice and working in perfect harmony to carry 5 gallon buckets of water across the ice to lay a new sheet; they were almost as quick as a zamboni with nearly identical results and each one shared in the accomplishment of putting down a nice sheet of ice to play on and each one of them felt useful, sporting huge smiles as they worked.
Alert and Knowledgable. So I am pursuing something useful, the chance to work with kids and help them open doors for themselves, to see what is out there in the world. I have taken a solid set of courses at Parkland and I am starting in my cohort at Millikin July 2012. My classes are on Wednesday evenings for the next year and half and I will be doing my student teaching in Spring of 2014. My area of concentration is in Social Sciences. My most enjoyable classes to date have been my American History classes with Dr. Walwik (he wrote a book on Franklin, one of my favorite founding fathers). He has given us many original texts to read and what strikes me most is how relevant something like Joseph Harriot’s “Breife and True Report” over 400 years old can be so relevant to foreign policy today or how Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Ike’s exit speech are so interrelated and Ike’s call for “an alert and knowledgeable citizen” is so important, and exactly what I want to help create.
Diversity. I have enjoyed attending discussions hosted by Parkland Student Education Association and particularly enjoyed Mike Woods (a retired Urbana High Teacher) on student engagement, with the conclusion “whatever it takes” to get them talking passionately about the subject is what is needed. Hearing Senator Mike Frerichs explain the importance of spending money on constructing new schools, not necessarily because it is an absolute necessity but because “it shows the kids we value education!” Hearing a great diversity of thoughts is crucial to making informed decisions. It is the reason for getting together and discussing ideas.
What Can I do for You? I can become what you need me to be. I will listen to your organizations needs and work hard to adapt myself for the projects you need completed. Do you have different teachers that need varying assistance on different days; I am flexible. Do you have a few students who need help catching up to grade level; I am great at walking back to what they missed, helping them master it while improving their self confidence, and moving forward at an accelerated pace to get them back with their class and feeling good about school. Have some special projects that need a lot of groundwork; I will go the extra mile, prepping projects outside of class time so that students can make the most of the limited time they may have at school. Most importantly I am bringing diverse experience, perspective, and knowledge into the classroom that can help students of various backgrounds relate their education to their lives.
Parts of the page:
Family - Just some info on who inspires me.
ETC. - Links to clips I find interesting, relevant, or helpful.
Downloads - My resume, references, transcript, ICTS Basic Skills Test results
One Last Thing: Why did I choose who I did to put at the top of this page? It deals with their intelligences as classified by Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences and where I see overlap or at least appreciation within me.
From left to right:
Salvador Dali: Spatial, Intrapersonal, and Existential. Favorite quote “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” My favorite painting of his, more for its symbolism of the disjointedness in the world that Dali felt and in integration of modern atomic physics theory that nothing actually touches is Leda Atomica.
Björk: Musical, Linguistic, Intrapersonal, and Existential. Favorite Quote “Something important is about to happen.” Big Time Sensuality music video
John Lennon: Linguistic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Existential. Favorite Quote ”Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” favorite song Nobody Told Me
Mark Twain: Linguistic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Existential. Favorite Quote “It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others—and less trouble.” A good speech, Education and Citizenship
Mies van der Rohe: Spatial, Logical-mathematical, Existential. Favorite Quote “Less is more. ” Favorite evolution of this quote, from Bjarke Ingels “Yes is more.” Favorite design;Farnsworth House for its simplicity and some of the gossip surrounding the client
Nikkola Tesla: Logical-mathematical, Existential. Favorite Quote “Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.” When profit motives slow development
Buckminster Fuller: Spatial, Logical-mathematical, Existential. Favorite Quote “Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.” and you have to love an optimist “By 2000, politics will simply fade away. We will not see any political parties.” Dymaxion Car
Albert Einstein: Spatial, Logical-mathematical, Existential. Favorite Quote ”If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”