Field Notes 3/4/18: Where Students Do the Thinking

Much gratitude and well wishes to Tikvah and everyone from the Idea School — we need more visionaries like you!

…The rest of the day we spent at Gann Academy, which has one of the best reputations in the Jewish day school world. We understood why immediately. From the moment we entered the school building and read the quotations on the entryway wall from Proverbs, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Hannah Senesh, Bob Dylan, and Rita Levi-Montalcini (a neurobiologist and like Bob Dylan a Nobel laureate), we knew we were in a special place.

One of Gann’s most impressive features is its culture of teacher growth and professional development. Jacob Pinnolis, Gann’s director of teaching and learning and a co-author of the book “The Power of Teacher Rounds,” told us about the enormous amount of time and effort the administration and teachers put into developing themselves and creating a culture at the school where “kids do the thinking.” He told us that by the time teachers finish the school’s rigorous hiring process, they know well that they shouldn’t bother joining the Gann team if they aren’t focused on creating courses and learning units that empower students do the work.

Tikvah Wiener. The Times of Israel. Educators’ Holiday.