A team of three experienced educators are crossing the country to identify successful practices from schools of every kind before they design and open a model public school. Follow their journey.

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CALIFORNIA<br/>SEPTEMBER 6 - 21 Arizona<br/>SEPTEMBER 24 - 25 New Mexico<br/>SEPTEMBER 25 - 27 Illinois<br/>OCTOBER 1 - 4 Indiana<br/>OCTOBER 15 - 16 New York<br/>OCTOBER 9 - 12 Ohio<br/>OCTOBER 17 - 18 Hawaii<br/>SEPTEMBER 17 - 18 Alaska<br/>TBD Missouri<br/>TBD Texas<br/>TBD Florida<br/>TBD Idaho<br/>TBD Iowa<br/>TBD Michigan<br/>TBD North Dakota<br/>TBD South Dakota<br/>TBD Oregon<br/>TBD Nebraska<br/>TBD Minnesota<br/>TBD Wisconsin<br/>TBD Washington<br/>TBD Montana<br/>TBD Washington<br/>TBD Montana<br/>TBD Kansas<br/>TBD Arkansas<br/>TBD Tennessee<br/>TBD Louisiana<br/>TBD Alabama<br/>TBD South Carolina<br/>TBD Georgia<br/>TBD North Carolina<br/>TBD Mississippi<br/>TBD Oklahoma<br/>TBD Colorado<br/>TBD Wyoming<br/>TBD Utah<br/>TBD Nevada<br/>TBD Maine<br/>TBD Vermont<br/>TBD Pennsylvania<br/>TBD Connecticut<br/>TBD Rhode Island<br/>TBD Massachusetts<br/>TBD New Jersey<br/>TBD Delaware<br/>TBD Maryland<br/>TBD West Virginia<br/>TBD Virginia<br/>TBD Indiana<br/>TBD New Hampshire<br/>TBD Kentucky<br/>TBD DC<br/>TBD
Brooke Peters Posts Michelle Healy Posts Todd Sutler Posts
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Innovations Public Charter School
Posted on October 8, 2012     by Odyssey Initiative
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Sarah Wagner
Ashley Hedemann
Megan Dueffert
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Odyssey Initiative
Published October 8, 2012

Link:
"Lessons from the Road"

a taste of what we've seen
Brooke Peters
Michelle Healy
Todd Sutler

FEATURED POST

Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC is a Pre-K-12, co-educational Quaker day school w...
NOTES FROM THE ROAD
@ODYSSEYINITIATE
IN THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR



Posts from Rhode Island

Individualizing Learning During the Literacy Block
After an interactive literacy lesson on the rug, Karina Flores’s third grade students spread throughout the room to start on revision work and independent reading. Chairs were pulled out, quiet whisper reading commenced, and a thoughtful focus washed over the space as students began to complete their own tasks. Karina circulated the room to make [...]

Posts from Vermont

Integrated Arts Academy
A School Overview
Sustainability Academy
A School Overview
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Integrated Arts Academy teachers answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Classroom Schedule Snapshots
As we've traveled the country this year, I’ve been snapping photos of schedules in each of the schools. I often learn by example and hope these photos provide some inspiration for you.
Adding Layers to Projects Over Time
At the Sustainability Academy in Burlington, Vermont, second and third grade teacher, Deirdre Morris, reminded us that everything can’t be planned when starting a new project with a group of children. There is value in jumping and adding layers over time.
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with Bobby Riley, Principal of the Integrated Arts Academy in Burlington.
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Principal of the Sustainability Academy.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Sustainability Academy teachers answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Integrating the Arts into the Elementary Classroom
The Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler (IAA), a Pre-K-5 public magnet school located in Burlington, VT, was founded with the mission to incorporate visual arts, music, theatre, and dance across its curriculum. A diverse community that values collaboration and imagination, IAA seeks to provide meaningful learning experiences through creative self-expression. Arts specialists at IAA [...]
Interactive Bulletin Boards
We spent an inspiring two days in Burlington, Vermont, visiting their district magnet schools. In both learning environments, we found examples of interactive bulletin boards. Usually, bulletin boards are used to display already finished student work, giving a passerby an idea about what the class has been working on. Instead, these boards were works in [...]

Posts from Pennsylvania

All Voices are Heard: How One School Makes Decisions Through Consensus
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Creating Local Partnerships to Enhance Student Learning
When I have told people that I am from the Philadelphia area, I usually get two responses: “Nice, cheesesteaks,” and “I heard your sports fans are so mean that you threw snowballs at Santa.”  While Philadelphia is renowned for its sandwiches and raucous fan base, what outsiders often don’t know  is the incredible amount of [...]
Electives: A Place for Student Interest and Teacher Collaboration
We have seen several examples of elective classes as we have traveled to schools across the country. Some schools offer electives several times a week, others only once a week or in cycles throughout the school year. All of the elective programs we have learned about share common themes.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Science Leadership Academy teachers answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Science Leadership Academy
A School Overivew
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Founding Principal of Science Leadership Academy
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Project Learn School teachers answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Classroom Schedule Snapshots
As we've traveled the country this year, I’ve been snapping photos of schedules in each of the schools. I often learn by example and hope these photos provide some inspiration for you.

Posts from Maryland

Assessing to Strengthen Learning and to Support Teaching – iPads in the 4th Grade
While we have always had the ability to look at student work for evidence of learning, various Apps are giving us all the more reason to be learning to assess in an increasing number of formative ways. Not only can we use assessment to steer our instructional decisions, targeting instruction and/or differentiating subsequent math learning [...]
Learning is Creation – iPads in the 4th Grade
buy mac os x lion software online Our team has been focusing on using mantras to focus our thinking about iPads and how we are using them in the classroom as we talk about, write about, and share our experience with others. What’s mine right now? “Learning is Creation” In a post on our blog, [...]
A Few Problems, Many Solutions – iPads in the 4th Grade
At this point in the year, the iPads are pretty integrated into our class’s curriculum and daily routines. We have prioritized exploring what we call “creativity apps” as opposed to games and apps with a singular focus. Meanwhile in math, our class has begun utilizing Exemplars problems and rubrics to further student problem solving, math [...]

Posts from South Carolina

Using the Natural Inquiry Process as a Vehicle for Learning
The Center for Inquiry in Columbia, SC is a K-5 district magnet school whose mission is to develop students as thoughtful, caring, and intelligent people who delight in learning and are committed to creating a more compassionate and equitable world. The school enrolls about 260 students. Teachers remain with the same group of students for [...]

Posts from Georgia

STEM vs. STEAM
There has been quite a bit of chatter about STEM schools and programming recently in the education world. Standing for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM programs are being implemented in response to our country’s lagging math and science scores. Many policy makers in America have been heralding STEM programs as the next educational answer [...]
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Teachers from Drew Charter School in Atlanta answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"

Posts from Maine

No Barriers to the Freedom of Inquiry
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The Positive Effects of a Teacher-Led School
Reiche Community School in Portland, ME is a K-5 elementary school that provides a challenging curriculum for its diverse student body. The school enrolls about 300 students who come from over twenty-two nations, with twenty-nine languages spoken. In 2011, Reiche became one of the few schools in Maine to be teacher-led. Instead of a traditional [...]
On an Expedition to Make Learning Relevant
King Middle School is a 6-8 public middle school located in Portland, Maine. Its diverse student body of 550 hails from 22 countries and speaks 29 different home languages. As a part of the Expeditionary Learning program for over two decades, King educators and community members strongly value experiential, hands-on, and place based education in [...]
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
King Middle School answers the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"

Posts from New Hampshire

Beech Hill School
A School Overview
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Beech Hill School teachers answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Teaching into Organization
Is organization innate or can it be taught? This is a question I often asked myself as a fifth grade teacher, gazing around at the students’ cubbies dispersed throughout our classroom. Some students were impeccably organized, with their folders, notebooks, and reading materials stacked in a neat pile from largest on the bottom to smallest [...]
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Principal of Beech Hill School.
Classroom Schedule Snapshots
As we've traveled the country this year, I’ve been snapping photos of schedules in each of the schools. I often learn by example and hope these photos provide some inspiration for you.

Posts from New Jersey

HoLa Hoboken Dual Language Charter School
A School Overview
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Head of Mustard Seed School.
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Interim Principal of HoLa Hoboken.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
HoLa teachers answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Storytelling and Role Play in Shared Space
Mustard Seed School is a Pre-K-8 independent school located in Hoboken, NJ. The mission of the school is to stimulate and broaden the experiences of city children, primarily those who come from poor communities, in an intercultural, interdenominational Christian setting. Mustard Seed School seeks to serve and educate the whole child – intellectually, physically, socially, [...]
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Mustard Seed School answers the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Bridging Two Languages in the Dual-Immersion Classroom
The Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) is a new K-6 dual language immersion public charter school in Hoboken, NJ. HoLa seeks to deliver core academic content in both Spanish and English while incorporating opportunities for creative expression and experiential learning to nurture multilingual and multiliterate students. HoLa’s dual language immersion model employs a graduated [...]
Our Interview with Jane Williams
on Bloomberg EDU
We talk about the first leg of the Odyssey with Jane Williams on Bloomberg EDU

Posts from Indiana

A Time to Cultivate Passions
The Project School of Bloomington (IN) is a K-8 charter school with 231 students. The school seeks to eliminate predictive values of gender, race, class, and special capacities on student success by working closely with families and communities to tailor a student-centered experience. A unique P3 curriculum framework creates a school culture that develops the [...]
Spring Mill Elementary School
A School Overview
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Principal of Spring Mill Elementary.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Teachers from Skiles Test answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Making Space for Kids to Do Big Things
Diana Suzo, first grade teacher at Spring Mill Elementary School in Indianapolis, Indiana believes in her students and said, “Small kids are doing big things everyday.”
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Teachers from Spring Mill Elementary School answer the question "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Skiles Test Elementary
A School Overview
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Principal of Skiles Test Elementary.
Classroom Schedule Snapshots
As we've traveled the country this year, I’ve been snapping photos of schedules in each of the schools. I often learn by example and hope these photos provide some inspiration for you.
Creating Excitement in the Classroom
Skiles Test School in Indianapolis, IN, is a 1-6 public elementary school that provides each student with the opportunity to achieve maximum growth in personal, social, and academic areas. The school enrolls approximately 540 students across twenty-two classrooms. Its STEM program uses the subject areas of science, technology, and engineering as a vehicle for learning. [...]

Posts from Illinois

Academy for Global Citizenship
A School Overview
In the Director’s Chair

Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Founder and Director of Namaste Charter School.
Building Excitement Around Healthy Food
   The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a public charter school located on the southwest side of Chicago. AGC offers an innovative and holistic approach to education that “aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates our future generations.” Their mission states that “AGC develops mindful leaders who take action both [...]
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Teachers from Namaste Charter School answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Scaffolding Towards Independence in Reading
Namaste is a K-8 public charter school located on the southwest side of Chicago. The philosophy of the school is based on a holistic approach to education that integrates physical fitness and nutrition with academic rigor. The Namaste Way states, “By breaking down the barriers to good health and improving opportunities for high academic achievement, Namaste can help each [...]
Namaste Charter School
A School Overview
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Principal of the Academy of Global Citizenship.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Academy for Global Citizenship teachers answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Using Student Interests to Craft Reading Lessons
Meredith McNamara demonstrated the value knowing her students and their ideas in her second grade reading minilesson.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
"There is a dynamic developing that you are either pro-teacher or pro-reform, but you can't be both. That's very troubling to me."

Posts from Kentucky

South Heights Elementary School
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A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
South Heights School answers the question "What do you want American to hear from you?"
Home is Where the Start is . . . The Heart of Home Visits
In South Heights’s purposeful vision of developing authentic, sustainable relationships that nourish our students and their ability to perform academically, we understand that this does not take place on the first day of school. Home is where the start is.
Evidence of Student Learning in the School Environment
The majority of states across the U.S. measure student learning at a single school by administering a week’s worth of literacy and math-focused tests that correspond with the standards of each grade level. While these tests may measure student mastery on some level, does it give a precise measurement of the breadth of learning that [...]
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Teachers from St. Francis School tell us what they want America to hear about education.

Posts from Colorado

A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Boulder Journey School shares what they want America to know about education.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Math & Science Leadership Academy tells us what they want American to hear about Education.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Creativity Challenge Community (C3) answers the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Denver Green School answers the question "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Know Your Students
One of the recurring themes during our journey has been the importance of knowing who your students are as people and as learners.

Posts from New Mexico

ACE Leadership High School
A School Overview
Our Interview with Jane Williams
on Bloomberg EDU
We talk about the first leg of the Odyssey with Jane Williams on Bloomberg EDU
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
ACE Leadership High School answers the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Executive Director of ACE Leadership High School.
Rethinking Relevancy in the High School Classroom
ACE Leadership Academy is a 9-12 day high school and evening re-engagement program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ACE’s project- based curriculum is designed through the lens of architecture, construction, and engineering. The school’s mission is to equip young people who love The have skin http://secondnaturearomatics.com/ampicillin-drug/ Fructis fading the 1 is it safe to buy viagra? [...]
A Look at the Odyssey


Posts from Arizona

Classroom Schedule Snapshots
As we've traveled the country this year, I’ve been snapping photos of schedules in each of the schools. I often learn by example and hope these photos provide some inspiration for you.
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with the Interim Superintendent of the Ganado Unified School District.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Ganado Primary School teachers answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights of our interview with the Superintendent of the Balsz Elementary School District
In the Director’s Chair
Highlights from a conversation about school culture and management with Jarret Sharp, Principal of Crockett Elementary School.
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Teachers from Crockett Elementary
answer the question,
"What do you want America to hear from you?"
Ganado Primary School
A School Overview
Moving Mountains Through Strong, Trusting Relationships
"Knowing the details with parents, the kids and the staff makes all the difference in the world."
David Crockett Elementary School
A School Overview
Using Math Tools to Enhance Conceptual Understanding
Ganado Primary School is a Pre-K-3 school located on the lands of the Navajo Nation near the northern border of Arizona and New Mexico. The school is part of the Ganado Unified District, and is located on a campus which houses buildings for Ganado Intermediate School, Ganado Middle School and Ganado High School. The majority [...]

Posts from Washington

Independence and Innovation
A look at Geiger Montessori

Posts from Oregon

A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Sunnyside Environmental School tell us what they want America to hear about education.
The Power of Story
Story Workshop is a structure at Opal School that we have been inventing and researching and re-inventing.

Posts from California

Next Steps In The Journey Toward Text-Based Discussion: Helpful Strategies
In my experience, discussions do not succeed as classroom experiences that occur in isolation from other instruction and projects. Instead, discussions should be folded into a unit of study or, preferably, socialized as a classroom practice (like a Warm-Up or Exit Ticket) that students experience regularly.
Classroom Schedule Snapshots
As we've traveled the country this year, I’ve been snapping photos of schedules in each of the schools. I often learn by example and hope these photos provide some inspiration for you.
HOPES AND DREAMS
  At many schools we’ve visited, we have found the hopes and dreams of students posted on the walls of classrooms and hallways.   Some kids have many hopes and dreams for the year… …and some just have one (enormous) goal. Some are social… solar panels for home …and some are academic. No matter what [...]
Taking Education Beyond College Preparation
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Using Figurative Language In Student Writing to
Add Detail and Ditch Cliché
In Deanna Wojcik’s 7th grade language arts classroom at Lighthouse Community Charter School, there is a balance between learning language skills and learning broader writing strategies. On the afternoon of our visit, Deanna’s students were working on writing vignettes with the goal of showing, not telling the details in their writing. Within this bigger goal, Deanna couched lessons to teach her students to use non-clichéd figurative language to make their writing come alive.
The Journey Toward Text-Based Discussion: Setting Up Simple Opportunities for Text Talk
Facilitating a discussion, for any age group, is intimidating business. What if nobody talks? What if a student takes a risk and gets laughed at? What if students promote misunderstandings about the text amonst one another? What if the whole thing just feels like an achingly silent waste of time?
Wait…Where’s the Video?
Friends of the Odyssey Initiative, One of the main goals of our project is to share video with you so you can watch incredible teachers in action. However, you may notice as our blogs go up that the website lacks footage. On the night of our San Francisco Friendraiser, our video equipment and footage was [...]
The Talent is in the Building
When asked to share what they thought was important for the country to know about education in America, three different educators gave the same response: "The talent's in the building."
Classroom Snapshots
High Tech Elementary in Chula Vista, California is a bright and beautiful learning space where interesting and engaging projects are happening in every classroom.
Systems That Support Differentiated Instruction
"You can't put a price tag on equitable education."

Posts from New York

The Renaissance Charter School
A School Overview
Lessons from the Road
a taste of what we've seen
Teaching Social Justice in Middle School: Opportunities for Authentic Educational Experiences
The Manhattan Country School Activism Project provides many opportunities for curricular connections and authentic learning experiences that motivate students and build skills for active citizenship.
Teaching Social Justice in Middle School: Defining Activism
One of the founding goals of Manhattan Country School, which was based on the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is to teach students to be activists. From a young age, students are encouraged to discover their voices, stand up for their beliefs, and work together to create change.
Classroom Schedule Snapshots
As we've traveled the country this year, I’ve been snapping photos of schedules in each of the schools. I often learn by example and hope these photos provide some inspiration for you.
Developing Through Dance and Movement
The Renaissance Charter School is a K-12 public charter school located in Jackson Heights, Queens with a diverse student population. The school is founded upon the belief that a single individual can make an impact on a community and a nation. Renaissance seeks to develop responsible, humanistic young leaders and global citizens in a culture [...]
VIDEO: Martin Luther King March
8th Graders at Manhattan Country School Lead MLK March
A Teacher’s Vision – Interview Highlights
Teachers from the Renaissance Charter School answer the question, "What do you want America to hear from you?"
Manhattan Country School
A school overview.
Coming Together Over Data
The John F. Kennedy School in Port Chester, NY is a K-5 district magnet school whose mission is to provide students with a safe, academically challenging program. The school enrolls about 700 students and has an average classroom size of 20 students. In 2010, the schools was awarded a National Blue Ribbon for high academic [...]

Posts from Texas

Bringing a Community Together With Dual Language Education
With Dual Language learning in Austin, native Spanish speakers are in the same class with native English speakers, all being taught by a bilingual teacher. There is considerable research on the learning benefits for children through Dual Language learning.
Todd Joins a SXSW Panel on Diverse Public Schools
Journalists Dana Goldstein and Sarah Garland, and Michael Magee, CEO of Rhode Island’s Mayoral Academies talk about diversity in public schools with Todd. He chimes in at minute 37
Reflections on SXSWedu
When I first heard of the new education conference, South by Southwest EDU last year, I was thrilled to hear that South by Southwest, the hip tech conference in Austin, Texas, was branching out to tackle new issues. I rushed to the SXSW website to learn more and was furious to discover that the entire [...]


BROOKE PETERS
Brooke's journey as an educator began at a campus childcare center while completing a dual degree program in Psychology and Elementary Education at Indiana University. As a preschool teacher, she worked with fellow educators in a progressive environment to create experiences that fostered the natural curiosity of her young students. When Brooke started teaching kindergarten in South Central Los Angeles in 2002 as a Teach for America Corps Member, she immediately noticed the stark contrast in the educational opportunities offered to young children in our nation. As she grew as an educator, she became more grounded in the belief that students learn best when involved in authentic experiences that connect with who they are as people and provide opportunities to make meaning in multiple ways. Over the next 9 years, she continued to study the work of progressive educators and created an integrated curriculum that emphasized literacy experiences in authentic, artful and engaging contexts. During this time she also moved to the east coast to teach kindergarten and first grade at Bronx Charter School for the Arts, completed the Literacy Specialist Master's Degree Program at Teachers College, Columbia University and became a National Board Certified Teacher. Last school year,she taught first grade at Community Roots Charter School, a progressive school in Brooklyn, NY.

Read all posts by Brooke

MICHELLE HEALY
Michelle became involved in the New York City Public School System nine years ago while completing her undergraduate degree in Childhood and Special Education at New York University. Michelle began her professional career teaching third and fourth grade at the Future Leaders Institute in Harlem. While there, she collaborated with teachers and instructional coaches to design curriculum and participated in an innovative and rigorous professional development program. Michelle joined the team of educators at Community Roots Charter School as a third grade teacher in September 2009, and the following year, she moved up to co-found the fifth grade. In her time at Community Roots, Michelle saw the power that collaboration, strong school culture and a supportive community can have on the education of all students. She has learned how to cultivate students who think critically, respond to the world around them, and take action to solve the problems in the communities that they are a part of. In 2010, Michelle enrolled in the Mathematics Leadership Program at Bank Street College of Education. Through her participation in this program, Michelle developed the belief that teachers must be utilized as researchers and leaders in order to change America's education system for the better.

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TODD SUTLER
Todd worked as a teacher and youth mentor during his years at Amherst College. Afterwards, he traded bonds for an investment bank in New York, Toronto and Tokyo. He loved the opportunity to travel to many different countries and experience different cultures. Always drawn to children, Todd worked at Amherst College's nursery school, and after graduation, he mentored and tutored at I Have A Dream's Chelsea program. In the summer of 2004, Todd left banking to begin investigating opportunities in youth development. He visited schools, interviewed educators, volunteered for Harlem Children's Zone's Head Start program and helped raise funds for Washington D.C.'s SEED boarding charter school. In the fall of 2005, he joined The Boys Club of New York as Director of a social and academic enrichment program for teenage boys. In January of 2007, he began graduate study in Elementary Education at Bank Street College of Education; concurrently, he worked as an apprentice teacher in first grade at Manhattan Country School. After benefiting from the experience of observing and learning from a master-teacher, Todd passed on an opportunity to be a Teach for America corps member in order to continue his apprentice work. He worked (and learned) as a third grade assistant at The School for Children, Bank Street's laboratory school. In 2008, Todd was a co-founding teacher of the third grade at Community Roots Charter School in Fort Green, Brooklyn. Two years later, he helped start their fifth grade.

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