Teacher-powered schools, from vicious cycles to virtuous circles

Educator Robert Comeau tells his story about what led to the writing of Know Thyself, a book of reflective writing exercises for students and teachers.

As a teacher I have always felt empowered, and the base of that power has been the voice of my students. Twenty years ago, I was lucky to start my career in a small college prep program for juniors and seniors in Boston, called Another Course to College (ACC). I found a set of the district’s “Purple Book” in my classroom, a Western literature anthology that began with a short “retelling” of the Iliad. It was a dumbed-down summary, stripped of its epic poetry. I handed out the book, along with a copy of a poetic translation that worked to render in English a sense of the Greek. I asked them which one they wanted, the summary or translation. By an overwhelming margin… Read More