What does it mean to be a teacher (trainer)?
How much can you trust the students (training participants) with the learning process?
I have a teaching degree from Virginia Tech and when I graduated in 1986 I thought I knew the answers to these questions. And then reality hit me square in the face.
I was a classroom teacher in Manassas, VA (just outside of Washington, D.C.) during the 1990-91 school year. This was one of the hardest and most frustrating jobs I've ever had. And it wasn't difficult because of the kids - - I had learned how to work with difficult to teach kids when I was a juvenile corrections officer. What was the source of my frustration? I couldn't seem to put my finger on it exactly. Until I found John Taylor Gatto.
Just after I resigned my teaching position, I read a speech written by Gatto. The speech was entitled Why Schools Don't Educate and was delivered when he received the New York City Teacher of the Year Award (he taught in the classroom for 30 years). Reading the speech caused me to stop in my tracks. I felt as though Gatto was speaking directly to me.
Gatto spoke about teaching and learning in terms I had never heard before. Gatto helped lift the fog I was in and provided me with a clear and hard hitting explanation of what it really means to be a teacher.
I began reading everything I could find by Gatto. His writing has changed the way I look at the world of teaching and learning.
Now, 15 years later, I have the great pleasure of sharing an audio interview I did with John Taylor Gatto. I interviewed him today and I found him to be a generous and gracious man. And did I mention he is brilliant? I love the way he uses the English language - - I think you'll enjoy hearing him speak as well.
Click on the link below to listen to the 70 minute recording (mp3 file)
During the interview you'll hear Gatto mention several of his books. I encourage you to buy a copy of his latest book entitled "The Underground History of American Education". Buy it at JohnTaylorGatto.com
If you like what you hear in the interview you will likely enjoy this archive of Gatto's articles HERE
There are many many YouTube videos of John Taylor Gatto. Here's one of my favorites: