In the News
Stories of Teaching and Learning
The Inspired Teaching philosophy is most alive in teachers’ classrooms and we look forward to any opportunity to shine a light on what exceptional teaching can and should be.
PD to promote a “Yes! And…” Mindset
Kappan Magazine | May 2023
Aleta shares her insights and expertise in how the world of improv provides a model for the kind of professional development that is both engaging and relevant to teachers.
The Instigator of Thought Challenge wins an Anthem Award
Anthem Awards | February 15, 2023
The Inspired Teaching Instigator of Thought Challenge, an innovative, educator-created tool that offers teachers powerful activities that teach them to replace outdated compliance-based methods with authentic, engaging, student-led learning, won Bronze at this year’s Anthem Awards.
Aleta’s Insights for Leaders
Clear Your Messages | February 7, 2023
Aleta spoke with Clear Your Messages host Tania Heller, MD, FAAP, about Center for Inspired Teaching, what it means to really listen, the power of play, and the importance of curiosity.
Aleta is a HundrED Amabassador
HundrED.org| January 2023
Aleta has joined the HundrED network, which aims to “identify, amplify, and facilitate the implementation of impactful and scalable education innovations,” as an Ambassador and looks forward to learning from other education changemakers, as well as sharing Inspired Teaching’s mission with an international audience.
Why Do You Teach?
ASCD | December 12, 2022
Aleta shares her thoughts on the importance of highlighting and amplifying the voices of teachers in this piece. She calls for balancing the narrative about teachers leaving the profession with the stories of the many more who choose to stay, and using those perspectives to push for greater recognition of and respect for the work educators do.
Let’s Let Children Move
Washington Post | April 24, 2022
Aleta asks readers to reconsider what we believe classroom behavior should be and to explore new possibilities of how learning can look. Read her insight in her Letter to the Editor in the Washington Post.
Skoll World Forum: Educating Changemakers by Ashoka
Ashoka | April 21, 2022
Aleta joined Ashoka Fellows from Nigeria, Mexico, and Pakistan to discuss the kind of student-led, creativity-fueled learning that ought to be the norm in schools in the US and around the world. The conversation, part of Skoll Foundation Ecosystem Events, offered concrete actions teachers, parents, students, and education leaders can take to bring about this change.
Riscoprire la passione per l’insegnamento per cambiare la scuola
DeALive | March 22, 2022
This piece was published by DeAgostini Scuola, an Italian publisher that reaches a network of 350,000 teachers and school leaders across Italy, as part of their At School with the Changemakers series. You can read the original text when you scroll down the page.”As long as teachers are expected to keep order and hurry their students through a static curriculum, this compliance-based education system will persist. On the other hand, when we expect teachers to inspire students, and support them in doing so, we can transform the role of the teacher from information provider to Instigator of Thought.” – Aleta Margolis
Hooray For Monday is an Award Winner
Inaugural Anthem Awards | February 15, 2022
Hooray For Monday, the weekly road map for bringing joy and relevance into the classroom, was nationally recognized by the Webby Anthem Awards. The Anthem Awards honor the purpose and mission-driven work of individuals around the world.
Mentorship as Access to Power
Brown University Women’s Network | January 24, 2022
Aleta Margolis speaks with her former mentee, Rocio Bravo, “to reflect on the importance of mentoring, how mentoring is a means to accessing power, and how storytelling gives us an opportunity to claim our personal power.”
The ABCDE’s of Educator Wellness and Retention
DC State Board of Education Testimony | December 15, 2021
“In order to keep teachers well and in the profession we have to fundamentally rethink what we are asking of them.” –Jenna Fournel
Unleashing the Power of Inspired Teaching
Elena Blogs for a Change December 1, 2021
“Choose to spend your time doing things you love, and that feel important to you. And, at the same time, recognize that you can find things to love even in the midst of a class, or internship, or job that doesn’t seem that exciting at first. ” –Aleta Margolis
Learning, Lost & Found: 4 Things To Do To Make School Worth It This Year
Getting Smart October 14, 2021
“As we continue to pour resources into risk mitigation, let’s commit to eliminating the risk of returning to old-school practices that put students in a passive, information-recipient role. ” –Aleta Margolis
Sharing Inspired Teaching with Great.com
Great.com Talks With… July 21, 2021
“Learning happens when people feel comfortable with each other and when there is an academic challenge that isn’t too hard and isn’t too easy, to use the technical term, it’s in the zone of proximal development.” –Cosby Hunt
Building Education Systems Fit for the 21st Century
Women of the World Endowment, June 24, 2021
“Teachers have become very real people to their kids during this past year and a half. While that’s been challenging in lots of ways, there’s a lot of benefit to it because we can model as thoughtful adults how we navigate crises: what we’ve figured out, what we’re doing well, where we’re stumbling, what we do when we stumble. I believe that deeper connection that we’ve been forced into will move us in a good direction and my deepest hope is that we use this opportunity to rethink how we teach.” –Aleta Margolis
A Profile of Inspired Teaching
Comcast Newsmakers, April 5, 2021
“As we know, democracy relies on participation, but it relies on informed participation. And to my mind, that’s why we have school. That’s why we have universal public education so that everybody can learn to make thoughtful decisions based on information and we learn to practice that in school.” –Aleta Margolis
How the pandemic is reshaping education
The Washington Post, March 15, 2021
“The best thing educators can do right now is to gather as much information as possible about what students have experienced over the past year — their learning, their worries, and their ideas — and take that data seriously and build on it as we return to in-person learning.” –Aleta Margolis
Real World History Community Exhibition – The Phillips Collection
The Phillips Collection, March 6 – May 16, 2021
The Phillips Collection collaborated with high school students in our Real World History class for this community exhibition. Using Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series as a springboard for conversations about the legacy of the Great Migration and the universal theme of struggle in the world today, the students conducted oral histories of individuals who moved from the South to Washington, DC, prior to 1970 and created written explanations for several of Lawrence’s works.
The Great Migration becomes a great subject for District high school students
The Washington Post, February 23, 2021
“Two years ago, D.C. high school student Isabella Ramos-Bracho took a class on the Great Migration. The most memorable part: meeting an actual Great Migrator. That was Edith Crutchfield, who was among the more than 5 million African Americans who left the rural South to move north in search of opportunity. That meeting — and the oral-history interview that Ramos-Bracho conducted with Crutchfield — was part of a class called “Real World History” that’s open to all D.C. high-schoolers.”
Teachers to Biden: What we want from your administration
The Washington Post, February 3, 2021
“Our recommendations are informed by practice and pedagogy. We speak from the lived experience of teachers and students here in D.C. and nationwide, and decades of experience in working to ensure that all students have access to an empowering education.” – Jenna Fournel, Cosby Hunt, Aleta Margolis
How to talk, and listen, to your students during times of crisis
“These are scary times, and discussing scary things is hard to do—especially with students. But talking about, and learning about things that matter is what students want, need, and deserve to do in school. The purpose of school is to teach young people how to participate in, and one day lead, our democracy. And that goal is more important now than it has ever been.” – Aleta Margolis
Lessons from an Insurrection: A Day After D.C. Rampage, How 15 Educators From Across U.S. Helped Students Make Sense of the Chaos
The 74 Million, January 7, 2021
“In [A.P. U.S. History], I think I’m just going to open up the floor to students sharing what they’re thinking and wondering. I may do free write with sentence starters like: ‘I saw… I heard… I’m feeling… I wonder about …’” – Cosby Hunt
SPECIAL REPORT: Discussing Sedition in the Classroom, Should We?
BAM! Radio January 2021
While teachers and students were shocked and confused over the attack on the United States Capitol, we asked eight educators to share their thoughts on the academic dilemma created by this historic moment in American history. Are any of us really ready to discuss sedition in the classroom? Should we just leave it to social studies and civic teachers?
Turn & Talk / Cosby Hunt on Helping Students Speak Truth
ASCD Educational Leadership, April 2020
Cosby Hunt explains Speak Truth, a monthly after-school seminar at which dozens of high school students from around the District of Columbia—representing a mix of public, charter, and private schools—gather to discuss pressing social issues.
Tips For Educators On Teaching Politics Without Partisanship
WAMU 88.5, December 7, 2017
As the political climate intensifies across the country, politics are finding their way into classrooms across the Washington region. A report released by UCLA this year says that teacher concerns about student stress and well-being are rising alongside classroom polarization and incivility. Kojo Nnamdi talks with Cosby Hunt, Clint Smith, and Eric DeKenipp about how schools can proactively address politics within the classroom without imposing ideology.
Educator: Schools shouldn’t merely allow students to protest. They should support them.
Washington Post, Oct. 19, 2017
“When we lead students in courageous conversations and consider social justice issues in the classroom, we teach students how to lead courageous conversations of their own.” – Jane Dimyan Ehrenfeld
Mom: My daughter’s kindergarten teachers asked me what motivates her. I find that troubling.
The Washington Post, September 14, 2017
“School must be more than comfortable and exciting; it must be engaging. Rewards and consequences demand little from our children. We can buy children’s obedience (or the perception of their obedience) most of the time with prizes — especially when the children are young. But easily purchased obedience has little, if any, relation to authentic engagement, and so when we expect little, we get little in return.” – Jane Dimyan Ehrenfeld
CONTINUOUS IMPACT & GROWTH: CHECKING IN WITH DC’S REAL WORLD HISTORY
The National Writing Project, Educator Innovator, May 22, 2017
In these videos commissioned by the National Writing Project (NWP), LRNG awardee Cosby Hunt and his students are featured as part of a unique after-school elective called Real World History. Through a partnership with DC Public Schools, Real World History gives students the chance to explore the past by interning at museums, libraries, and historical sites across Washington, D.C.
What a classroom engaged in real learning looks like
The Washington Post, April 9, 2015
“The next time you have the opportunity to visit a classroom, take a moment to observe closely. Do you see compliance or true engagement? Are students pulling facts out of a book or are they building independent problem-solving skills and meaningful connections?” – Aleta Margolis
Letting kids move in class isn’t a break from learning. It IS learning.
The Washington Post, January 19, 2015
“We’ve come a long way in our understanding of the development of young minds. Yet despite research proving the lasting benefits of serious play, too many of our classrooms remain still, silent places, lacking any element of physical movement.” – Aleta Margolis
“The young people who are currently high school, middle school, and elementary school students will be our country’s leaders in the not too distant future. They deserve an education that is relevant and engages them in things that matter.”