Kim Mishkin is the founding middle school educator at Hudson Lab School in Hudson-on-Hastings, New York.
Kim strives to infuse curriculum requirements with creativity to deepen student engagement. Her goal is for students to learn about themselves through what they learn in class and apply those skills in their everyday lives. She views the process of curriculum planning as a dance with students’ creativity and interests, and in her role as lead learner, she seeks to prepare students to thrive in the world and not just at school.
Kim on Powerful Learning:
What role do educators play in preparing young people for the future?
“As educators, I think it is our goal to help students understand that the world around them is constantly changing. More and more information is flooding toward them and they have to be able to make sense of everything. They have to be able to adapt, and change, and be flexible and be problem solvers.”
What’s one student project that demonstrates powerful learning?
“The students were presented with the challenge of studying the Hudson River Valley, past and present, and to find a way to share that learning with the world. They chose to open a broadcast news company in order to record their stories. After conducting research about the Hudson, they then studied the craft of journalism and learned how to put a story together. They built a news desk, developed a logo and jingle, and learned how to use the camera, lights, and sound equipment. The results can be viewed on our website!”
What book has influenced your thinking on powerful teaching and learning?:
“As a project based school, the quality of the projects is something I think about a lot. An Ethic of Excellence by Ron Berger really shaped my thinking about how to develop a school culture of excellence. As a result of this book, I now ask my students, ‘Are you proud of this work?’ before they call it done. If the answer isn’t yes, it’s not done yet!”
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