Really the team was every student, teacher, parent, administrator, and visitor that came to High Tech High in the past 20 years. They pushed, created, talked, listened to the creativity that sprung from this progressive experiment.
Debbie Spellman Smith
Shelley Glenn Lee
A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s
High Tech High teachers are required to do significantly more than traditional teachers. They develop their curriculum that enables students to see what it is like to be writers, historians, mathematicians, scientists, and artists through subject-integrated projects. The teacher designs and tailors these projects with the input of students in order to meet their learning goals.
The teachers are then asked to document what they have done with the students and what the students have done during their time together. As an art teacher, documentation was more straightforward for me; I imagine the struggle to create tangible artifacts of student work is a whole other full-time job for teachers of other subjects. The teachers that we hit up to participate in this collection care about their craft, their students, and about documenting their work to help other teachers.
These teachers made the extra effort to put their work out there, took criticism, and improved. They modeled what they want for their students: creative analysis, and a constant striving to improve one’s craft.
Thank you for your work and participation, this is your reward.
Thank you to all the teachers and students who shared their work with us. I especially appreciate the time that teachers take to document their work. Without that extra commitment on top of everything else teachers do, this book would not have been possible. We wrote this book in the year of remote schooling during the 2020 COVID pandemic. Interviewing teachers and seeing images of students collaborating to create beautiful projects kept me hopeful that we could one day return to a world of in-person, creative, and engaged learning.
The WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) prize, awarded to Larry Rosenstock in 2019, made this project possible. Thank you to Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser for creating a prize that recognizes and elevates the work of educators around the world. Thanks also to Stavros Yiannouka, Audrey Giacomini, Ameena Hussain, and all the WISE and Qatar Foundation staff for their support and commitment to project-based learning and to engaging education for all students.
Closer to home, I also want to thank Randy Scherer, Alec Patton, Patrick Yurick, Brent Spirnak, Nikki Hinostro, Melissa Daniels, Robert Guerra, Luke Piedad, Jimena De La Torre, Briony Chown, and Rob Riordan for their support of the project. Thanks to Lauri Scherer for astute editing. Collaborating with Jeff Robin kept me laughing during a very dark year. Finally, thank you to Larry Rosenstock for his steadfast love and support for students, teachers, this project, and me.