Thursday, April 17, 2014

Outside Voices from the Inside: Meenoo Rami, author of Thrive

Yesterday I posted my review of Meenoo Rami's new book Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching and today I'm proud to interview her here on Use Your Outside Voice.

Meenoo teaches high school English at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA and is also the organizer of the wildly popular weekly twitter chat, #engchat, which happens every Monday evening at 7 PM ET. She is a teacher leader in every sense of the word, presenting at many national teaching conferences, and is now the author of her first book. I am proud to have her here on the blog today.

How long have you been teaching? 
I have been teaching for 8 years in the School District of Philadelphia.

What initially drew you to a career in education? 
When I entered Philadelphia schools through my work at City Year, I was shocked to see some of the challenges and inequities in schools, instead of just complaining about state of urban education, I wanted to do something. In my own small way, I wanted to make a difference in the world.

What motivates you as a teacher? 
I think my kids motivate me to be better each day. They bring new ways of seeing the world, thinking about the world, and I learn from them and am shaped by my interactions with them. I think this keeps me going.

What has been your best classroom memory thus far? 
I am not sure if I can choose one single memory but yesterday I had a fantastic day, I was able to participate on two different webinars around Connected Learning yesterday and both of these webinars featured my students. Listening to them talk about the ways they have grown as readers, writers, and thinkers was really awesome. I guess I am happy when I see my students grow.

What do you want the future of education to look like? 
Most of all, I want the people who are doing this work everyday to have some say in the policies that shape the future of education. I hope teachers will agree that the factory model of education is outdated and we need to move towards practices that help our students become makers, doers, creators in our classrooms

What makes you stay in the classroom?
The joy and challenge of being with my students everyday. They push me to become the very best version of myself.

What do the words "use your outside voice" mean to you? 
I think it means going public with our work, I think it means that we as teachers need to share the good things that are happening in all our classrooms. I think we need to take an active part in the dialogue around education and education reform.

Order your copy of Thrive today:

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