Saint John's Magazine Winter/Spring 2013

Page 24

Head of the Class By Erin Peterson

It’s never been tougher to be a teacher. Tight budgets, high-stakes testing, ballooning classroom sizes and demanding parents are putting increasing pressure on teachers to do more than ever before. But the best teachers look beyond the surface of these issues to dig deeper, to think bigger and to find new ways of approaching difficult issues. To find out how the top teachers and educators think about the work they do, we asked five SJU alumni in education—recognized as some of the best in the field—to discuss their ideas about improving schools, strengthening teaching and boosting student performance. They offered up some of the challenging problems they’ve been thinking about, and shared the way that SJU has influenced them along the way. Edited excerpts of longer conversations appear below.