about-bird
CHAD ODWAZNY

Education:

B.A./B.S., The Evergreen State College
M.Ed., University of Massachusetts

Started at The Common School:

2009

Outside interests:

Playing with my own kids, baking, running and chasing a ball or disc, speculative fiction, and taking collective action to end racism and fight for climate justice.

What brought you to The Common School?

The progressive reputation; good friends who had taught here in the past.

Tell us about a favorite teaching moment at The Common School:

It is difficult to narrow this one down, so I’ll offer two.  In a more immediate time frame, I love the audible gasp of “getting it” after a student has struggled to understand a concept in math.  In a longer time frame, I love hearing stories like the one of a former student in 7th grade challenging their social studies teacher about whether any of the resources they were using in a Native American unit were written by indigenous authors.  Critical thinking in action.

What do you like best about The Common School?

The incredible autonomy and responsibility we have to create curriculum that is critical, interdisciplinary and relevant to our students. I love trying to live up to the mission of the school: “a love of learning, critical thinking, compassion for others and a deep commitment to social justice and the environment.”  I get to keep learning about topics I am passionate about and then bring that into my teaching. We are able to use excellent resources such as A People’s Curriculum for the Earth (Rethinking Schools), Teaching Hard History: American Slavery (Teaching Tolerance), Seeing White  podcast (Scene on the Radio), An Indigenous People’s History of the U.S. (Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz) and Investigating Evidence (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) to deepen our understanding about the world we live in.