about-bird
LINDA DONNELLY
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Education:

B.A., Illinois State University
M.Ed., Boston University
Ed. S., Specialty in Language and Literacy, Simmons College

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Professional Licences:

Elementary (K-6)
Middle School (5-9)
Reading Specialist (All Levels)
Sheltered English Immersion Teacher Endorsement

Certifications:

Level 1 EmPOWER Architects for Learning
Wilson Level I  Wilson Language Institute
American Montessori Society (6-12)  Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies

Started at The Common School:

1985

Outside interests:

Time with family and friends, dogs (have raised 14 dogs for people with disabilities for Canine Companions for Independence and have participated in multiple dog sports-agility, Rally, obedience, tracking), reading, sea kayaking, walking along the beach, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, swimming, bicycling, roots of racial injustice, nature.

What brought you to The Common School?

I had taught in several alternative programs and schools and wanted to settle into a teaching position that would allow me to grow and develop my burgeoning skills in a progressive school. I loved the setting of the school and its approach to in-depth, integrated studies, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with thoughtful, smart, and creative colleagues. The day I came for my interview as an applicant for the E1 Associate, the skies opened up. Thunder and lightning was the backdrop for an exciting conversation with Kirsten Kaiser, Kate Lamdin, and Mark Segar. How could I pass up the job offer that followed?

 

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

One? There are so many!

  • Perhaps it is the time that the Larch Hill Collaborative received a gift from Gordy and Anne Thorne of 30 pairs of kid-sized snowshoes.  I spontaneously took a bunch of E2ers snowshoeing during Choice time and then stepped inside and taught a language lesson. Yes, we can do that at The Common School, even with upper elementary students.
  • Another might be taking students to the Fort River as part of E2’s new “river” study.  They were so knowledgeable and curious about figuring out if the nearby river was healthy or not.
  • And still another might be the time that the E2 students and teachers worked with farmer Hans Leo at Bramble Hill Farm to try to determine why The Common School pumpkin crop was so low that year.  We studied the insects that had eaten much of the yield and made a proposal to Hans about how he might protect next years’ pumpkins from a similar fate, using organic means of course!
  • OK, there’s one more. I loved taking E2 students through the process of studying nutrition as part of a study of botany and food security. The students then learned about SNAP benefits and developed a healthy menu for a family of four.  They then took buses to various area grocers to see if those meals were affordable on a SNAP budget. The answer was no.  We presented our findings to Rep. Jim McGovern and he thought the kids should be elected to Congress. I have loved seeing the ways my colleagues have further developed the food justice aspects of this study. We are continually building and revising our in-depth studies as we see new possibilities.

What do you like best about The Common School?

I still love the setting, my great colleagues, the in-depth studies, and the amazing families who come our way. I love the way the School lives its mission each and every day.