The book is my best effort to describe not what theory says you should do to “win” in the classroom–especially in the toughest ones–but what the very best teachers actually do–those who take kids of poverty and reliably make high achievers out of them. To write Teach Like a Champion I watched thousands of classes and videos of classes taught by teachers with incredible results, and I put everything I thought I saw them doing through the “Monday Test.” If I felt it wasn’t something I (or you) could do at 8:25am on Monday morning, it was out.
Ultimately, teachers whom I watched and learned from, the unacknowledged heroes in America, are the true authors of the ideas in the book. To the degree that they inspire you, thank them. By the way, that’s two of them, Bob Zimmerli and Kelli Ragin, on the cover.
As for me, I’m a former teacher, principal, and consultant. Now I’m a managing director at Uncommon Schools, an organization that starts and runs exceptionally high-performing public schools in urban centers in New York and New Jersey. I oversee Uncommon’s upstate schools in Rochester and Troy and lead teacher trainings both across Uncommon and externally. I get to work with amazing folks (leaders and teachers) at such organizations as Teacher U, KIPP, Teach For America, Achievement First, Building Excellent Schools, New Schools for New Orleans, and New Leaders for New Schools. And of course the incredible people at Uncommon.
I went to Hamilton College and then got graduate degrees from Indiana University and the Harvard Business School.