Miriam Gamoran Sherin Reflects on Northwestern University’s Public Voices Fellows First Convening

As a Professor of Learning Sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, I study the interactions between teachers and students in schools and how teachers make sense of what happens in their classrooms. I was selected as a Public Voices Fellow for 2012-2013 from Northwestern University.

I’ve wanted to write for an audience of parents for a while now, for years actually. I’ve had things to say when friends ask me questions about their children’s experiences in school and how to relate to their children’s teachers. And I’ve thought about the same issues myself as parent of three school-aged children. But, I never did anything about it so I was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the Op-Ed Project. For the past two days I’ve been mentored, along with 19 of my peers, by two leading journalists. What struck me the most was how honest our conversations were, how quickly the room became a safe place to explore what it might mean to share our ideas in a public forum. And how willing our mentors were to share their expertise and their time with us, now and in the future. I feel valued and energized and I learned a lot.

After two days in the Op-Ed project, I feel an urgency to share my ideas. Not because I’m the expert, or have the answer, but because I have something to say that’s current and that contributes to conversations people are having.

Thanks Op-Ed project. You’ll be hearing from me soon.

Miriam Gamoran Sherin is a Professor of Learning Sciences in School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Her children are in grades 2, 7, and 10.

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