iNK's mission is to give teachers something to teach that can brighten their day and remind them of why they became teachers. For us it was a very good year. Our numbers for the last month were off the charts. Almost 100,000 page views and our visitors to our site looked at an average number of more than 11 pages a visit. This past year, we were taken under the wing of one of the largest business consulting firms on the planet as a pro bono client. They got us off our rear ends and we've started a podcast. (My last post gave you the link.) We're designing a new website to debut in early September as the next school year rolls around. And more good news about us and our books on the horizon.
But we're worried about our teacher colleagues. The emphasis has shifted to concern about student grades than about student learning. At a time, when businesses say they need creators and innovators, classroom work is standardized with work sheets and flat, uninteresting written material. We hear from the trenches that teachers are frustrated at not being heard by the powers-that-be, are being held accountable for student performance in unfair ways, and have little autonomy in meeting curriculum standards. Many are burnt out, even in affluent schools where they stay because they can't afford to try something else.
How would you like to work with us and bring the joy of learning back to your classroom? iNK authors have written many books that fit into your school curriculum. We can start small, with a curriculum built around one of those books that fit into either grade 4 or grade 8 unit of study. iNK will supply classroom sets of books, work with your curriculum people and teachers to create professional development and teaching strategies that make teachers excited to teach, and help design projects for students with the input of the book's author that make students excited to learn. iNK is a nonprofit, as are schools. There is grant money around that can pay for this. We figure the cost of doing such a program for one unit is $2500 per school, for two-three classes and would include classroom sets of books, 2-3 hour of videoconferencing with the author-- some for PD for teachers and creating the curriculum, some for motivating students. We've done this and we KNOW it works. We're confident that even one unit reading a great book and creating a classroom project with the input of a real author is enough to make the standardized test scores go up.
The summer stretches before us. It will take work to get ready and get funding. If you're interested please contact me. It will make my day!