Name: Ross Marino
Host Site: The Learning Community
Where’d you go to school? Brown University
What do you want to be when you grow? Elementary School Teacher
If you could have any super power, what would it be? Super Speed
Story of Service
I serve at The Learning Community, a kindergarten through 8th grade public charter school based in Central Falls. The charter school movement began by promising to innovate and research new practices and to share that knowledge with public schools. To fulfill that original promise, The Learning Community has committed itself to collaborating with public schools through the work done by The Teaching Studio.
The Teaching Studio is an integrated part of The Learning Community. Practicing teachers and specialists work as consultants and collaborators with public school teachers as well as maintaining their own classrooms. We are currently partnered with the Woonsocket and Smithfield school districts thanks to funding from The Rhode Island Foundation and The Kellogg Foundation.
I feel lucky to be working in a school that is not just dedicated to the education of their own children, but also sees the importance of making a broader impact. However, a challenge I have faced with this indirect service is… well, that it’s indirect. Working with students one-on-one or refurbishing a teacher’s classroom has the reward of being able to see that student succeed or see that classroom revitalized. At first, I found it much more difficult to see the impact of researching new technology or helping implement data systems.
On January 11 of this year the Teaching Studio hosted the Teaching Studio Educator’s Institute. This was our first conference, and over 300 educators attended. Here is where I began to see why my work was so important. I saw so many teachers coming from workshops excited to try out new techniques, or ready to dive into a new book to improve their practice. I knew that all of the hours I was putting in to support the sustainability of The Teaching Studio was having such an extensive influence on the education of students across many states.