In the 21st Century
OFFERING FLEXIBLE LEARNING AND LITERACY APPROACHES FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS TO MEET 21ST CENTURY EXPECTATIONS AND REALITIES
For my professional career and life interests, I have traveled a unique journey reflected in my blog post title, TLC in the 21st Century. The ambiguity existing in the use of TLC has several possibilities…my wife immediately thought I was going to be writing about teaching and learning communities, pathways I’ve shared with a number of school administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals.
Other possibilities include ‘tender loving care’ that is associated with the TLC acronym, or perhaps an ‘ethic of care’ philosophy that is hopefully integrated into school environments. The intent, though, is to write about Technology, literacy, and collaboration, whose intersections ironically impact the nature of learning communities in schools as well as the quality of relationships and care we see in a variety of 21st-century school constructs such as brick and mortar schools, blended school communities and virtual schools.
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Bio Gary and His Career
Gary has been a lifelong teacher/educator and writer/researcher based primarily in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. His education includes a BS in English Education from Northeastern University; an MS Degree in Education from Idaho State University; a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study at the University of New Hampshire(UNH); advanced graduate work in reading and writing from the UNH Literacy Institute; and the Ph.D. program(ABD) in Literacy and Schooling at UNH.
Gary and His Career
He was a founding administrator of the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School in New Hampshire, a public online school that has grown from an initial 450 student enrollments in 2008 to one of the largest online schools per state capita in the country. As the school’s initial Chief Learning Officer and a current consultant, writer, and researcher for the school, Gary has helped facilitate the introduction of 21st Century Learning Pathways ranging from a newly adopted elementary school program to dual enrollment high school and college offerings and adult education options.
He has always forged institutional and personal relationships into working learning cultures specific to a community. This is evidenced by the growth of blended school communities in New Hampshire with seamlessly intersecting face-to-face and virtual teacher/student environments throughout the state. These blended school relationships resulted in a smoother transition and robust opportunities for all students during the 2020-21 pandemic that resulted in face to face school shutdowns.
Gary’s background in education as a teacher and administrator; as well as in adult development, school change and structures, and personal & organizational literacy, has allowed him to approach challenges schools face from a relational/relationship stance rather than beginning with designing processes and tasks designed to simply reform rather than transform needed school change.
His extensive writing and research experience has focused both on the formal and informal value of writing as a means for developing connections in schools and classrooms. Like several prominent researchers of writing, he believes that the act of writing actively promotes thinking, clarity, and reflection, the gateways to meaningful relationships and constructivist learning environments.
- Reflections on his professional/personal writing and work to attempt to make meaning of the continuing efforts educators and policymakers to transform rather than reform schools, teaching, and learning.
- Insights on the changing landscapes of literacy issues centered on reading and writing. Especially those changes created by Technology and the impacts created for both adults and children.
- The needed alignment of adult development considerations as institutions and schools provide professional development to meet demands in rapidly changing societies.
- The importance of differentiating the informal and formal with both adults and children when reading, writing, and reflecting on content, curriculum, instruction, evaluation, and assessment, especially if we expect risk-taking and growth for all teachers and learners.
- Viewing literacy, adult development, Technology, and educational transformation through a political lens in the highly politicized world of the 21st Century.
Consulting & Testimonials
Gary’s areas of expertise include literacy; adult & professional Development; 21st Century teaching & learning; and developing school/organizational cultures through a relationship/process/task construct. He provides a variety of technical assistance and support to schools, districts, and state agencies in these areas. The following are examples and testimonials:
21st Century School Transformation
As a 21st Century school design leader, Gary was a founding administrator and its initial Chief Learning Officer for the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, a New Hampshire public statewide online school. He has remained affiliated with the school as a consultant working on writing, research, and design for newly launched competency-based pathways (college, internships, and projects) as well as a virtual statewide adult education program. Gary has been instrumental in developing and implementing strategies with brick and mortar schools for creating blended teaching and learning environments.Gary is kind, tactful, insightful, and intelligent. His judgment is keen, his experience is diverse, and his ability to cut to the root of an issue is uncanny. These qualities, along with his sense of humor make him a valued colleague who is able to make his mark on a district. He brought his facility with Technology to our district and moved the culture light years in just a short time. His intelligent, thoughtful approach to the change process earned the respect and cooperation of all. He is well read and up to date on the latest research and its implications for the classroom ~ Jean Briggs Badger, Superintendent
Teacher and Curriculum Development
As a UNH Resident Scholar, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses along with supervision of emerging teachers at the University of New Hampshire, Gary taught out of the Education Department and English Department(Learning Through Teaching) with a particular emphasis on school structures and change; and writing strategies for differentiation and interdisciplinary applicationsGary Tirone possesses “the right stuff” (i.e., intelligence, expertise, experience, vision, realism, interpersonal skills, and a great work ethic), all of which are needed to positively impact school policy, faculty culture, and student learning. He sees “the big picture” and works to achieve these overarching goals, yet he is also practical and knows when to compromise on priorities and strategies; and is particularly knowledgeable about issues and tensions associated with curriculum reform as it relates to state curriculum frameworks and testing, and the Common Core.~ Joe Onosko, Associate ProfessorAs an instructor Gary is dedicated to developing a meaningful classroom experience which encourages learning across the disciplines. He is thoughtful in his development of curricular and materials, putting together articles, books, videos, and guest speakers which are current and thought provoking. He supports independent thinking and exploration. His responses to my papers were thoughtful, honest, observations which challenged me to dig deeper and do better. ~ Carol Colgan, Teacher & Graduate Student
Educator Evaluation/Educator as Researcher Models
As a consultant for the Dover and Epping School Districts in New Hampshire, Gary led a transformation of the teacher/administrator evaluation system to include the educator as researcher model that included a relationship/ process/task construct an integrated Technology to facilitate blended, relational possibilitiesThrough his efforts, there is now much more dialog- between teacher and student, student and student, and even administrators. There are now study groups engaged in conversations about what matters most in support of student learning. The K-12 curriculum is more cohesive than it has ever been in the nine years I have served here as principal.~ Mark Vallone Elementary PrincipalGary is one of the most reflective practitioners I have encountered. He is very thorough in his work and is thought provoking in others. He believes in and seeks the best in others and considers every member of a group to be a contributor. He brings an impressive set of credentials to any group he joins and brings interesting insights to his work.~ Lyn Ward Healy, New England League of Middle Schools
Staff Embedded Professional Development
As a teaching administrator and consultant, Gary assesses individual teacher and administrator readiness for change and developed personalized graduate onsite curriculum for staffs that personalized adult development and facilitated a change process for curriculum, instruction, and assessmentGary’s true talents lie in his knowledge of literacy, his passion for student learning and adult learning, and his ability to link the two. Gary’s focus was to provide onsite graduate-level English courses to teachers and administrators in the area of portfolios for students and staff. These courses have served as a pilot and backbone for future changes in student assessment and staff evaluation. Gary also played a key role in Technology and the new ICT Standards requiring student electronic portfolios. These initiatives as well as others, are an example of Gary’s systemic approach to change and learning. He has worked with other school districts, the NH Department of Education, the University of New Hampshire, and other outside agencies in planning and implementing similar initiatives ~ Barbara Munsey, SuperintendentThroughout the time Gary has been in the district, I have consulted with him on all aspects of student learning, curriculum, creating positive school climates, and special education concerns. He brings with him an ability to actively listen to challenges and contributes immensely to school improvement efforts. He maintains an extremely professional demeanor while displaying a quiet sense of humor. Catherine Zylinski, Director of Special Services
As a Writer/Researcher, Gary has had columns published, written successful grants for mentoring and professional development, as well as for Next Generation Learning opportunities. Gary has also written white papers for specific strategy use in the areas of adult development, writing pedagogies, and teaching & learning for the 21st Century. Other columns:For more information on consulting services, contact:
[email protected] PARADISE AKA HUMANITY LOST
WILDLY CREATIVE FICTION AKA BS
WHAT PARTS OF NORMAL SHOULD WE KEEP FOR SCHOOLS?
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