On December 2, 2010, AEP will induct Marilyn Burns, Math Solutions; Diane Trister Dodge, Teaching Strategies, Inc.; and Rachelle Cracchiolo, Teacher Created Materials into the Educational Publishing Hall of Fame. Here in their final installment, Marilyn Burns, Founder, Math Solutions; Rachelle Cracchiolo, Founder and CEO, Teacher Created Materials; and Diane Trister Dodge, Founder and President, Teaching Strategies Inc., discuss the accomplishment they are most proud of.
With this huge shift from teaching to publishing, I’m most proud that I’ve made the commitment to take the time, off the top of my busier and busier schedule, to stay in touch with students in the classroom. This has had a profound influence on all that I’ve written and published. Each year, I’ve “adopted” a class, finding a willing teacher, getting to know the students, trying new lessons to improve my teaching, and focusing on understanding how students think and reason. It hasn’t always been easy to honor this commitment with ongoing and mounting publishing pressures, but I’ve made it a priority and I’m proud to have done so.
Also, along with writing and publishing books, my work in the late 1980s creating the Cuisenaire professional development videotapes catapulted my understanding of teaching and learning. Being filmed made it imperative that the teaching I modeled was as intentional and effective as possible. This experience contributed to enhancing all that I’ve done since, most recently with the work I’ve done on Scholastic’sDo The Math intervention program.
I am the most proud of the professional development services offered by both Teacher Created Materials and Shell Education. We have many award-winning products, but the best products in the world won’t solve the many problems educators face today without the support of high-quality professional development. Continued training for teachers in proven methods and practical strategies, which are at the heart of our companies, is the best hope for improving instruction and raising student achievement. We have been training educators for over 20 years, and we receive consistent feedback that the practices we are sharing inform, guide, and motivate our audiences.
Diane Trister Dodge
I am most proud of the fact that I was able to create an early childhood publishing company that has a clear mission and vision, and that the staff and consultants who have worked with me over the past 22 years have been and continue to be passionately committed to our mission. When I started Teaching Strategies in my basement in 1988, I never dreamed that I was actually starting a company. My plan was to focus my energies entirely on early childhood and to work from home. I wanted to publish the first edition of The Creative Curriculum and a filmstrip on how room arrangement affects children’s behavior. From my own work in child care and Head Start programs, I knew these were publications that teachers and trainers needed. I sent proposals to many publishers but failed to find support, so I decided to publish them myself. Hal Kaplan of Kaplan Early Learning and Larry Rood of Gryphon House both agreed to distribute my materials through their catalogs.
That was the beginning of Teaching Strategies. The company now employs 70 staff members and more than 50 consultants, many of whom are experienced educators who provide professional development services to programs that adopt our curriculum and assessment systems. Most importantly, we are making a difference in programs serving children from birth through age 5 throughout the United States and increasingly in other countries.