It was about five years ago, and I was teaching seventh grade Social Studies. I had just starting using project-based learning with my class, and we were working through a project on the separation of church and state. Students needed to present policy recommendations for church/state relations.
Danielle asked me if she could email the mayor to get his thoughts on the matter. I thought about it and said, “Sure, why not? Just realize you probably won’t get an answer. He is busy.”
Five minutes later, Danielle let out a small scream and started rambling, “he answered, he answered.” The whole class ran to Danielle and read the email. They were so excited. Right then and there, I knew project-based learning (PBL) was a powerful way to engage students with the real world.
My students continue to amaze me. They use PBL to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators. Most of the time, I have to kick them out of class. Imagine that!
I co-founded CrowdSchool to bring this type of learning to teachers and students across the world. We want to be the first platform to crowdsource the best PBL Challenges from the best teachers.
As the CrowdSchool project gathered steam, I was forced with a decision. Do I leave the classroom on a full-time basis to focus on its growth?
I thought to myself, why CrowdSchool?
Why will CrowdSchool create a genuine impact on education? I thought of Danielle. I remembered the faces of my students. I wanted to give that experience to teachers and students everywhere. I knew it would not be easy, I knew it would be a sacrifice, but I knew it would be worth it. I still love being in the classroom as a part-time faculty member, but I also really love working at CrowdSchool.
I know we are going to do some amazing things.
…And go ahead and email, I am not too busy for you.