Three Teachers Are on a Nationwide Quest to Design (and Open) the Ultimate School

Posted by Liz Dwyer

"There are all kinds of good things happening in schools," says Brooklyn's Todd Sutler, a teacher and executive director of the Odyssey Initiative, a nonprofit project he and two other educators—Michelle Healy and Brooke Peters—launched last spring. On September 4 the trio will kick off their tour of the nation's most effective schools with the goal of capturing and sharing best practices. They plan to use what they discover to inspire other educators, the American public, and ultimately start an amazing school back in Brooklyn.

As you can see in the video above, what makes the project especially noteworthy is that unlike top-down policymakers who prescribe solutions for our schools without ever having been in a classroom, Healy, Peters, and Sutler believe that education reform has to start with teachers. That means they'll gather ideas and research "from a teacher's perspective about how to best serve kids" and then share those ideas accordingly.

The trio believes, says Sutler, that "innovation in education is not limited to one type of school" so they hope to visit public, private, parochial, and charter schools in all 50 states. They plan to post updates, create podcasts, and free videos that other educators can watch as a form of professional development.

To support the Odyssey Initiative and ensure that they have the funds they need to visit as many great American schools as possible contribute to their Kickstarter. (It ends on July 28 so don't wait!) And, if you know of a fantastic school or excellent teacher they should put on their itinerary, you can submit it here.

Photo via Odyssey Initiative