Archives for posts with tag: Progressive Ed Summit

Well, Happy New School Year!  We thought we better update the story of The Big Move at City Neighbors Charter School.  Lets start with the teacher who decided to try getting rid of all her traditional desks and chairs and create what she likes to call, “Giovanni’s Cafe” for teaching Language Arts in middle school.  If you recall back in #1 of this series we introduced the ideas of Ms. Sajida Davis:

First, Ms. Davis talked about her teaching.  She would need space for the classroom library, small meeting spaces, and a spot for her desk (could it be near a window?). Next she imagined a big whiteboard – a whole wall – from floor to ceiling so groups of students could be coming up with ideas together at the same time. She mentioned quiet spaces (and we looked out in the hallway and decided it was great and she would feel comfortable sending kids out there too). And when we began to talk about her tables and chairs that were being moved up here she said, “What I really wish is that I didn’t have to have tables and chairs.” Cool! What would you have? “You know, I want my classroom to be like a big coffee shop, with couches and comfy chairs, coffee tables, and some kind of stage area.”

 After a long summer of first relocating the library, then insulating the attic, then searching for and finding used furniture from hotel liquidators in the area, we spent $900 to create an entirely new classroom.  Here are some of the pictures from her space on the first day of school (some with students!):

IMG_7456 IMG_7455 IMG_7454 IMG_7453 IMG_7469 IMG_7468 IMG_7475

And now the most important question must be posed.  Will the physical environment impact the practice of the teacher?  How about the work of the students?  What does this new space create that works?  How about what doesn’t work?  These questions and more will be considered as we continue to check in with Ms. Davis this year in her new space.

Well, we made it.  Today is day 3 of a new school year.  More pictures and thoughts on the physical environment coming soon.

Just a few more pictures of the new space in use with our students:

IMG_7470 IMG_7471 IMG_7473



Happy New Year, Baltimore!

This month we are looking forward to the 6th Annual Progressive Ed Summit at City Neighbors on January 23rd. This year along with the exciting focus on progressive practices we are excited to be celebrating the arts at the Summit with you. You will have access with two fabulous keynote speakers, an arts fair, a wide variety of workshops that share best practices and offer arts experiences, and the usual atmosphere of networking, good food, fun, and love for the work we all do together working with children, teachers, and families.

This year we are celebrating the ARTS in Education!

Time to Register!
Seats are limited!


January 23, 2016
8:45 AM – 3:15 PM

City Neighbors Hamilton Campus

Join us!

Want to know more?  Check out the information on our website.

A word from our 2016 Keynote Speakers:

“Every child needs to have space for them to create. I decided we need to be the ones to put paintbrushes in the hands of kids.”  -Adarsh Alphons

“Good questions peel back surfaces, push past pat answers ensconced in yesterday’s certainty; they create paths of inquiry into the I-don’t-known.”  – Dr. Eric Booth

See you at the Summit!

Here is our welcome video highlighting schools from across the city – we hope you like it! 

Summit:     the place where you can simultaneously see where you have come from – and where you could go.

On Saturday, at City Neighbors we held the 5th Annual Progressive Ed Summit.    Over 450 folks from across the city and state came together.

Dr. Howard Fuller launched our work Saturday morning.  With a combination of conviction and humility, with fire and ease, Dr. Fuller lifted us, called us to action, provoked us to reconsider, and confronted our basic notions.     He made the claim, “The purpose of education is to give children practice at being free.”

If that is our purpose, then our teachers and educators need that same call and those same opportunities.     At Saturday’s summit, this practice at being free was powerful and present.  Educators came together on their own volition to grow, connect, experiment with ideas, and reflect.   Throughout the day, folks agreed and disagreed with passion and respect.   Over forty-five teachers and practitioners used their voices to share their work, their strategies, and their ideals to make the collective stronger.    Our authors – who have published their ideas – came to share those compelling ideas.    The day was steeped in individual choices and individual pursuits, but all in a spirit of community, collective growth, and collaboration.

Thanks to all who came out:    the workshop presenters, our featured authors, our volunteers, the many foundations who made it possible to offer this conference for free.

There is much work to do.   There may always be so much work to do.   But, surrounded by so many educators, parents, administrators, operators, and students, it was clear that we are forging a way forward that is rooted in seeing children as powerful, creative, loving, and worthy of the deepest respect.   Standing at this summit, we could see where we could go – together.

So, let’s keep going!    And, let’s check back in next January for the 6th Annual Progressive Ed Summit.

Bobbi and Mike

Please enjoy the pictures from this year’s Summit.


Thoughts and ideas on great public education in Baltimore City

Stories of U.S.

Connecting communities through data-centered storytelling.

On the arts and education

with Chris Ford, Director of Baltimore School for the Arts


This site is dedicated to education, philosophy, spirituality, leadership, management, social commentary and self-actualization.


This site is the bee's knees


Just another site


once upon a time in a world that is not yet our own...

The Huffington Post | The Full Feed

Thoughts and ideas on great public education in Baltimore City

Deborah Meier on Education

Views on Education