Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

Check in often, or subscribe to get headlines fed to you! Oh, and the views expressed here are not those of anyone but me.  And anyone who happens to share the same views, I guess.

(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Monday, December 1, 2008


Hartford, CT


Passionate.  Cooperative.  Always learning.  Creative.  Hard-working.  Team player.  Inquisitive.


On and on they went (not as many –ing words as I might have expected from several hundred ING employees!)  These were the qualifications for someone they would hire to work with them at one of the world’s leading financial management companies (which is also a major supporter of the Teacher of the Year program and other education programs.)


After a dozen such wonderful adjectives, I finally had to ask, “what about knowledge?  Knowledge of markets, of analysis, of tax law?”


The two main responses:  “Oh, knowledge should be a given,” and “Specific knowledge can be easily learned by a person with these other qualities.”


Fairly astute observations that these business people made about education and what we should be more formally valuing in our students!  I think when we have a more balanced approach from our leadership, we find that these qualities begin to emerge from our students on a more regular basis and more consistently across the demographic gaps.  Not only would it be better preparation for our students as corporate workers in the 21st century, but as global citizens, too.  Perhaps we ought to listen more carefully to some of our major stakeholders, and less to our educational traditions.


  1. Mr. Geisen,

    It was great fun having you come to talk to us in Windsor. Good luck to you! I am passing your blog url on to my son Joe, who's studying at UConn to be a high school math teacher. Both that, and your own way of working, give me hope.

    Best regards,
    David Stein
    Enterprise Architect
    Windsor, CT

  2. Mike,

    Thank you so much for speaking for us at ING in Windsor. It's teachers like you that will make my childrens future better and brighter than ours! I hope to incorporate some of your methods in my Junior Achievement classes.

    I'm forwarding your blog to my wife (a 2nd grade teacher) and her peers. I thought your presentation was excellent. It would be great if you could record one of your sessions and make it available on the web for teachers to view as an motivational event during a profession development session.

    Keep up the great work!

    Brian Kruse

  3. Mike,
    Thank you so much for the time you took to speak with us here at ING. As a father of two young children ages 2 and 4 you have provided me with excellant ideas on how to raise my children!!!


Feel free to question, disagree, challenge, or make suggestions! I'm a big boy. I can take it.