60. The Most Beautifully Relevant Learning, with Florence Scott

This was Florence Scott‘s first podcast interview so it was understandable that she would text me after the fact asking if it was normal to be rethinking her responses to my questions. In some ways, her text to me illustrates at the deepest possible level who Florence is: A deeply reflective educator who lives and breathes relevant learning. Florence believes with all her mind and all her heart that learning is constant day in and day out, year in and year out. After an hour of interviewing her I had the overwhelming desire to return to middle school, which was a completely crummy experience for me some 50 years ago at Punahou School. Back then my teachers saw me as a mediocre student (I have the grade reports plus comments to prove this) who seemed to fail each time I was asked to report my learning on a test or in a paper. Ugh. In reality I was a deeply reflective kid who lived and breathed the outdoors, making things, books and…family dinner table Socratic seminars. So it goes without saying that had I had Florence Scott in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade I would have been most likely to succeed, most likely to shine when it came to the meta process of “knowing thyself.” Florence, in so many ways reminds me of my favorite high school teacher, Paul “Doc” Berry, who inspired me to push all boundaries and became my lifelong friend and mentor. I imagine Florence’s kids, years or decades from now, searching for her on Facebook so they can tell her how much she supported their inherent creativity, imagination and innovation. My conversation with her was a total blast; I hope you come away from it with a bushel of ideas and small steps that might move your educator practice towards student-driven learning. Florence said the following about herself in her resume (which I converted to the 3rd person): [She is ]…a dynamic, versatile education professional with more than nine years managing academic programs and leading education initiatives while supporting and empowering students and colleagues.  She is an accomplished instructional leader able to conceptualize goals and plan accordingly to address the needs of all students’ unique learning modalities. And, she has a proven track record of developing and implementing curriculum activities that promote social, emotional, and cognitive development. Florence serves as a middle school humanities teacher, guide, coach, mentor and navigator at Hawaii Technology Academy’s Kauai Campus. She has also served in various English language arts positions in both South Carolina, Maryland and Great Britain. She has a bachelors degree in English and a masters degree in Education. As always our original theme music and post production editing was provided by Daniel Gilad of DG Sound Creations. Friends, stay safe, wear your masks, get vaccinated and bring kindness into the world. We need lots and lots of kindness right now.