What Does the Innovative School Look Like? Interview with Dr. Tom King

Interview 11 of Twittering for Education

I gather weekly with educators who envision the ideal school. We collaborate online for what we believe would be the environment students should learn. I believe we learn through models of schools that demonstrate innovative practices. In 1989 such an innovative school did exist, the Saturn School, and my guest this week, Dr. Tom King (@ProfTK) was the founder and Director.

How did the Saturn school differ from the norm?

  • was a magnet school serving students in grades 4 – 8, many at risk, and parents could choose to send their children there instead of the local public school
  • noted for its innovative uses with technology at a time technology not as highly developed
  • visited by the current president at the time, President George Bush Sr., who spoke with the children
  • used local resources such as the public library, the science and art museums, state and local government
  • established mentorships and apprenticeships with businesses and agencies
  • had differentiated staffing: a lead teacher, associate teachers for curriculum, generalist teachers, intern teachers
  • had a longer school year, ungraded, no report cards or textbooks, instead had student portfolios
  • had a school council of staff, parents and students

I recently interviewed Dr. Tom King about his success at getting such a school established. Listen to his interview where he shares incredible insights about school reform and how we can make our dreams for education a reality.

More Information

A preview of the Saturn School as told by the students:

** Discover research, news articles, and so much more about the Saturn School by visiting this website, Saturn School of Tomorrow (1989-2003)

Bio

Tom King is a retired math teacher, the founder of the Saturn School of Tomorrow, adjunct professor for 35 years +, husband, father, grampa, friend, tennis and golf partner, coffee buddy, reader, photographer, poet, and a marveling lifelong learner. He blogs at Tom King’s Blog of De-Fog and tweets by the handle, @profTK. Read his previous contributions to Teacher Reboot Camp.

Previous Interviews

Check out the previous interviews Twittering for Education- Jo and Phil Hart, Twittering for Education- Eric and Melissa Sheninger, Twittering for Education- Will and Elle Deyamport, Connected Principals- George Couros, 1:1 Programs- Rich Kiker, Mobile Learning with Kids- Scott Newcomb, Effective Leadership: Interview with Patrick Larkin, Using Skype for ELT Lessons: Interview with Marisa Pavan, Teachers as Leaders and Continuous Learners: Interview with Dr. Doug Green, and Blogging with Students: Interview with Greta Sandler.

Challenge:

Ask Dr. Tom King for help or support in getting your school to implement innovative change! He’s willing to Skype with your administrators!

If you enjoy this series, you may want to subscribe for FREE!

What are your thoughts about school reform?

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

16 comments

  1. Thanks, Shelly!

    You did a great job in summarizing the key issues of our innovative Saturn School of Tomorrow.

    I hope these resources will be helpful to other interested in school reform.

    If I can be of any help, please contact me at dtking@stthomas.edu

  2. Dear Dr. King,
    What an inspiration you are! Your commitment to the power of transformational learning is something to be highly valued these days.
    Many thanks again for your inspirational message…I agree…Never, Never, Never, Give-up on your dreams. 🙂

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