I have been a passionate learner, tinkerer, and educator all of my life. … I think that we are creating something very special that is focused on preparing young people for having quality lives in the 21st century. — Barry Gelston, M.Ed.
One of my enduring values has been that everybody should have a chance to learn and succeed. As a young activist at Citizen Action I worked for a mentor and friend, Warren Spann, who impressed on me that activists aren’t born, they are developed. This affirming attitude has guided me throughout my life as I have expanded that perspective to all people that I have met. My role has been to be a catalyst to support others to achieve their goals.
An important part of my development as an educator has been my training for a Master’s Degree in Education. In the graduate program I was introduced to a fascinating and enlightening world of educational theory and philosophies. I felt most comfortable with theories that emphasized the role of the learner in constructing their own knowledge dependent upon their learning styles. My thesis displayed the correlation that students were promoted to different levels of math class based on learning style differences. Students who excelled in public school math were better suited to relate to an authority figure, could sit in chairs longer, preferred lower levels of light, and were able to persevere in that environment.
As an ongoing learner and tinkerer my views as an educator have evolved to embrace the importance of meta-cognition or meta-learning (learners learning how they learn), connected learning, utilization of online learning tools in a flipped classroom model, and collaborative engagement through self-directed projects. It cannot be understated that the most empowering catalyst in these changes is the internet.
My passions in life have been loving those I am connected with, learning how the world works, and taking on projects to see if I can make them work. I have been a professional researcher, campaign manager and consultant, statistician, programmer, sales and marketing executive, project manager, IT manager, software designer, public school teacher, and supportive father to a musician. I guess that you could define me as a Multipotentialite who loves to tinker and experiment. I love sharing all of these passions and encouraging others to follow their passions.