Lessons from Both Sides of the Teacher’s Desk: The Final Chapter

August 15, 2022
Hosted by Ron Roel

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Episode Description

Today’s episode is the final chapter of a 3-part conversation that I began earlier this summer, focusing on of a terrific book, "What Went Right: Lessons from Both Sides of the Teacher’s Desk," by co-authors Roberta Israeloff and George McDermott. Roberta was one of my classmates at Syosset High School on Long Island in the late 1960s and has remained a long-time friend. George was our 11th Grade American Lit teacher at Syosset. Roberta, a career writer and author, is currently the Director of the nonprofit Squire Family Foundation, dedicated to encouraging the teaching of philosophy at pre-college levels. And George, a writer and poet, has had several teaching jobs, as well as extensive editorial experience in several business and media fields over several decades. In my last conversation with Roberta and George in July, we elaborated on some of their recollections and perspectives during their earlier teaching experiences, which were detailed in their book. We went on to focus on what’s changed (or not) in public education, society and in their own lives, inside and outside the classroom. In today’s show, we’ll continue our discussion of significant shifts and trends in public education that George and Roberta have observed—some of which have spurred considerable debate, such as the application of more corporate approaches to education…and questions about how much education should be linked to the training of students more specifically for future jobs. We’ll take a longer look at the true meaning of lifelong learning. And finally, I’ll ask Roberta and George to offer some parting takeaways from their collaborative exploration of education over their lifetimes, what they discovered about themselves in the process, and how we can all continue this conversation that ultimately teaches us to be human.

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Ron Roel

I’m a veteran journalist who spent a wide-ranging career covering business, politics and social issues, the last two decades focusing on the blend of diverse life skills I call successful aging.

I have written extensively on aging topics, spoken at conferences, radio and TV shows, and launched several entrepreneurial ventures, discovering along the way that the path to aging well also requires an unexpected entrepreneurial vision. I spent 20 years as a writer and editor at Long Island’s daily newspaper, Newsday, helping to found Act 2, a weekly section for 50-plus readers. I created Roelresources.com, a website offering practical advice and inspirational essays for people ages 40 and above. I have been a volunteer and consultant to AARP Long Island, writing articles, advocating for seniors, and developing action plans for the AARP Age-Friendly Communities initiative.

I am active in programs and organizations that support seniors, such as the National Aging In Place Council and the Senior Umbrella Network. I have developed a special expertise in family caregiving, as one of four brothers who took care of their mother for almost 25 years. I regularly collaborate with many professionals who provide services and support for older Americans, and I am completing a book for caregivers on Long Island, “The Caregiving Navigator/How to Plan, What to do, and Where to Turn When Caring for you Aging Loved Ones. And Yourself,” scheduled for publication in early 2021.

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