Last Monday night in the Village Gate, twenty years of history was packed into the north side of Lento Restaurant. From Clinton to Obama with Bush in between. From No Child Left Behind to its discontents. From the dawn of the internet to digital classrooms. From when the Delehantys were young to the Delehantys . . . in their prime!
You first met Dan and Laura Delehanty in Inspiring aspiring teachers at East High about East High’s Teaching and Learning Institute explained in a nutshell:
Created in 1995 with a Ford Foundation grant, TLI’s mission is to help the RCSD grow its own teachers. Through this rigorous program taught by East teachers from all disciplines, students learn the nuts and bolts of lesson and unit planning, lesson organization, preparation of materials, delivery of instruction, classroom management and reflection upon classroom performance.
And on Monday night we celebrated TLI’s 20th Birthday. Expecting a turnout of about 50, the extended happy hour bash drew over 100 TLI alums, teachers and supporters. Including Robert Snyder and April Luehmann who you have met before.
The rather quickly ravaged appetizer bar (I did manage to grab a squid thing) attested to the success of the evening and the loyalty of TiLIes from all over.
The other day I talked with Dan, reflecting on the two decades. I expected Dan to give an involved story about the early years when no one knew if the Institute would survive through dramatic breakthroughs and obstacles overcome to an uncharted future. (You met Dan in What the new East will be and not be)
Actually, the more prosaic story Dan gave made complete sense. TLI’s tale today is not that different from 1995. TLI was a good idea in 1995 and it’s a good idea still. In 1995, there were RCSD students, even at an early age, who wanted to be teachers. And TLI met that need. In 2015, there are RCSD students who want to be teachers. And TLI meets that need.
As Dan said:
TLI is in search of the “C” Student. TLI looks for students who can contribute the following to their community: Commitment. Cooperation. Compassion. Civic-mindedness. Call it the 4 C’s. We believe these character traits to be the basic building blocks of teaching and leadership. And this what we look for in our students.
As Dan explained, TLI is not really looking for the so-called straight A student. TLI is not trying to be SOTA or Wilson IB. That day Dan and I read that suburban students may be invited to selected RCSD programs. As Dan said, if suburban students come to TLI, that’s great, but it won’t change TLI. It’s all about the 4 C’s.
Twenty years ago and, hopefully, twenty years from now. Just get to that reunion party early otherwise you may end up with squid things and aging french fries.
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