Moments and Memories of International Teaching

“What will be your moment this summer?” asked Jodie as eighteen coworkers sat Indian style on our apartment complex rooftop under a full moon. A packed school year had ended with high energy and emotion— Moroccan Heritage Day, ASM’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, Graduation, our final faculty meeting sending some of us off for summer…others for…

88 Kisses and 44 Smiles: Sweet Success of Project SOAR

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch…

Jazzed about Josephine and Riad Star

Play Me When people ask How? Why? I moved to Morocco sight unseen, I think to myself, I didn’t.  Though I’d never been to Africa, my soul brimmed with vivid images from exotic Arabian tales my grandmother read to me from my dad’s childhood book. I was lured by sultry desert tents, regal riads, and secret gardens where princes…

Roaming Romantic Rome

There’s a power struggle going on across Europe these days. A few cities are competing against each other to see who shall emerge as the great 21st century European metropolis. Will it be London? Paris? Berlin? Zurich? Maybe Brussels, center of the young union? They all strive to outdo one another culturally, architecturally, politically, fiscally….

Cycling Through Costa Brava’s Medieval Villages: Part IV

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”—St. Augustine No history text or virtual tour can compare to cycling through Medieval hill towns in a land where BC structures and prehistoric cave paintings remain. Nor can a classroom feel like wind tangling my hair, smell like lavender abuzz with…

Painting Party at Project SOAR

Surrounded by olive trees, lavender bushes, and mustard-colored blooms, we painted, stretched like yogis across the tent panels of the Project SOAR art area. Too cold to fan their plumes, the namesakes of Peacock Pavilions perched, watching us work to Dave Matthews with a rooster crowing as backup.  Maggie requested a Lionel Ritchie encore. Maggie O’Neill,…

Saturday American Artists To SOAR

I can hardly wait for Saturday to return to Project SOAR, this time to paint alongside master American artists like Maggie O’Neill of Swatchroom. She and other creatives are flying in to decorate welcoming spaces at Peacock Pavilions and the non-profit’s new Dourar Ladaam village center.  There girls and their moms will take classes in health,…

In Marrakesh Girls SOAR

Like many who come to Morocco, I have stepped off a camel onto sand soft as powdered sugar. I have stepped onto a balcony overlooking nothing but ramparts and sea. I have stepped around a corner in the mountains knowing that more blue alleys await. All marvels and memories under the Moroccan sun. But one of…

New School

The great teachers fill you up with hope and shower you with a thousand reasons to embrace all aspects of life… The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the genius of English teachers touched me…

The Road to Morocco

My move to Morocco morphed from surreal to solid a couple of weeks ago when a plane ticket to Casablanca arrived. On August 18th I leave Nashville for New York, then Africa. When I land on August 19th the school’s driver will take me from the airport to my new home, an apartment in the…

Native Son and Mom on a Mission

Andrew, Stephen, and John Teaching has brought amazing students into my life. And families. The Gentuso clan is one gang I’ll never forget. The three boys’ ACT scores were in triple digits while their wrestling pins racked up powerful points. I loved that they were avid readers, creative, interesting, and best of all, all heart….

Technology and the Brave New Classroom

Most don’t realize that Memphis is home to more than one king. In Elvis’ hometown, education rules at a world “think tank” started ten years ago at the Lausanne Collegiate School. Now each summer administrators, technology personnel, and teachers from every continent collaborate at the Lausanne Laptop Institute to discuss how to best use technology…