March 17 – Doris Kearns Goodwin

My district paid for me to attend the NBPTS Teaching and Learning Conference on Saturday in Washington DC. As the alarm went off at 5:30am on Saturday morning, I thought about not going. Who would know?  But then I rolled out of bed and I’m so glad I did! I decided I’ll share some reflections I had from attending this conference as my slices this week.

I amost did not go to hear the afternoon keynote – Historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin. I was thinking how she is not a voice in education. Her books are SO thick that I have never read one, though I did like the Lincoln movie that her book was based. So I joined the 1000s of educators in the big convention center ballroom as she sat to have a discussion led by Dennis Van Roekel, NEA President. At one point, she spoke about her newest book – Bully Pulpit.

The book jacket states:
“The gap between rich and poor has never been wider…legislative stalemate paralyzes the county…corporations resist federal regulations…spectacular mergers produce giant companies…the influence of money in politics deepens…bombs explode in crowded streets…small wars proliferate far from our shores…a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life. These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit – a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.

I was inspired by Doris to push myself to read her newest book. She said we can go forward by looking back. Doris’ book is about a time that matches so much of what our nation is dealing with now in 2014. I’m motived to see how Teddy and Taft solved the problems of their time. Doris said that people make the problems and people are needed to solve the problems. After Doris spoke, I bought a signed copy of this 8oo+ page book. I tend to challenge myself to read this long book.As a reader, Harry Potter was the last time I read such a long book. Instead, I tend to spend my reading time mostly reading picture books and YA novels. Bully Pulpit will be a harder read but then I can tell my students honestly how I felt when I was reading a hard book.

Doris Kearns Goodwin taught me Saturday the importance of historians. We must look back and record and reflect on the past. It is the only way to see clearly into the future! I hope I can accomplish my new reading goal…I plan to start the first Saturday of Spring Break!! Wish me luck.

2 thoughts on “March 17 – Doris Kearns Goodwin

  1. Marilyn Miner says:

    My dad was pretty much self-educated since college was not available to him. Reading and studying history became a passion of his – I've often marveled at his understanding of people and the past. I think that is where he gained so much of his wisdom. You are also a wise person – I'm so glad you had this opportunity!


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