Learning isn't something that someone can do for you or to you. It is a human birthright. All learning starts by definition with the priorities and motivations of the learner and I see my job as to be able to provide mentoring and sound strategizing so that the young people I work with can gain mastery of skills and knowledge that they care about and which will serve them in the world beyond school. I hope to add context and lend experience to guide young people without robbing them of opportunities to learn by and of themselves.
At the most basic level, my approach to teaching is based in kindness. That might sound trite, but so much of traditional schooling is not based in consent or respect for interest, difference, capacity or our unique gifts. From my perspective, the world is changing and the rate of change is increasing. As such, while a grounding in established educational disciplines can be important, far more essential is the development of a learning toolkit so that students I've worked with gain the ability to move through the world with confidence in both their own abilities and to use their voice to advocate for support when needed.
Learning is exciting and a chance for curiousity and exploration - if that has been missed, something has gone off the rails. I work hard to help young people understand and develop their own capacities so that they are calm, capable and confident of themselves and their place in this wonderful world.
The word most closely associated with my approach to learning and teaching is MINDFULNESS! All of my learning work is trauma-informed, anti-oppression focused, based in a respect for human rights and consent-based.
I have a great sense of humour, sense of play, and love to get moving and a big part of the learning process.
To the extent that there is interest and capacity, I also aim to involve parents/guardians in appropriate ways relevant to learning and also coach parents on how to work more effectively with their teens.
“Super nice and makes class interesting.”
“He is an amazing teacher. I can talk to him whenever about anything. He is super understanding of my situation and always helps me when I’m stressed out.”
“Duncan has nothing but positive feedback and excitement for class with Michael.”
Check your email for a welcome message. After that we’ll generally send new content—ideas about homeschooling, latest research on alternative school methods, and announcements of new courses, teachers, and programs here at Cicero—every 7-10 days.