Biography and Influences
Charlie is a father of a two sons, Reid and Parker, and a husband to the most incredible woman, Shannon, who is also an educator (and the brains of the outfit). His family loves the outdoors, pool time, good food, video games, board games, and going really fast (that is for his oldest son).
Charlie holds an BBA from Texas A&M University and a MEd in Educational Leadership from the George Washington University. He is in his second chapter of leadership as the Head of Middle School (building principal) of a private institution in Houston, TX (pshouston.org). His vision for education remains grounded in empowering teachers to utilize engaging methods and tools in order to inspire learning for all in the classroom. He believes that there must be many voices and cultures present in a child’s development. Charlie believes education must be experienced, not witnessed, for life-long impact and inspiration. He works with institutions that educate young people to discover how they can do more with what they know. Learning is life’s best skill, and all must have the toolkit needed to access learning in any space and at any time.
Charlie loves to discuss the concept of education and how to best educate our youth. His role models include John Dewey, Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Michael Thompson, Grant Wiggins, Seymour Papert, Seymour Sarason, Bruce Dixon, and Will Richardson. These individuals continue to shape education with intriguing and provocative ways. They all ask the challenging questions that must be asked in order to improve the way we learn while emphasizing the urgency of change.
Perspective on Roles within the Education Framework
Students: The greatest ability students can demonstrate in the classroom is self-analysis via reflection. As a student recognizes the gaps in his or her learning, or the reason that a previous attempt failed to meet expectations, then that student can develop abilities to fill in those gaps.
Teachers: These classroom leaders, or lead learners (thanks, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach), are a vital component in this process; they exist to galvanize learning. No one should have to experience a content-driven classroom in primary or secondary learning. However, content must form the foundation on which learning occurs. A teacher must learn what his or her students need to improve understanding. This requires reflection and analysis on how to deliver dynamic, engaging content and on maximizing student personal and academic development.
Families: Learning to learn is not a skill that students will gain by going to school. Learning is an ability that students must practice; however, this practice must be facilitated throughout the day. Home is a time to debrief and relax; but, home is also a place to do homework (yes, I believe in homework as a means to reflect on the day’s learning). Thomas Jefferson spent almost every waking hour of the day learning, analyzing, and thinking. Not all of us are self-driven as he was; however, we all value the intellectually stimulated world he helped create. While his practices with slavery are abhorrent, we cannot deny the innovative lens through which he taught us to view life. I want to build this same innovative potential into every student I encounter. I need parents to help me accomplish this goal.
Administrators: This is the tie that binds. I do not wish for a dictatorship in the front office; however, I understand now more than ever that big decisions must be made to direct the event of learning. The success of an administrator is evident in his teachers following a vision because of the trust that leader has instilled in the faculty. This is a daily effort of observation, selfless support, a full box of kleenex, and a determination to provide authentic accolades to the teams who strive to enact the vision I set.
This is my vision, version 2.5…