Dr. Greg King, Director of Research
As the days become a lot shorter and a little cooler, we begin to reach the point where we settle into the routines of our day-to-day classrooms. We have made it to that in-between time where the first weeks of school excitement begins to fade and is often replaced with the very real challenges that many of our students face. While the beginning of the school year provides a glimpse into the hopes and aspirations of students across the country and world for the new academic year, the middle of October begins the serious work of ensuring each student is learning in the ways and at the levels that are best for them. The work to continue creating a welcoming moment for students even after the beginning of school magic wears off, the effort to make a school more than a place of learning, but a place of solace, comfort, and a second home is not lost on me.
We all know our schools are more than simple curriculum factories. For me, those who made up the school saved me. As a product of foster care and a kid who transitioned from place-to-place (sometimes experiencing homelessness), educators were my constant. Teachers, principals, office staff, and volunteers who worked tirelessly to create and continue welcoming environments where I could simply exist opened the opportunity for me to flourish. But, that flourishing didn’t happen right away. There were years where I sat in the back of the classroom barely focusing on or remembering assignments and lessons. For many years I brought down the class average on standardized assessment scores, or I disrupted the class with what I’m sure were obnoxious questions unrelated to the topics taught. Yet, educator after educator never gave up, nor did they stop providing a space for me to learn and grow in a safe setting.
When these lessons finally all came together, I went on a non-traditional journey through post-secondary education, eventually landing with a doctorate and a position at a large assessment organization. My journey is more of a series of discovery expeditions as I pursued a question: “How do we help students unlock their brilliance?” I’ve found a foundational element undergirding the question I have been pursuing. The idea that helping students see the ways in which they learn as assets which can inform the connection between what they’re learning and why they are learning is a powerful motivator. If we, as educators, parents/caretakers, leaders, and as students (ourselves) can understand how we learn as a core element of what we bring to the classroom, then we might be able to use those assets to unlock the ability for students to remember, connect, and communicate their own learnings. Utilizing how students learn can disrupt narratives, has the potential to supercharge growth, and empower pushing through frustrations to achieve learning goals. I think this foundational piece is powerful, and it’s why I’m so excited to join MindPrint Learning as the Director of Research.
It took me a long time to connect how I learned to what I wanted to do in education. Knowing that information opened up opportunities I never knew existed. To be honest, in school I never left the back of the classroom until I left the classroom. No single teacher really knew the impact they had until a decade or two later. Yet, that impact expands with every opportunity I am given to build systems, products, and inform policy related to education.
Thank you for all you do every day – day one, day 100, day 250 – to make each day immeasurably impactful. Your work matters more than ever. My mission is to find ways to help you maximize your impact during an academic year that seems to go increasingly quick. I’m excited to lead research related to MindPrint Learning, as a part of the many wonderful professionals focused on uncovering students’ learning strengths; connecting the how and why to the what in learning!
Thank you for your commitment to student success, but more importantly, thank you for all the times you helped students like me succeed!
Welcome back, and I look forward to meeting you.
Greg King, PhD
Director of Research
MindPrint Learning, Inc.