Mary Kim Schreck
Officially, Mary Kim Schreck retired from teaching in 2001. But she’s still a busy education mover and shaker, consulting with schools, giving numerous workshops, and strategizing about what keeps students engaged.
Transformers: Creative Teachers for the 21st Century offers tips for teachers to build their own creativity and use it to connect with students.
“That’s how the scores go up. Not by looking at a test, but by getting the kids to open up, take risks and get joyful about learning again,” said Shreck, a veteran Missouri English teacher.
Her new second book, You’ve Got to Reach Them to Teach Them, serves as a follow-up, with more research on student engagement and field notes from her time working with teachers at Kansas City’s Northeast High School to implement these creative strategies.
Her best advice? Never introduce a concept with only a word. She likes to initiate new books by costuming brave student volunteers as characters and reading their “fortunes.” It’s the soft skills, she says, like building confidence, making relationships and — get ready for this — having fun, that make the difference.