Teaching: Greig Roselli's Educational Philosophy

Every once and awhile an employer or person will ask me about my educational philosophy. As they say  there are many ways to skin a cat — but here is one version of what teaching means to me:

The word “education” derives from the Latin meaning “to lead out.” Teaching is just that. To teach is to lead out. But where is out? And to where are we leading those entrusted to our care? I believe we lead our students out so eventually they will no longer need us. Of course, all young people graduate. But if they graduate and are still dependent on us -- then what have we accomplished? We don’t call graduation “commencement” for nothing. To commence means to begin the journey. Once those in our care depart they will have to guide themselves. We guide our students not so that they will be perpetually guided, but so that they too will become like us -- those who lead others out. That is the purpose of education.


Teaching Humanities to Sixth Graders in Harlem: At the Storefront Academy

In this post, I write about how I was a classroom teacher in Harlem.
The entrance to the school is on 129th Street.
For a short stint in 2015 and 2016, I had the privilege of teaching Humanities to a group of Sixth Graders in Harlem. I taught daily lessons in Language Arts, Writing, World History, Guided Reading, and Advisory. My daily journey included taking the Lexington Avenue line from Brooklyn to Harlem's 125th Station and walking to the impressive suite of brownstones on 129th Street between Madison and Park. I could see the Metro-North trains crossing the Harlem River from my classroom window.
     The school — founded by Ned O'Gorman, a philanthropic poet- in the 1960s, The Children's Storefront endured as a no-tuition school for its mostly black and brown neighborhood kids through decades. One student even lived so close that their apartment building was visible from my window! 
    I was only at the school for a year — but I count it as an important milestone. I learned the importance of building a classroom library filled with books representing my kids' identities. We read some cool books — Flush by Carl Hiassen and Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis. 
     The school eventually adapted to changes brought on by the charter school system and changed its name to Storefront Academy, where I taught during its last days as an independent institution. All operating costs were dependent on one hundred percent donations, making it hard for them to persist despite their efforts - something made all too apparent when looking at what used to be a fireplace - now simply serving as a reminder that this house was once home, not only for families but also storefronts - hence it's namesake - Storefront Academy!
Here are photographs from my time teaching at the school:


Icarus, the Sun, and Why June is a Nostalgic Time

Icarus, from the Four Disgracers, Hendrick Goltzius, 1588
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a drawing by Hendrick Goltzius that depicts the horror of Icarus's recklessness. The drawing reminds me of a story.


Canadian Geese Family in Philadelphia's Schuylkill River Park

Goose at Schuykill River Park
Goose Mother and Her Babies, © 2016 Greig Roselli
I was walking along the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia and I came upon a goose mother and her yellow-haired babies.


"Mug Shot Book" at the Philadelphia History Museum

A mug shot of Daniel Mason, convicted of larceny ca. 1900s in Philadelphia.
#6774 Daniel Mason, Larceny
At the Philadelphia History Museum, you can view objects that reflect the city's history. Of all the objects on display, I found the "mug shot book" interesting. Dated from the 1900s, the book is an orderly visual compendium of criminals arrested in the city of brotherly love. For example, check out Daniel Mason (#6774), a well-dressed convicted thief (ca. the 1900s).


"Air" by Walter Hancock - Sculpture along the Schuylkill River Trail

The Backside of "Air"

A photograph of the backside of Walter Hancock's sculpture "Air".


Photograph: Spring Day in Philadelphia

"Around Panama Street, I Wouldn't Wonder."

A photograph in Philadelphia of decorative Crabapple trees that line the street with their purple petals.