Hi! I'm
Mara Linaberger, EdD.

micro-school builder's blog

Hi! I'm Mara Linaberger


First things first: I am a lifelong educator, just like you!

My journey with microschool building is a fascinating one. Let me share some highlights!

I started off as a K-5 teacher in one of my hometown’s magnet schools. That meant we enrolled kids through a lottery in order to support desegregation. I had the rare opportunity to serve a truly diverse set of learners, from all types of backgrounds. That school began as a traditional academy - think classic instruction, discipline and uniforms. But in a few years we were approached by families in the community to change our focus to arts-integration. I was fortunate to be part of the team who transformed our school into a vibrant, creative learning community where kids couldn’t wait to come to school.

And yet, I intuitively knew that something was wrong….

Testing and assessments were on the rise. No Child Left Behind had been announced. And the 100% targets for proficiency made me laugh when I thought about the audacity of measuring every child against the same standards….

And so I went back to school. I earned a doctorate in instructional technology, and then completed training to become a superintendent of schools.

I took a job training teachers and wrote grants that brought arts and technology into rural schools in my area. And finally I landed a job as an administrator, supporting new teachers, technology integration, data and assessment, and federal programs.

And when that job was cut I was devastated…

I really began to question my path ...

I began to question the system, why it worked the way it did, and why I had gotten all of that education to be tossed aside so easily…

As I read, I began to find answers. But more importantly, I began to learn about all of the alternatives out there. And my excitement grew! As I learned about small schools using models such as Montessori, Waldorf, or Reggio Emelia, I started to dream about even different kinds of schools.

And I began to have a reoccurring dream at night - it was about one-room schools that were modern, innovative and joy filled spaces.

I decided to dedicate myself to bringing that dream to life - and Microschool Builders was born!

If you are on a similar path - of wondering how you can use all that you have learned as a teacher to transform the way we do education, I want to talk with you!

Professional Bio

micro-school builders success stories

Dr. Mara Linaberger believes that each of us has chosen to be here at this moment in time for a specific reason – that we are each on a mission that we chose for ourselves. And that figuring out what we love, what we’re good at, and how we can be of service, is the engine we need to fuel a lifetime of joyful learning. Mara also believes that school often slows down or stifles that excitement for students. So she is on a mission to create a global network of 100 micro-schools in the next 20 years – to harness education toward helping amazing children to develop their highest potentials, while making learning fun again!

Mara is a life-long educator, author, technologist, artist, ballroom dancer and musician, having spent 25 years in service as a public school educator, teacher trainer, and administrator. Completing a doctorate in Instructional Technology, she went on to earn a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility in Pennsylvania. Launching “Mindful Technology Consultants” in 2013, she continues to train teachers at the masters level on the use of digital portfolios as alternative assessments, and on bringing mindfulness practices into the classroom.

Mara is the international two-time best selling author of HELP! My Child Hates School (link to Amazon) and The Micro-School Builder’s Handbook. Mara currently lives in Harmony, PA with her husband Michael, while she travels far and wide, directly supporting clients in her global Micro-School Builders programs.

Podcasts & Presentations



The Micro-School Builder’s Handbook is dedicated to anyone who dreams of creating new spaces for children to thrive while learning. Your guide for the journey is Dr. Mara Linaberger, a best-selling author and educational innovator who spent over 20 years in K-12 education, then pivoted 5 years ago to help grow the global micro-schools movement!

In this book you will:

  • Determine your personal 5 Ws for building a micro-school
  • Transform your gifts and talents into the micro-school’s “special sauce”
  • Select the best learning model for your neighborhood, state, province, or country
  • Craft an action plan to attract families, students, teachers, and funders
  • Address common questions and eliminate fears
  • Take definitive steps to open your micro-school in the next year!

If you are tired of balancing your work with the needs of your amazing child, or if you’re a teacher ready to make real change, then this is the book for you! Join an elite group of micro-school builders who are recreating education one small school at a time!

Click here to download the e-Book for Free


Were you just Googling this: “Help! My child hates school”?

Is your child depressed, unmotivated, resentful, or angry when it’s time to go to school each morning?

Does your child come home from school and share stories of being bullied, made fun of, or just plain feeling unheard or understood? Does your child possess unusual talents that go unrecognized or unused at school―or, worse, is he or she seen as strange, weird, or abnormal by teachers or peers?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, or your child just plain hates to go to school, help has arrived. Dr. Mara Linaberger tackles the real issues behind why your kid hates school and uncovers ways to turn the situation around, allowing you to craft a plan to get your child out of misery and back to thriving.

Help! My Child Hates School is dedicated to frustrated parents everywhere who are serious about their child’s happiness and are ready to take action. Along the way, Dr. Linaberger, an educational innovator with over 25 years of experience, will share stories, tips, and tricks to help you instill a love for learning in your child!

If your child can’t last another day in school, and you’ve had it with the fighting, crying, and coercing, Help! My Child Hates School is for you. Join the thousands of parents who are taking back their right to co-create an amazing future for their child and tackle all of your fears and questions along the way.

Click here to download the e-Book for Free