Mara Linaberger, EdD.
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!
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