a reinvention of the
one-room schoolhouse!

micro-school builder's blog

microschool builders

HI! I'm Mara—a lifelong educator, just like you!

My journey with microschool building is a fascinating one! I'd love to share some highlights.

I started off as a K-5 teacher in one of my hometown’s magnet school systems. 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.


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 standard.

So I went back to the drawing board—back to graduate school where I earned a doctorate in instructional technology. 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. I went back to school one more time and earned my superintendent's letter of eligibility, which prepared me to run a school district.

Just as soon as I finished my training, that job was cut. I was devastated.


it was then that 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 forms of education, teaching and learning out there. And as I learned my excitement grew!  As I learned about small schools using models such as Montessori, Waldorf, or Reggio Emelia, I started to dream about the possibility of new kinds of schools that didn't even exist yet.

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


so 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!


As I started to work out my ideas, I had a chance to write my first book.  It was designed to help parents find their way through the confusing maze of options when their child no longer enjoys school:


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 misunderstood? 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

But this wasn't the end. As I worked with various families across the country, I began to map out an effective process for building schools. One that took into account the actual needs of families, while empowering teachers to become entrepreneurs. This wisdom became my second book:


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 five years ago to help grow the global micro-schools movement!

In this book you will:

  • Determine your personal five 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

Are you curious about what it might be like to work directly with me and my team—to build the microschool of your dreams?  Click below to schedule a time to learn more about our process and to talk with me!