We are Donnell Cannon and Jenny O’Meara, two passionate educators. Welcome to Season 2 of The Hummingbird Stories! This season, we’re asking the question: What does an extraordinary education look like for every student?
We’re hosting conversations with the most innovative, equity-minded leaders in education from all across the country — and that includes young people.
In our sixth episode, we’re exploring learning differences. We all learn differently, yet school is largely designed with the assumption that there can be a standardized way of teaching. That’s the model Joann Blumenfeld is trying to disrupt. She’s a former North Carolina public school teacher who runs two programs at N.C. State’s Science House, where she works with students with learning differences and offers them hands-on STEM experience.
Her programs are aimed at increasing postsecondary attainment for students with learning differences and promoting interest in the STEM fields. She was recognized by Time Magazine this summer as a 2022 Innovative Teacher of the Year.
This episode features an interview with Blumenfeld by EdNC’s Rupen Fofaria. Rupen joins us in the studio to unpack issues confronting students with learning differences.
We don’t just want to hear from guests on our show. We want to hear from you, too. In every episode on this season of The Hummingbird Stories, we’ll pose a question and ask you to weigh in through our Telbee. This week’s question asks you to think about a time that you knew you could do something, but you couldn’t do it the way you were being asked to do it. What did that look like? What did that feel like? If you could go back, how would you redesign that experience for yourself? Visit sayhi.chat/hummingbird to chime in.
We know a lot of “Hummingbirds” who are no longer waiting for change in a system on fire, but rather choosing to do something. We hope they’ll inspire you to take real action, no matter how small, toward redesigning schools.
An extraordinary education for all young people is possible. But it’s going to take all of us to make it happen.