Verbum Sat Sap

Last weekend I went to the 40th anniversary celebration (and big, huge reunion) of my high school. I often think about how the progressive public schools my parents sent me to; Drew Model School, Hoffman Boston and HB Woodlawn, have never left me. I'm sure the reason I strive to teach in a democratic, progressive way, comes from the way school was for me from 5th grade through high school. I bet my image of the child comes from the times that I was respected and listened to as a young person.
Until last weekend I had forgotten Woodlawn's motto; Verbum Sat Sap, which means "A word to the wise is sufficient". After a week of thinking about that phrase, I am struck by how simply it sums up what I think education should be, both by starting from the assumption that children are wise, and by it's suggestion that a teacher doesn't need to do much more than share a word in order to help a student increase their understanding.
Thanks, Woodlawn people!
me playing bass in the high school cafeteria
with our all girl band -we knew something like 5 songs and
played them to an appreciative crowd.


  1. Such a wonderful reflection on what inspires your teaching. It's funny - but what inspires mine is completely the opposite. I am inspired to teach in a way that respects each child as powerful, competent, and wise because I don't remember being made to feel that way in my traditional public school education. We each have our path that inspires.

  2. How wonderful to have had that experience with your own schooling! My own recolections of schooling are pervasive boredom.... I'm SO happy my children will have a different perspective because of Sabot and the wonderful adults like you accompanying them on their journey....

  3. Sometimes in simplicity you find great big ideas. Thanks for posting and I love the photo of you from High School.


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