In this episode, Bonnie Lathram talks about her unique experiences that include working in Tanzania and then at Big Picture Learning, that have informed her perspectives now and led to her working with passion and purpose at Getting Smart.
Bonnie Lathram is a contributing author and learning experience manager at Getting Smart, a learning design firm based in Seattle.
Bonnie has extensive experience as a school design coach in the development of engagement-driven schools. Bonnie has taught elementary, middle, and high school students in the United States and Tanzania. She taught at an innovative public high school near Seattle, where she honed her skills working with students, mentors, and families. Bonnie has led professional development for school-based teams in the US and internationally. She designed school-wide college and career programs and co-authored the Big Picture Learning’s guide on the metacognitive factors related to student success in college and career. At Getting Smart, Bonnie has co-authored numerous papers and a book, Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning.
(02:12) Bonnie’s background
(07:18) You started to teach in Tanzania in 2004. I was wondering, did you always know that you wanted to be in education? Or, my gut is telling me there’s probably another one of those inflection points, where you just say, “This is something that I’m going to devote my life to, and I think it’s going to be meaningful.”
(09:03) What was the educational environment like? How did that shape your perspectives moving out of that when you started work with Big Picture, and now with Getting Smart?
(11:23) So it just dawned on me that you must have such a different perspective than a teacher who goes to university.. kind of takes a linear professional development path of being a teacher and potentially being a teacher for 30 years or becoming an administrator. You’ve kind of come out of all these different types of angles and learned these different learning experience type models as a teacher as well. How has that informed your experience with professional development? Because I know you’ve done a lot of that sort of work with new and experienced teachers.
(14:08) What can you tell us about Big Picture Learning? What can you tell us about the model, and would you suggest that model as something that should scale to other districts or other schools?
(16:41) So you’ve been with Getting Smart for the last two years, and you’ve done a ton in that span…. What are the key elements in designing a well thought out, holistic learning experience for a student?
(23:34) Let’s talk about the book that you wrote, Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning. What’s the concept around the book and why did you write it?
(25:23) Did you include as well the different learning models, technology enablement and how they navigate that?
(28:34) What book or books have most impacted you and why?
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
(29:20) When you hear the word successful, what’s the first thing, or person, that comes to mind?
(29:50) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?