The Basics

School: William Beanes Elementary School, Prince George’s County, Maryland

Career Path: Ewing began his career as a high-end menswear designer in New York City. “As I hit my 40s, I realized I wanted to do something where I actually was making a change, not designing a green T-shirt,” he says. Two weeks later, he quit his job and returned to school for a master’s in education. He taught in Seattle for several years before recently moving back to the East Coast.

Teaching Philosophy: “Take chances, take risks, and do everything possible you can for your students.”

Cool Project

Tinkering With Sound: Last year, Ewing’s students explored sound and manipulating sound waves. As an introduction, the class used littleBits electronics kits to produce sounds, and researched the history of instruments before creating their own using recycled materials. “They recorded [the instruments’] sounds and used music software to produce an album,” Ewing says. Kids also studied the finances of producing music. “The project included science and technology, but it was also math and art and literacy and writing—it covered everything. That’s what good classroom work should be.”

Three Virtual PLCs

Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts: “So much of my work comes out of this community. Teachers who helped mentor me in my early stages still mentor me in work I’m doing.”

Twitter: “Any of the Edcamps, plus #edchat, #PBL, and #PBLchat.”

Gates Foundation Teacher-to-Teacher: “Their big focus is on how we empower one another as educators. They’re trying to build more support communities throughout the country.”

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Photos: Courtesy of Jamie Ewing