Abandoning Dehumanizing Systems

Once, an eleventh grade student came to me during break in between classes. He looked excited. I was gathering my things and getting ready. This is a busy part of the school day, especially for the kind of teachers, like myself, who had 5 classes with 30 students each to teach within the day.

Needless to say, I was distracted.

He came up on me quick, “Patrick!”*

(*There were a few students who used my first name, even though I’d asked them all to.)

“Down the hall, there is a local police officer giving a presentation to one of our classes.”

“That’s nice. Why are you telling me this?” I didn’t look up at him because I was busy, though I did feel confused about why this student was so excited.

“Do you hate him? Don’t you want to tell him?”


My Greeting Protocol

See the live form to download and use the protocol here.

The Greeting Protocol (aka the Daily Greeting) is a activity utilized across grade levels and ages used to start class. The greeting was designed to:

  • Allow all students to speak in class at least once every day.
  • Introduces students to the language needed to share emotions with others safely.
  • Allows all students to be seen by the entire class every day.

Allows for teacher check-ins with each individual student on a daily basis.


On Designing Equitable Learning Environments…

American public school currently lacks an understanding of its own purpose. This is most likely a result of a confusing design origin that embraced values such as racial, class, ability tracking, and cultural segregation as a necessity (Steinberg & Rosenstock, 2007) (Ladson-Billings, 2006). While these values may have, at one time, been arguably vital in order for the public school system to prosper, those same ideals are radically out of place with modern society. Due to the fact that school is constructed in a way to embrace these outdated values, the resulting design of public schooling is one that has radical implications on its own ability to be effective at actually educating students. Continue…

Personal Learning Plan

This is a personal learning plan for Patrick Yurick as a part of his High Tech High Graduate School of Education School Leadership residency requirements. 

What are your hopes and dreams for your learning through this program? How do you hope to grow as an educator and leader?

– Project Based Learning Blended School System Design
Since I began my career in education I’ve been interested in experimenting with ways of integrating technology into the teaching experience that serve to enhance the way students interact with the world around them. I’m motivated to do this because I’m a tech geek but also, more importantly, I’m interested in helping bring down the costs of high quality education (like HTH’s equity-based PBL) so that it can easily, and affordably, reach people who need it the most.

– Leadership Through The Lens Of Art Education
I’ve been an artist my entire life. Art is the most healing and centering part of who I am. I’m specifically interested in integrating art education into my practice so that I can help people practice the use art for healing and self-expression.


Choosing Sean

This article was featured in Unboxed as well as Edweek

Deeper learning experiences are needed by our students. Not in two years, not in six months, not next week. Deeper learning experiences are needed by our students today. Right now. This very moment. We need to structure environments where students are deeply engaged in their lives as they are living them.

I know this is true because during the last days of the 2010/11 school year, the worst fear of every teacher was realized for me. My student was murdered. Sean (15), and his younger brother Kyle (13) tragically died in a murder/suicide, killed by their own father. Sean was my favorite that year. In fact, Sean was my favorite student of all time. He was the kid I wished I could have been at fifteen. He swaggered into school with confidence, intelligence, and a never-ending stream of comic book superhero references. Sean and I became close immediately. This closeness in our relationship only increased as we spent many hours together in my after-school Graphic Novel Project, touring statewide on the weekends, selling comics at conventions.