John Taylor Gatto, the acclaimed teacher who encouraged so many of us to embrace self-directed education, passed away on Thursday, October 25, 2018.
John's passions for self-directed education, which is often called “unschooling”, helped guide many of us in getting our children out of the classroom and into the varied environments where they follow their own interests and learn through everything.
Gatto was a public school teacher who, for three years in a row, was recognized as teacher of the year for his service in the New York Public School system. After almost 30 years in the system, he decided “he could no longer hurt children”. He spoke out and encouraged teachers to challenge the system. He believed that learning was actually inhibited in the classroom setting and that every single moment of life presents us with the opportunity to learn and grow.
He sent his resignation letter “I Quit, I Think” to the Wall Street Journal, where it was published as an op-ed on July 25, 1991.