The key to good teaching: Knowing when to dance and when to push

Column by Ann Macari Healey Editor’s note: This is the second of an occasional series about Judy Racine, who will retire at the end of this school year after 40 years of teaching.Six stations are carefully laid out on the low tables in the classroom:Hammers, nails and a board.Rulers, pencils and measuring instructions.Saws and work gloves.A power drill, screwdrivers and goggles.Handmade, paper dictionaries for simple machine-related words.Wooden pinball machines.The 25 second- and third-graders circled on the rug around their teacher, Judy Racine, punch their arms excitedly into the air to answer the question she poses: “Who can tell me what our learning target is today?”Jasmine: “I can practice using different tools safely.”“So what would that look like if you’re successful?” Judy asks.Dawson: “Not cutting off your hand with…


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