Ed Liu, BTR and BPE’s Chief Improvement Officer, is a native of Seattle, Washington. He was a high school history teacher in Oregon, founder and co-director of a Summerbridge (Breakthrough Collaborative) program, and an assistant professor of educational administration (at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey). Ed holds a B.A. in history from Yale University, an M.B.A. and A.M. in Education from Stanford University, and a doctorate in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is co-author of Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2004) and has been published in numerous scholarly journals.
Inspiration to teach:
My interest in teaching really came from working at the original Summerbridge (now Breakthrough Collaborative) program in San Francisco. I was a history major at the time and also pre-med, but my heart really wasn’t into pursuing a career in medicine. It was sort of a default pursuit. I went to the Yale career center in the spring of 1990 and found a pamphlet about Summerbridge, filed under “Miscellaneous Jobs – California.” I started reading and was instantly hooked. This was before the whole service movement and AmeriCorps, and there were few organizations that gave young adults substantial responsibilities working with students. That first summer working in Summerbridge was completely transformative. I got hooked on teaching and loved working with young people. I then returned to teach in the program for two more summers, and had the opportunity, as the Summerbridge model expanded nationally, to be a founding director of a new program.
BTR is an amazingly ambitious program that is trying to rethink how teachers should be trained. The staff is incredibly smart, hard working, reflective, and innovative. We talk a lot about having a learning stance and being open to new ideas, evidence, and experiences.
Favorite Thing in the World To Do:
Have dinner with good friends, go swing dancing (lindy hop!), and surf the web to read politics, sports, and gadget blogs.
There are no silver bullets in education or in life in general.