As all teachers know, it’s important to sit back and take stock of what’s happening in your professional life. We’ve been doing similar surveying of Kaleidoscope and are excited to share with you the incredible growth we’ve undergone this academic year:

  • The issue in your hands or on your screen contains 10 pieces of thoughtful storytelling from 14 contributors.
  • This issue’s Raise Your Hand feature alone has 18 contributors! Make sure you read their reflections about what teaching has taught them.
  • We’ve started Teacher Voice: The Podcast, in which producer and Kaleidoscope Associate Editor Brittany Franckowiak and her guests have explored stories from the journal in more detail.
  • This fall, we concluded our second writing course with 10 participants and are excited to be starting our third annual course as you read this.
  • Associate Editors have been working directly with Knowles Teaching Fellows at their spring cohort meetings, thanks in part to a Seed Grant.
  • We’ve built a robust program of in-house peer advising for authors as they develop their stories and are training our first peer advisors from the Knowles community at large.
  • Three members of the Editorial Staff facilitated events at the 2017 Knowles Summer Meeting, including two workshops and a wildly popular evening of story slam.
  • Starting this fall, Kaleidoscope will be accepting submissions from authors beyond the current Knowles community.

We’ve also been reflecting, over the last few months, on the degree to which conversations about school culture and community are now part of our national discourse. In this issue, we’re honored to publish one teacher’s first-hand account of how gun violence affected her and her classroom, our second piece about the impact of violence on schools, students, and teachers in Kaleidoscope’s short existence.

Inside this issue, you’ll also find a powerful story on how one teacher’s identity intersects with her additional needs, ideas for balancing introversion and extroversion in the classroom, and an essay on how both society and teachers often have difficulty discussing the long view. We’re also highlighting a professional development opportunity in Yosemite, a project-based learning project that shakes up students’ expectations, ideas for building and sharing meaningful curriculum, and a reflection on how early-career teachers learn to balance the struggles of the profession against its rewards.

Kaleidoscope has been publishing teachers’ voices for over four years. In the last two years, the current editorial staff has developed amazing writing workshops, begun supporting and developing non-print storytelling platforms, and developed trust with authors as we work together to share their experiences. We’re incredibly grateful for our editorial staff members, who have risen to each challenge we’ve faced, as well as to our program liaison Linda Abrams for her unwavering support. Most importantly, we’re thankful that our authors are sharing their powerful, relevant stories.

If you’re sitting on a story (and who isn’t?), we’d love to work with you to share your experiences and thoughts with the world. Get started by sending us an email at

Kate Blaske

Kirstin Milks


Kate Blaskea Knowles Senior Fellow, is a co-editor-in-chief of Kaleidoscope. She most recently taught AP Chemistry at Avon High School in Indiana. Reach Katie at

Kirstin Milks, a Knowles Senior Fellow, is a co-editor-in-chief of Kaleidoscope. She teaches AP Biology and Earth/space science at Bloomington High School South in Indiana. Reach Kirstin at