London • Los Angeles • Boston

About Nat Damon

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

Nat is a London-based writer, consultant, long-time educator, administrator and board member. He has written three books, the first of which, Time to Teach: Time to Reach: Expert Teachers Give Voice to the Power of Relational Teaching was released on May 3, 2018 (available here).

Time to Teach: Time To Reach supports the work that often gets unacknowledged in this age of data, performativity, and quantifiable measurement. Nat believes teacher effectiveness cannot be quantitatively measured through student test scores because every year teachers get a new group of students, each with their own learning styles, gifts, interests, and areas of challenge – thus, quantitative measurements cannot assess this essential part of what expert teachers really do. Excellent teachers are defined by the power of their student relationships. Relational teaching is about the qualitative elements of teaching which center around connection. His research isolates the following six areas as central to healthy school cultures: Trust, Exploration, Authenticity, Connection, Hope and Reflection (TEACH-R).

Nat holds a B.A. in Psychology and History from Connecticut College and a M.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College.

 

More about Nat:


EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

Utilizing student test scores to measure teaching is like using only a thermometer to determine whether you have the flu. A thermometer may tell you something about your condition, but it isn’t designed to identify viruses, assess congestion, or evaluate levels of lethargy. We turn to other measures and the expertise of doctors for that, because that’s what it takes to get a complete and accurate picture.
— Vanessa Rodriguez and Michelle Fitzpatrick

The greatest area of joy for me has come from conducting interviews with teachers about what they “actually” do every day. During these interviews, I have heard stories of challenge, success, frustration and humor. I have learned about the massive amounts of time these expert teachers put into their craft. Yet the most important take-away I have from these interviews is the constant refrain of “teaching is a relational endeavor”. We teach to spirits, not merely minds. We light fires and stir up hearts. We lead through actions and decisions and we connect through authenticity.


IN THE NEWS

PRESS RELEASE
Time to Teach: Time to Reach: Expert Teachers Give Voice to the Power of Relational Teaching (May 2018)

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New book focuses on what great teachers really do, and finds that great practice - and great
learning - is driven by relationships

Read more

 

KCAL/CBS Los Angeles
“How to have a Fun and Productive Parent-Teacher Conference” (10/12/16)

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Here's how to get the most out of parent teacher conferences.

Go to site

"TELL ME WHAT TO SAY"
Conversation, Communication, Teaching Podcast (April 17, 2018)
 

“I think that this idea of self-talk is really important, and you have to tell yourself that a different outcome is possible. And my mantra for myself was just because that's the way it has been, doesn't mean that that's the way that it has to be."

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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
L.A. Parents' Sports Freak-Out: "You Can't Cheer at an SAT Exam" (August 7, 2015)

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Hysterical moms and dads scream from the sidelines, hire professional coaches ($400 an hour?!) and pressure their kids as they seek the ultimate prize: "This current craze isn't about getting your child into the NBA.

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EDUCATION WEEK
"After Parkland, Where Do We Go From Here?" (March 7, 2018)
 

Education Week has rarely seen an event that has stirred readers quite like the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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DR. ROBIN BERMAN, MD
Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love and Limits (April 7, 2015)

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Today, many parents have rejected the dictatorships they resented from their own childhoods. But they overcorrected by turning into child-pleasers. Showering praise and letting kids rule the roost has actually eroded the very self-esteem parents are trying to create.

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Warm design for a classic downtown brunch spot

 

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A trendy Brooklyn establishment gets a signature look.

 

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