Jeanne, your Tribes book was with me when I first started teaching in South Carolina in 1977. Now, 35 years later, it is the ONLY book I still have and use. (As language teachers, we don’t use books anymore to teach languages – we tell stories) I have been a better teacher because of you. Your ideas and activities are as fresh and useful as the day I started using them. Tribes helped me design a way of teaching based on the student first and the material second. Your ideas are visonary. As I get ready now to hang up my cleats, I look back and realize that I must THANK YOU for all you have done for me and my thousands of students. What great, truly human, things you have shared with us in that book. It is so nice to be able to share this great news with you. Your book, its sparkling message of respect for others, has guided my career like no other. Hats off to you, Jeanne Gibbs!
Denver Public Schools
Comments are closed.
I have been searching for words to fully express both my surprise and appreciation for your message some weeks ago, letting me know that you have been using the process of Tribes throughout 35 years! Indeed you must have reached thousands of students in South Carolina and Denver schools. Just considering the positive developmental impact you surely have made on their learning and lives touches me deeply. Thirty-five years ago I had no idea that the concepts and interactive process we were patching together would be effective. Nor did I ever dream that it would be dedicated teachers like you, Ben, who would make it your own, use it for years to teach whatever curricula, prove its effectiveness… and take it throughout many schools and countries.
I find myself wondering how you found Tribes back in 1977 and how it ever had made its way to South Carolina. Goodness, I hope you are not still carrying around that first Tribes book that began it all! You did say “it is the ONLY book I still have and use.” Please let me have our office send you the latest. I think the first book had about 85 pages. The new high school book has more than 525. The research on human learning and collaborative active group learning back then was practically non-existent. Yes, focusing on “students first and material second” rather than the historic other way around, despite the abundance of research has been a long difficult journey.
It would be a true pleasure to talk with you, Ben. Sometimes I tell people, ”It’s hard for me to get my head around all that has and is happening.” Hearing success stories from teachers like you makes it real. I also find myself wondering if you ever have considered becoming a Certified Tribes Trainer to train other teachers in your or any U.S. school. If you would be interested, give a phone call to Carol at CenterSource (“Home of Tribes”) to learn about it. 800-810-1701 is the number. Of course, I imagine you already know there is more about everything at http://www.tribes.com.
More than all, Ben, I thank you for the kind message telling me that the Tribes book has guided your career like no other. Know that you have given me a wonderful gift …I shall always remember and celebrate.
Ever my best wishes to you,
What a pleasure to read Ben’s and then Jeanne’s blog. I can only agree so much with what Ben has said. Jeanne, you really do have no idea about the positive ripples you have created! So many people have been positively influenced by your work. I keep telling people what a gift we have in the work you have done. Like Ben said, your book, no matter which edition (and your latest editions are stellar) is such an elegantly simple recipe for teachers to use. I marvel about how ahead of the research you were when you first published your book in the 1970. So much research has come since then – Multiple Intelligences, Brain Research, Cooperative learning… and it all points to the fact that, in the 1970, you got it right, Jeanne! The research just supports Tribes as you’ve laid it out. You were so ahead of the game! As a person living on this earth as well as a teacher, Tribes has been such a gift to me. It focuses on the heart and spirit and encourages everyone to participate actively to make a difference for all. Thank you.