Pockets of Freedom: Unlocking the Power of Intuitive Teaching and Learning


Sue Haynes has taught students in a variety of educational settings, including preschool, elementary school, high school, and college. With master’s degrees in special education and literacy, she has focused on empowering at-risk, often highly creative learners who don’t fit the mold of standardized education. These experiences led her to write her first book, Creative Mavericks: Beacons of Authentic Learning.  Sue lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she continues to tutor wonderful ‘out-of-the-box” kids.

Lisa Plourde sadly passed away at the age of fifty-six. She was an amazing teacher who encouraged her students to follow their dreams. Lisa taught fifth and seventh grade language arts for twenty-seven years, sharing her love of poetry and the joy of language with her students. Her memory continues in the hearts of family, friends, colleagues, and her students!

Phyl Brazee is a mother and a grandmother. She started teaching as a remedial-reading teacher, kindergarten through ninth grade. She retired from forty years of holistic teaching as a professor of literacy and multicultural education, as well as fourteen years as the director of a peace and reconciliation studies program. She is passionate about relational, intuitive, heartfelt teaching, and learning. She currently resides in upstate New York.

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Like so many other American institutions, public education stands at a crossroad. It can either continue down a destructive path of conformity and standardization, or it can open up to the unique gifts that each student and teacher bring to the educative process. Pockets of Freedom champions the latter and proposes that educators, guided by their hearts’ powerful intuition, create “pockets of freedom” within their teaching/learning environments to support the shift toward student-centered learning. In this book, three teachers, spanning a range from pre-school through the university level, share stories that illuminate the process of creating freedom spaces within their classrooms, supporting their goal of awakening self-guided learning in all their students. Despite teaching, for the most part within traditional public institutions, they succeeded. And now you can learn how by reading their stories.

Authors and teachers Phyl Brazee, Lisa Plourde, and Sue Haynes invite readers into their classrooms to discover how they:

  • See the unique potential in each and every student through honoring their needs, interests, and passions
  • Observe and trust their intuition through involving their hearts as well as their heads in moment-to-moment decision-making
  • Evaluate their students through honoring their learning process and how they make meaning in their lives
  • Share power in authentic ways through promoting risk-taking, choice-making, and collaboration

By creating pockets of freedom within whatever teaching and learning settings educators find themselves, they can exercise the powerful potential to transform education in service of authentic teaching and learning.


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