The great teacher and education writer Mike Rose has died. I echo the words of Shirin Vossoughi:
it’s hard to find the words this morning to do justice to this giant of a person and teacher. Mike’s imprint on the work so many of us are doing to build spaces and systems of educational dignity is immeasurable. And he lived those values powerfully in every generous and gentle exchange. Here he is skyping with our SLI students, conveying a deeply palpable joy and seriousness about their minds and ideas and questions. He did this every year, making the Mike Rose visit a staple highlight of the program.
He is with me in every pedagogical moment, one of the people I reach for in my mind and heart to ground in the ethics and beauty of learning. Every piece of feedback I have written on a student’s writing carries his way. He nurtured and watered the flourishing of so many young writers, holding our vulnerabilities with care, powerfully drawing us into the craft, and showing us how to change it. His writing and storytelling did this too, incisive, searching, rhetorically capacious, and always pedagogical. Centering the deep intelligence and ingenuity of labor that others choose not to see.
The ripples from his work and spirit of being extend far beyond the people he taught directly. They live in the deep sense of presence, listening, sharpness, humor and love he practiced daily.
What a profound blessing to have known you in this life dear professor. I am heartbroken, and miss you mightily. If we had had the chance to say goodbye to you, I know we would have filled it with our deepest gratitude and esteem, and wicked stories of laughter. Love you Mike Rose.