Tal Birdsey's Hearts of the Mountain: Adolescents, a Teacher, and a Living
School sketches an utterly unique entity: an independent and virtual oneroom
middle school in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Hearts of the
Mountain takes a deep look into an intimate, wild, and unpredictable year of
learning, in and out of the classroom, with a diverse collection of funny,
profound, troubled, and hopeful adolescents.
About the Author
TAL BIRDSEY co-founded the North Branch School in 2001. Prior to that he taught as an ESL teacher in Taiwan and for ten years at the Paideia School in Atlanta. At NBS he is headmaster and teaches writing, literature, humanities and history, ethics, art, theater, and edits the newsletter, The Current, and the student literary magazine, The Undercurrent. In 2009, St. Martin's Press published Tal's first book, A Room for Learning: The Making of a School in Vermont, which tells the story of the founding and first year of the North Branch School. Tal and his wife and fellow NBS teacher Rose McVay live in Ripton, Vermont, just down the road from the school, with dogs Wallace and Jasper and an assortment of bedraggled chickens.
“If education interests you—if kids interest you—this is a magical story.”
“. . . I couldn't put it down. . . . Imagine: a place created for the purpose of
maximizing human learning, designed with that purpose in mind! . . . These
are the stories about remarkable classrooms and schools that we need to
restore our appreciation for how remarkable living things of all sorts are, but
humans most remarkably so. Every last one.” —Deborah Meier, author of The
Power of Their Ideas, Lessons to America from a Small School in Harlem