Joe Bower died yesterday. His Blog – For the Love of Learning
From CBC-Canada comes, Popular Red Deer teacher Joe Bower mourned on social media
Condolences are pouring in on social media for a popular Red Deer teacher who died over the weekend, with one provincial party leader saying “Alberta is a lesser place” without him.
Joe Bower died Sunday afternoon after suffering a heart attack Friday, according to a social media post from a sibling.
Bower was a tireless advocate for making the public school system more progressive and student-centred, writing a popular blog called For the Love of Learning on issues close to him.
“Today we lost a great man, a husband, father, son, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, and educator,” his sister Jennifer Bower-Hannotte wrote in a Facebook post Sunday.
An article Bower wrote in 2009 seemed to capture his teaching philosophy.
“Trying to define good teaching and good learning is no easy task,” Bower wrote.
“But if we always keep our ultimate objective in mind — the love of learning — and we allow nothing to sabotage us, our children will be afforded the opportunity to learn for the sake of learning in a safe and caring learning environment.”
Our own Diane Ravitch wrote R.I.P. Joe Bower.
Joe was a wonderful teacher, father, and husband. He taught in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. His blogs were always inspiring. I reposted a number of them here. He was one of those educators that you wish were in charge of an entire state or nation. He was kind, caring, compassionate, and loved children.
While David Weiss at Cooperative Catalyst published the post, Good-bye Joe
Tonight, my friend Joe Bower passed away after a massive heart attack a few days ago. He died with his family all around him.
Joe was one of the first educators I interacted with via social media. During many late night chat sessions he taught me to question many of my basic assumptions about education.
Why do we give grades to students anyway? Does this help them learn? What about homework? Does this practice help students learn? If not, why are we still doing it? What about school discipline? Do our current practices help students? If not, why not change them?
I’m going to miss my thought-provoking conversations with Joe. His students are going to miss their compassionate teacher. Progressive educators are going to miss one of their champions. His children are going to miss their father.
Valerie Strauss also used Joe’s powerful pieces including one in 2013 entitled Let them eat grit.
Let us hope that Joe knows that we will keep fighting and speaking out on behalf of teachers, students, parents and public education.