Using the poetry of Walt Whitman (the Poet), an MIT graduation speech by Carleton Fiorina, the chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard (the CEO), and the words of a teacher (the First-Grade Teacher), high school English teacher Mary Ellen Dakin shares with readers the transformation of her understanding of student achievement. Dakin expands her notions of intelligence and achievement to validate and incorporate ideas she had previously rejected. Through an introspective process, Dakin is able to find success in places she never thought to look. This essay encourages teachers to challenge and broaden the assumptions that they bring to teaching and learning. (pp. 269-284)

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