I’m a teacher who looks at things differently and who is bold enough (or crazy enough) to speak and write about what I’ve seen. Some teachers and parents have said I was the first person they’d heard speak about education who made sense to them. Some administrators, and politicians as well as other teachers have labeled me negative, politically incorrect, a trouble maker and too much of a smarty pants for my own (or anyone else’s) good.
I’m an educator, author, speaker, blogger, teacher trainer and published composer/musician.
Whatever your interest in education, if you want to have some fun while getting a real life point of view for improving teaching and learning, you are in the right place.
I love teaching and I really care about my students. So, if I seem irreverent or comedic, it’s just to get my point across by being entertaining. I am a pessimist because of my experience with educational reform, a pragmatist because of necessity and an optimist because of my faith in people.
Biographical information: P. M. DeVuono
I was born in Chicago and educated in the midwest. After college (U. of I.) I moved to Los Angeles to seek my fortune in the music/entertainment industry. I had just enough success to be on dozens of records, to hear myself on the radio when I was broke and to be very wary of fame.
I needed more and started substitute teaching while trying to decide what I wanted to do next. I took education courses at CSUN while teaching as a sub at over 35 different schools over the course of the next 5 years. It was an amazing experience which I will share. I got a permanent position at the West Hollywood Community Day School (CDS – a school for at risk students) and, during my 2o years there, earned my Masters of Education Degree and became National Board Certified in Adolescent Mathematics (primarily Algebra). I have taught every subject and grade level from 2nd grade through adult school. I have taught beginning teachers through the BTSA program.
I have authored the book What Happened to David, a story telling what it is like to go to an alternative school and what it’s like dealing with bullies, school violence and young love.
21 Things You Should Know About Me
What book have you gifted the most? Why?
I’ve gifted my own book What Happened to David the most because I sincerely believe that it can be a great help or resource for teens, parents and educators for understanding bullying, romance and school culture in general.
What is the one productivity tool you use every day? Why?
I use my iMac desktop computer every day (or pretty much every day). I find it easier to write on a full size keyboard. I prefer a mouse to a touch pad or touch screen. It’s easier to navigate between resources (word processor, email, dictionary, internet).
What word do you misspell most often?
My dyslexic fingers type out ‘form’ when I want to write ‘from’.
What three things do you do to be a successful writer?
Blog; write more; network – who says I’m successful?
What are the titles of the last two books you have read?
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace
Persuader by Lee Child
What is your favorite word?
No such thing as a favorite word.
What do you use more often – a dictionary or a thesaurus?
What would you name the autobiography of your life?
What is your ‘go to’ munchie or drink while writing?
Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
No. Some pictures only require one word such as – ‘cool’ or ‘stupid’ or ‘what?’. Some pictures require more than a thousand words,
What animal are you most similar to and why?
I am most like a cat: independent; fierce when I need to be; cuddly when I want to be.
How would your best friend describe you?
A toasted marshmallow, dark and crusty on the outside, but soft and sweet on the inside.
What keeps you up at night? (and don’t say howling dogs)
Fear and worry.
I’m afraid of being out of control and I know that the world is full of things I can’t foresee or control. In What Happened to David, David calls it ‘the Random Element’. Personal example: I was camping on a beautiful Pacific island and got slammed by a hurricane. Never saw it coming.
I worry that I’m not living up to the promise of my talent and gifts because I’m not working hard enough.
What is one thing you will never do again?
No way I’m going there!
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare?
Specialty of the house is red sauce with meatballs and Italian sausage.
What is the best compliment you have received – or would like to receive?
This really happened. A former student came back to say hi and tell me he was enrolled in college. Then he said, “Hey Mr. D., did you ever read a book called Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein?”
I said, “When I was in college you had no claim to being cool if you didn’t know what a ‘water brother’ was.”
Then my student said, “You remind me of Jubal Harshaw.”
I was floored. Jubal Harshaw is described as: Jubal E. Harshaw LL.B., M.D., Sc.D., bon vivant, gourmet, sybarite, popular author extraordinary, and neo-pessimist philosopher…!
What question do you hate to answer?
I hate questions #6 & #14. Anything else? Ask away – read my blog – my life is an open book.
Crowds, small groups or ‘go away’?
It depends: If I’m the ‘Sage on Stage’, or if I’m the ‘Music Sensation That’s Sweepin’ The Nation’ and getting paid for it then I’m fine with a big crowd. But if it’s for fun or relaxation then my preference is for small group or tea for two.
What would you sing at Karaoke night?
Great Balls of Fire
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Slippery when wet
What is the one question you wished I would have asked you? Why?
Can’t think of one.