David Palank is Principal at San Miguel School in Washington, DC.  San Miguel School uniquely serves low-income youth in the DC area with a preference for those living in poverty and who would not otherwise have access to a high quality private education. 

I am interested in the disruption of the educational system.  We must move from the scientific management approach of the 20th century and understand that the way we teach is a way of the past.  The research is out there to change the world through education, but we have to be willing to change!



Class hacking is a way of understanding what is really going on in the brains of students and using best practices to make measurable gains in all aspects of student achievement. 
Teaching is difficult because essentially, “research shows that every action a teacher takes and every decision a teacher makes either supports or undermines (the student’s brain)… this may be why teaching is so challenging—knowing that every word and glance carries with it social meaning. Sentences and gestures are noticed and interpreted, magnified, and combed for meanings the teacher often never intended.”[i] 


Class hacking uses scientifically proven practices to become a better learner, teacher, and leader. 
[i] Rock, D. (2013). Neuroscience of engagement and SCARF: Why they matter to schools. In Handbook of Neuroleadership (p. 520). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.


  1. Hello David,
    I like your approach to learning on your site. When I started in teaching in 1989 I was blessed with a critic teacher who was using brain based teaching strategies. Because she mentored me to teach this way, I assumed that was how everyone taught. Now as a superintendent, I have learned I was very wrong. I am constantly surprised (disappointed?) at how often I have to coach teachers out of fixed mindsets. When I engaged students as learning partners and when we built trust in each other, I was amazed at how kids went farther than I could have imagined or taken them with “stand and deliver” techniques.

    I look forward to reading more of what you have to say.


    1. Lou, I echo your surprise that more teachers are in the dark on how teaching works. I think it may come down to many of the programs that prepare future teachers. What district are you leading currently?


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