"I've been fired a few times, and some people get down about that and the way I keep myself up from that is I look at it as a positive thing. You're fighting for something you think is right. The timing may not be right, the placement may not be right, but if you believe in what you're doing, then it's not a knock on yourself. You did the best you can at that time in that situation. And so to me, it just inspires me more that people are fighting you to go after what you think is right, and start over again, start at a new job, start fighting again." -- Dennis Littky
How do you comeback from a major setback?
Dennis Littky is co-founder and co-director of The Big Picture Company, The Met School and College Unbound. He is nationally known for his extensive work in secondary education in urban, suburban and rural settings, spanning over 40 years. Dr. Littky holds a double Ph.D. in psychology and education from the University of Michigan. His work as a principal at Thayer Junior/Senior High School in Winchester,
NH, was featured in an NBC movie, “A Town Torn Apart”, based on the book, Doc: The Story of Dennis Littky and His Fight for a Better School. He published a book, in collaboration with Samantha Grabelle, on The Big Picture’s philosophy entitled, The Big Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business (ASCD, September 2004).
The honors he has received include the 2002 McGraw Hill Prize in Education, The George Lucas’s Daring Dozen in Education Award and the 2006 Innovator of the Year Award, from the Rhode Island Development Corporation.
As a social entrepreneur, Dr. Littky has successfully helped develop an innovative, replicable model for schools that has led to the creation of a network of 75 schools in 20 cities, nationally, and 20 abroad. In addition, Littky and Big Picture were asked to lead the Gates Foundation’s Alternative High School Initiative, for youth at risk of “falling through the cracks” of the present system, most notably high school dropouts. Clayton Christensen author of Disrupting Class says, “Big Picture Learning is a perfect example of a heavyweight team that has redefined—indeed, revolutionized— schooling. Just recently, Dennis founded, a new college program, College Unbound in partnership with Roger Williams University, that challenges the way colleges work with first generation students.