Pamela Mary Schmidt

Pamela Mary Schmidt is an English special education teacher at Freeport High School in New York and one of the original curriculum writers for Speak Truth to Power. She holds an M.A. in special education from Dowling College and a B.A. in English education from LIU Post College. Schmidt is an ongoing participant in the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) and the Columbia University Oral History Master of Arts Program. Schmidt is an international educational consultant and a distinguished member of the editorial review boards for the “Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals” (JAASEP) and “Special Education Research, Policy & Practice” (SERPP).

As an oral historian and STTP lead educator, Schmidt collaborates with the Collaborative Task Force for the United Nations Season of Non-Violence for the Temple of Understanding, Good Weave USA and Good Weave Nepal, Partners in Health in Haiti, and Foro Penal in Venezuela to teach the STTP lessons and document visceral narratives and art from the marginalized and oppressed around the world through a program she founded called, an educational advocacy project that implements and integrates emotional intelligence to support human potential. The collective goal of each component is to facilitate a direct link between students and those that are marginalized or oppressed to generate support, develop self-sustainability, and advocate for human rights concerns.

Schmidt’s article “A Voice for Writing: A Universal Language for Secondary ELLs” was published in the NYSUT journal, “Educator’s Voice.” She recently published a book entitled “A Voice for Writing: A Universal and Formulaic Reading and Writing Method to Reach the New Millennium Students Using Colors, Symbols, Patterns, and Socio-Emotional Intelligence.” The unique method frontloads scaffolded SEL competencies within the STTP lessons to use abstract concepts and emotional intelligence as a stepping stone for self-understanding, reading, and expository writing.

In the classroom, Schmidt believes that the integration of the Speak Truth to Power human rights curriculum conceptually linked to existing district texts through such themes as courage, compassion, and perseverance nurtures a deeper sense of social awareness for students and also instills a sense of civic responsibility and awareness that they can be a “ripple of hope” for others and take responsibility to speak out in their roles as citizens of the world.