Esther Wojcicki, Reinventing Teaching

Esther Wojcicki is a leading American educator, journalist, and mother. A leader in Blending Learning and the integration of technology into education, she is founder of the Media Arts program at Palo Alto High School, where she built a journalism program from a small group of 20 students in 1984 to one of the largest in the nation, including 600 students, five additional journalism teachers, and nine award-winning journalism publications.

Author of How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results, Esther has created a training program and has a way to modify the program to get better student outcomes. The challenge for her was reimagining what the classroom should look like so that students were learning and HAPPY. As it turns out, the system doesn’t care if the kids are happy. They just want them to learn and graduate.

What is IT? IT is TRICK (from her book) which stands for trust, respect, independence, collaboration, and kindness. Sounds simple and it is, but teaching teachers how to do it is, unfortunately, not simple. Teachers are trained to teach by lecture and trained to maintain total control. It is the old system developed more than 100 years ago, but it doesn’t work for our world today.

She tried multiple ways to get students more involved and the most effective was give them more control over what they were learning. It took trust and respect to do that because kids could just goof off but turns out that they want to please. That is a by-product, so it worked out well. They still stick to the tradition curriculum requirements; it is just that you provide flexibility in how they learn the materials.

Having been intimately involved with Google and GoogleEdu since its inception, where she was one of the leaders in setting up the Google Teacher Academy and remains a guiding force, Esther also has two Honorary Doctorate Degrees – Palo Alto University (2013) and Rhode Island School of Design (2016).

She was California Teacher of the Year in 2002 by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; a recipient of the Gold Key by Columbia Scholastic Press Association in recognition of her outstanding devotion to the cause of the school press; a board member of Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington, DC, and on the Board of Newseum in DC; and a has been consultant for the U.S Department of Education, Hewlett Foundation, Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching, Google, Silicon Valley Education Foundation and Time Magazine Education.

Esther serves as Vice-Chair of Creative Commons and has previously worked as a professional journalist for multiple publications and blogs regularly for The Huffington Post. She set up a foundation called and is hoping to get funding to allow the organization to acknowledge and validate schools and programs that are already doing it as well as provide training for schools that don’t do it but want to.

Tune in to hear Steve, Mary and Richard chat with Esther about raising successful people and how simple lessons can create radical positive results.



In This Episode

Her daughter’s are the CEO of YouTube and the Founder of 23andMe

What she learned from growing up

Trust, respect, and believe in your child — the T.R.I.C.K method

It’s okay to teach your child to follow their dreams

First steps for parents

Always a parent, never a friend

Her transformative teaching experience

Her take on happiness now that she has wealth

Encourage children to take risks

Book: How To Raise Successful People




Previously On Reinvention Radio

Reinventing Wealth In Business – In this episode, tune in to hear Steve, Richard and Mary chat with Dustin Mathews about his journey as an entrepreneur, wealth in business and the difference between “the dip” and “the end”.