Frank Thoms

People, Not Putin, and other thoughts…

Oct 13, 2022 by Frank Thoms

Who am I then? My name is Frank Thoms. I taught eighth graders for twenty-five years in public school about Marx, socialism, Russian history and culture and Soviet Communism; then later in private school. In addition to teaching abroad in the Soviet Union, I taught in a progressive school in Oxfordshire, England. My focus in this blog will be to bring together my experiences in the US, USSR, and England. Each contributed to my becoming a teacher, each opened me to insights. I believed in all those years that good teaching is essential if schools are to educate, to ‘lead out’––‘educere’ from Latin.

I discovered that students, when given the opportunity to think and express ideas, learning happens. Having sat in teachers’ classrooms who delivered information nonstop, I felt it was more like indoctrination than education. But those teachers who shared information for the purpose of discovery, for stimulating conversation, understood the meaning of a true education.

I have published five books, one self-published, three with Roman & Littlefield, and my latest, Behind the Red Veil: An American inside Gorbachev’s Russia (SparkPress, 2020). I learned to teach from the Russian people, the English, and my extensive years in middle school in the US. I have a love of teaching––and a deep respect for today’s teachers. 

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