Tal is the co-founder and head teacher of the North Branch School in Ripton, Vermont. The North Branch School, with 27 students, began in 2001. Tal teaches writing, literature, social studies, art, theater, and is the school counselor.
“This Side of Panther Mountain” is the weekly journal of a school year and contains writing about poetry, literature, and the process and meaning of teaching young adolescents.
Tal’s first book, A Room for Learning: The Making of a School in Vermont was published in 2009 by St. Martin’s Press. His second book, Hearts of the Mountain: A Teacher, Adolescents, and a Living School, is forthcoming from Green Writers Press in Fall of 2021.