Most of us spend part of our day teaching young people how to get along, and be empathetic toward one another. And when we begin to speak out in broader ways, we do it hoping to make a positive impact and bring people together. As a result, we often find ourselves unprepared to be on the receiving end of someone else's harsh, personal criticism.
The end of each school year is the beginning of the next fresh start for all of us. It is our chance to begin anew, to re-write the playbook, and to get it more right next time. In this way, commencement is for teachers too.
Your worth as a baseball player doesn't come from your position; it comes from how you play it. It's true, you can stand out there for 18 innings and put in your time and think the world is unfair. Or you can move. You can back up third or second, you can gauge the batter and you can encourage your teammates. Standing is a choice. Moving is a choice.
With so much importance placed on standardized testing, do we not embed common test taking strategies, brain breaks, and celebrations into our weekly classroom experiences?
Our nation's teachers are the infrastructure of this republic. Like water pipelines, roads, and bridges their purpose is that of the common good. When they do their job, it permits every other aspect of our society to function properly. But this isn't reflected in their level of appreciation
Joe Fatheree's experience producing seven new videos with State Teachers of the Year convinced him that the primary criticisms of the Common Core State Standards are built on faulty assumptions. Instead, teachers he filmed told Fatheree that the standards promote creativity, challenge students to use critical thinking skills, provide teachers with the autonomy to create engaging lessons, prepare students to take their place on the global stage by promoting collaboration, and help ensure students are career- and college-ready.
I would describe our system as a spider web of interdependency, and I believe it will take transformation of almost every thread to rebuild it into a system that our kids not only deserve, but that our economy will need to continue to grow. There is no simple, cheap miracle fix that will bring about transformative change for the education profession and the American education system; the entire web needs to be re-woven.
When it comes to the success of an individual classroom, nothing is more important than the relationship between the teacher and the students. When it comes to the success of an entire school, nothing is more important than the relationship of the adults in the building.
America has always had a complicated relationship with its public schools. Stop 100 people at the mall and ask them about their child's teacher, and you will hear affection in the vast majority of responses. Dare to suggest that a small school close and merge with another school 10 miles away, and you will hear passionate loyalty. Yet we still perceive our national system to be inferior
A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to come to Washington DC and talk about innovative models for professional development that are cropping up around the country. I sat on a panel with a very distinguished education scholar from Harvard, two practicing teachers, and two principals; all of us engaged in re-imagining how professional development can and should be delivered to teachers. I shared the work I'm helping lead in Burbank to an audience of advocates, policy-builders, union leaders, educators, and non-profit organizers.