Sunday, July 31, 2011

Save our Schools March/NBPTS Conference Wrap-Up

In February, I decided to attend the NBPTS conference then later I learned of the Save our Schools March in Washington.  The two events occurred simultaneously.  Both events made me think deeply about my role as an educator.  I came away with the following thoughts.
  • The choice to become a teacher is a tough choice in America today--low wages, demeaning policies and a lack of public support hinders many from joining the profession or doing what's possible in their educational roles.  Note: I'm fortunate to work in an optimal school and earn a fair wage--a model for all schools/educators.
  • Our country depends on a strong public school system for all; currently the quick-fix, test-driven educational policies our government is supporting are undermining the potential that public schools hold to create a strong, smart, innovative people and nation.
  • It's every educators' responsibility to educate all children in their charge with engaging and empowering strategies and efforts that prepare students for the world of the future.  Educators have to rid their schools of pervasive isolation and move towards greater collaboration (in and out of school) to best educate all children.
  • Educators have to be life long learners who embrace evidence/research based practices.  Schools should encourage their teachers to affiliate with national organizations related to content and pedagogy, and national organizations should continue to partner with universities in an effort to bridge the divide that exists between research and practice.
I'm proud to be an educator because I believe that optimal education for all provides our country with a strong foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and pleasing future--a better world for all.  I have a responsibility to work with my colleagues in my school, system, community and nation to learn about and implement best practices to best serve students.  I also have a responsibility to stay in touch with legislators and other policy makers in an effort to inform them about what's best for education today.

I'm open to challenge, ideas and comments, so let me know what you think.  As always, my main objective is to do my job well as a fourth grade teacher.  Thanks for listening.