In case you hadn’t heard, President Obama recently sat down with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and four teachers for an hour long lunch at the White House. From what I read of their chats, I am hopeful for the future of education here in America.
There are times where it seems the only thing that matters in today’s classrooms are test scores. However, we’ve all seen students who come to school without breakfast or without any sleep the night before due to the violence that was happening in or around their home. These things break our hearts as educators. Yet, we persevere because we love our jobs and we want the very best for our students. We realize that the best doesn’t always mean having a perfect test score. It may mean feeling safe or perhaps having enough food to take home to feed a younger sibling for the night. However hope may look, it gives life to our students and allows them to be successful.
One of my biggest take-aways after reading about this meeting with President Obama was that teachers shared that it’s not about bad teachers – sometimes just poor teaching. I am so relieved to read this! Yes, there are a few bad apples – but the way teachers all too often get portrayed in the media is that the majority of us are bad apples. That is simply not true!
The general public needs to do a better job of listening to teachers! We are the ones in the classrooms each and every day. We know what is best for our students. We were educated to reach students in the best way possible. When we all join together, we can do amazing things!
Here is my favorite quote from the one of the articles —
Yes, we want to recruit talented new teachers who walk in the door with high potential for perseverance, intelligence, and compassion. But we don’t need to swap out all the bad and mediocre teachers for better teachers, anymore than we should swap out our struggling students for more advanced students. We need to build systems that support every teacher willing to put in the work it takes to move from novice to competent, competent to excellent, and beyond. —- from the Washington Post article by Justin Minkel (written by Valerie Strauss)
It’s going to continue to be an uphill battle, but if politicians and the general public continue to listen to what those of us in the trenches have to say, there’s a good chance of continued success!
I’m so thankful that this conversation has been started by the President. It leaves me hopeful that we will be able to continue it!
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.