Education is filled with teachers who make tremendous financial, social, and personal sacrifices because of their passion for education. While I have championed efforts to reconsider teacher pay and evaluations, I have never been bitter. I wittingly chose to become a teacher in spite of sacrifices I knew I would have to make for my family -- and in my experience, the overwhelming majority of teachers have done the same. Does it get old living paycheck-to-paycheck or breaking a backpack because of the number of books and papers you have to drag home to grade after you leave? Sure. There are days when a parent drives you crazy as she enables her son to continue to not reach his potential while she offers up excuse after excuse for him. Inevitably, at some point, you know you will get chewed out by an administrator for insufficient test scores -- even though you know that you're really getting it because the administrator got it from her boss and so on. It's unfair to do work that is often trivialized, discounted, underfunded, undervalued, lacks professional clout, pigeon holes, isolates, lacks external incentives, is clogged with bureaucracy, garners everyone's opinion, and is tiring.
BUT! (that's a big but) Teachers do it anyways.
Why? It's simple. The kids. In an age understandably riddled with ed reform efforts, as technology and other countries seem to pass the US educational system by (if you listen that news network), it is critical to remember why it's important; why we got into the system to begin with. It's about the kids.
Nothing--not a bigger house, nicer car, nicer vacation, nicer toys--nothing is as fulfilling as making a difference in someone else's life. What better way to do that then as an educator? In a month when our nation celebrates thankfulness, it is important to remember that in spite of all of the challenges associated with the profession, teachers make a difference. When trying to affect change on a national, state, or even local scale, it can become daunting and discouraging. Change is good and reform is important. It is how we make the "difference" better. It is how we help students realize and reach new potential! Don't get down. Keep after it. Be willing to risk failure for the sake of your students. Try new things. Break the "normal" rules. Find a way to improve. Duck your head and nod when you have to, but remember, there is a kid in your class today that only you can reach, and you may have move beyond your norm to do so. You're in that person's life for a reason and it is important you offer your very best!
GE Foundation Leadership Summit
Leveraging Innovative Technologies for Learning
Texas Open Innovation Conference
Mar 27 - 29
Emerging Innovations in Education
Authentic Learning through PBL
FFT Leading & Learning
Connecting Global Education with the Tennessee Valley
reMake Education Summit
Sonoma County, CA
Keynote, Making Making Work in Education
National Governor's Association
Teaching Governor's to Code
US Dept of Education
Round Table with Secretary John King.
K-12 Pathways for CS
Ed Foo--Making in Education (breakout session)
K-12 Education Panels
Strategies for Reducing the Racial Gap in Computing
Boston Museum of Science
Teaching with Toys--Using Robotics as a Gateway for Computer Science
US Dept of Education
MSP Computer Science Proposition
§ The Great Miscalculation
§ Five Facts About Failing
§ Oh! That's STEM?
§ My Mom Isn't
an Engineer and That's