I have accomplished 2 things. I have completed my first Letter to the Editor and I created a Twitter account @thinkteachers. Now I have tweeted, but as I have no followers is that like “…if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?” I am very excited about this new media and seeing what potential it has for moving this idea forward.
As promised here is my letter:
Teachers affect more than the bottom line. I have been following the national conversation surrounding education in the US and particularly the role of teachers. While the issues are many and the solutions are under debate, what I am missing is an acknowledgment of the role that teachers play in the success of our children and their success in the global economy. In discussions with family and friends, the conversation often revolves around the policy and politics of education and teachers. The critical role that teachers play is boiled down into sound bites, dollars, and cents. My concern is that this is diminishing the respect that the profession of teaching, and those that choose to dedicate their lives to it, deserves.
Teachers believe in their students, open their minds to possibilities, teach them to think critically, and prepare them for careers. I have had many teachers help guide me to where I am today; and while the path has been far from straight, I can see each one of them and their impact on me along the way. Mr. Matthews had the first computer I had ever seen, an Apple II. It was in a small room off his classroom, he would spend time after school with the few students that were interested in learning about this new technology, and I was hooked. Mr. Matthews opened up a whole new world to me, on his own time and with an infectious enthusiasm that still resonates with me when I figure out that technical glitch or learn a new software program. I was the only girl in that small group of kids, but Mr. Matthews believed in me and this helped me believe in myself.
Did you have a teacher that touched your life? I would love to hear the story. I have started a site to empower kids and parents to remember that special teacher and the role they played in their life. This may not change the conversation, but perhaps it will offer a different perspective. I believe teachers deserve more than a sound bite.