In the response from our global teacher bloggers to our September question, "What was your most challenging classroom and how did you turn it around?", a common theme ran through all anecdotes -- an openness to student experience that allows for a more understanding, empathetic response to student's problems.
Randi Weingarten is the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). I talk to Randi about what we can learn from successful education models abroad, the increasing importance of teachers having robust global and cultural competence, and how the US can do a better job supporting its teachers.
Through the union, educators are raising our collective voice. Together with parents and students, educators are turning the tide. Teaching is our heart. Our students are our soul. And the union is our spine. When educators raise their voice and their power, we can reclaim the promise of public education.
With the reauthorization of the absurd and dysfunctional NCLB, we have a chance to once again let teachers teach and let students learn. We have a chance to ignite their imaginations, encourage them to reach their full potential, and expand their world view beyond filling in bubble tests with a #2 pencil.
I believe in CTE because it lifts up underrepresented kids and gives them a chance to rise above the poverty line. It evens out the playing field, makes middle-class jobs not only more understandable, but more democratically accessible to the common Joe on the street. And that's something worth fighting for.
A high-quality public education can unlock our children's potential. It can bring communities together. It can ensure a top-notch workforce for our economy and an engaged citizenry for our democracy. We have an opportunity with the ESEA reauthorization to help reclaim the promise of public education.
There is no script for what to do with our students in situations like these, but I do believe that more than anything else, they need to feel loved and cared for. I ask that, regardless of how you are feeling, we all work hard to maintain safe spaces in our school and show each of our students how much we love them and care for them and that we want to keep them safe.