A little less talk, a little more action, and a bit of edutainment, and I think I see how the world's children will come to realize their true potential and build the skill-sets they will someday need.
Better education leads to a better life. We need new ways of teaching for a new age. That includes new technologies and a focus on global citizenship, which is the defining feature of our increasingly interconnected world.
I think that while all kids should of course have access to education which teaches them to read and to write, I also believe that what creates opportunity is that ability to think critically about a subject.
Shekema Silveri teaches English at Mt. Zion High School in Jonesboro, GA. She was Georgia's 2011 Milken Educator and is the founder of Silveri Service Learning Academy, a 6-12 charter school scheduled to open in the 2014 school year.
My mother and father were Chicago public school teachers for the entirety of their 30-year careers. I wish commentors offended by the suggestion teachers should get paid well could spend one day in a public school teacher's shoes.
Having sat in on numerous school contract negotiations, I can tell you that the best contract agreement is when both sides walk away not feeling totally satisfied. That appears to be the case in Chicago.
So you want to be a teacher? Great, so now what do you do? Are you ready for the classroom? Are you ready to meet the demands of your administration? Are you ready to deal with the politics of the position of a teacher?
Do we want to keep heading down the same road of more testing, more data slicing, more reforms based on a business model? Or do we want our schools to aspire to something different, something better, something more?
Every 9/11 I think of the students whom I spent that day with. They were juniors (4 classes) and seniors (1 class). They are grown ups now, some with kids, some in graduate school/medical school, some working.
Perhaps we reap what we sow. If we assume that children are a "problem" to be solved (to be controlled or crammed full of knowledge or taught how to behave), are we creating a self-fulfilling prophecy?
While other countries invest heavily in their education systems, we are mortgaging our future by cutting education, and undercutting the people who are passionate about making a difference. And, it's not all about money.
For the past few years we have had an increasing number of elementary schools contact us with reports that their teachers and school staff were "freaking out." The cause for alarm? The new enrollment of a transgender child or the gender transition of an already-enrolled student.
During my five day English immersion program with VaughanTown, I made lifelong friends with whom I spent hours walking, talking about life and sharing hopes and fears. One of the most notable parts of the program for me, were the meal times.
I spotlighted Jennifer Isbell, a teacher from Central Coast New Tech High, who was using her summer to collaborate as she prepared to be a founding teacher at this new public high school, which opened its doors last week.
Eleven years ago, at the beginning of my career as a teacher, my students and I were isolated in my classroom. But video networking technologies have transformed the educational experience, literally connecting my classroom to the entire world.