Appreciating Educators, This Week And Always

In case you didn’t know it already, this week is Teacher Appreciation Week.  With this in mind, I have been reflecting about the educators who contributed so much to my success.  The first and foremost was my mother who was an elementary teacher for 30-plus years in Milford, MA. Then there were a number of others who played a critical role in my development after the death of my father when I was in the 7th grade.

In the past few days, there have been some great examples shared online which highlight the importance of passionate educators in the lives of students.  One of the most popular pieces making the rounds has been the phenomenal TED Talk by Dr. Rita Pierson (check it our below), an educator for over 40 years.  Dr. Pierson’s essay also appeared in the Huffington Post and the excerpt below is one that strikes me as most critical.

Unless there is a connection between teacher, student and lesson, learning becomes tiresome to all involved. Veteran educator, James Comer, states that, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”

In a day and age where so much time and energy is spent on debating a misguided education reform agenda that equates standardized test scores with quality teaching, I am thankful to work in an educational community that mirrors the one I attended as a student.  My thanks go to the educators who connected with me as a student and the wonderful teachers in Burlington who share this student-centered philosophy!

There is no test that can truly show what you mean to your students!

http://embed.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion.html

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If Students Designed Their Own Schools (Video)

The video above first appeared in a Huffington Post article last week titled The Independent Project – High School Allows Teens To Decide Their Own Curriculum.   The clip gives an overview of a progressive program at Monument Mountain High School in Great Barrington, MA that allows students to design their own course of studies.

I can’t help wondering how many of our students would jump at the opportunity to do something similar…

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