Where to begin! I left Saturday afternoon for a turn around trip to the Big Apple! I was determined and excited to attend NBC's Education Nation Teacher Town Hall in New York City September 25th.
Armed with my media credentials (a first for me and I loved it!) I braced myself for the challenge and hailed a taxi to 30 Rock. I felt very New Yorkish as I (in my best accent) said, "30 Rock!" The driver nodded and I was on my way!
Brian Williams, my first crush of the event, started the with a kudos to teachers and a warm welcome. Speakers included teachers of the year, administrators, school leaders and more. Melinda Gates was absolutely a highlight, though I may not always agree with her beliefs and ideas. She says we must have a new teacher evaluation and I completely AGREE with that! However, I am not sure if all of this-peer teacher's evaluations, student assessments, parents surveys, student surveys, and administration observations-should determine final evaluation and pay. More than the obvious issues that might arise, I just do not think the logistics would ever work. Who would cover the other classes while colleagues observe a lesson? How will these surveys been done without bias? I could go on and on. I KNOW teachers should learn from each other and I am the first to volunteer and also share,
but are we ready for this?
I am really pondering the best type of teacher evaluation system and I fully intend on passing along my ideas....when I have one! Do you have an idea? Please share! Mrs. Gates was also intermingled with teacher pay talk. She knows teachers should make more money. We all know teachers should make more money...I hope anyway! For more with Mrs. Gates, visit Ed Nation Part 1.
Another big hit for me was Maddie Fennel (hope I am giving her name the justice it deserves!) She was a heavy hitter that I can admire and probably listen to for hours. My favorite comment was geared for our teacher friends who may not be in the right field, "This may not be for you. Let us help you find something better to do with your time." (or something along those lines.) I get happy chills just thinking about it!
To hear more of Maddie and her preacheresque friend on the panel, click here:
Bottom line-this could have gone on for days. Seriously, if I could have my way--it would! There were not enough teachers present, the ones present were not geographically diverse, there were few parents, administrators, or superintendents either. There were a couple of speakers who easily could have been replaced with educators sharing their real life experiences. I am all about real teachers sharing what is going RIGHT and sharing SOLUTIONS on how to make things better. Did I enjoy the speakers on hand? YES! Do I think a little more TEACHER input could have been used to choose speakers--absolutely!!
There I go again with that teacher input thing! :)