Kids and Teachers First
I sat down with Erin Jones for an amazing interview on education. Erin is running for the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington State. She is a non-partisan, Progressive firebrand for education in America. She is our kind of people!
This is part 1 of 2. In the discussion, Erin called out her rock-solid principles on education- Kids and Teachers First! That is what this is all about and nothing less that the future of the world is at stake. This woman is firmly positioned on the “front lines” for students and their teachers. She is a brilliant, dynamic Woman of Color and unapologetically so. She proudly wears her afro to signal to young People of Color that they are beautiful just the way the Creator made them. Exuding an indefatigable energy that is contagious. Please visit her campaign website and >>DONATE<< whatever you can- time, love, good wishes or money. Most of all, tell everyone you know to keep an eye on this barely-contained political dynamo on the rise.
Here is a little from her platform:
One critical role of the State Superintendent is to serve as an advocate with the federal and state governments on behalf of students and educators. In service to my community, my entire professional career has focused on advocating for appropriate support for educators and quality education for all students.
An Educator’s Lens
As an administrator, I continue to teach classes on a bi-weekly basis. It keeps me close to the heart of education: teachers. My relationships with educators provide keen insight into what’s important to them and informs how I make decisions on their behalf.
Both classified and certificated employees in the school building must be valued and incentivized for their contributions. Teachers must receive more support for time to plan, on-site coaching/training and physical resources.
Buildings must also be resourced equitably in order to ensure that all students have access to quality opportunities (arts, athletics, facilities).
A Collaborative Mindset
Authentic community engagement is vital to a quality public school education. The support of the “village” includes local government, community-based organizations, business owners, religious institutions, and families.
Educators and administrators cannot carry the entire responsibility of teaching our students. Nor should they. They need the support and resources of the community to be able to have the greatest impact on each and every student and the unique needs they bring to the system.
In my role as State Superintendent, I will provide the opportunity for input and feedback on policy and practice to the “villages” I serve.
All students should enter kindergarten ready to learn, just as all students should complete high school ready for post-secondary education (2-year, 4-year, technical colleges and intern/apprenticeships) and be able to participate in the professional world.
We must have a strategic plan in place that assures success from pre-kindergarten through college or the workforce. This plan must become a compass, guiding students and families on the path that carries them beyond their public school experience to support their greatest potential.
Please come back next week to check out the rest of this interview.