Friday, January 23, 2015

And speaking of schools: A cheer for teachers

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 9:29 AM

click to enlarge AWESOME TEACHER: Heather Thompson of Bentonville High.
  • AWESOME TEACHER: Heather Thompson of Bentonville High.
Shortly after posting the LRSD item, I got a note from Dr. Christian Goering, who teaches on the Department of Education faculty at the University of Arkansas. He's one of the contributors to Edusanity, a blog styled as a "voice of reason in public education."

Today's post on Edusanity is, by way of example, a profile of an outstanding teacher in Bentonville, high school English teacher Heather Thompson. It describes a visit to her class and her work to integrate the arts in her classes, such as with a reading theater. The class sounds like fun. It's to be one of a series of profiles of Awesome Teachers of Arkansas.

A course that Goering and contributor Dr. Jason Endacott began offering in 2013 gives you an idea where they are coming from. The course: Reclaiming the Conversation on Education. The description:

Educators! Are you tired of listening to people who have never set foot in the classroom tell you how to do your job? Are you sick of watching politicians with no educational experience dictate your students’ future? Do you roll your eyes in exasperation when you hear the words “Modern Educational Reform”? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then we have the course for you.

Or, if you have the same feelings but aren't looking to take a college course in the subject, you could just check Edusanity occasionally.

This is valuable work. It is just like politics. If enough time is spent decrying the evils of government, eventually there will be no trust in any facet of government, even those agencies that demonstrably work thanks to trained, committed professionals. It's no different in education. In certain segments of Little Rock, it is a given that there's no redeeming feature in the Little Rock School District. Take it from a parent of two graduates of the district, that is simply inaccurate, not to mention grossly unfair to many people. There are many Heather Thompsons in the Little Rock School District.

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