First, let me say how shocked (SHOCKED) I was to see that Ron Thorpe actually reads our blog. I’ve known him since he moderated a panel Ariel Sacks, Barnett Berry, Jon Snyder [President of Bank Street], and me. As we ran into each other at different events, most recently at the MetLife Foundation 35th Anniversary gathering, I realized how awesome it is to have access to some of the most active and influential minds in education … meeting with some of the most active and influential minds in the classroom. Yes, he’s worked in the field of progressive education for decades, and he carries those listening skills wherever he goes. But it seems that we don’t just hope to gain some wisdom from him, but also have a conversation in the truest sense of the word.
Back when we set a course to deliver a message for education, about education, and by educators, we had a hopeful and realistic vision of what we believed 2030 could look like if the right minds got into the huddle with us. The difference between our study and so many others is that we didn’t come from a strictly policy point-of-view, but one of a practitioner with our hands firmly in the work of building better schools one classroom at a time. We didn’t want to simply wait after dinner was served and then join for the dessert menu when all the rich conversations were gone; we had our own dinner table this time with allies in the form of CTQ guiding us in the charge.
As we continue to push this message of teacher as expert, we’re speaking truth to power in a major way. Our voices over the last few years have reached teachers, parents, college presidents, leaders of non-profits, and leading ed-researchers. The work being done in these small enclaves is multi-faceted and important all the time. Why settle for just one dimension of education we’d like to tackle when we have so much talent? While some of our interests lie in policy, others have gravitated towards pedagogy. Wherever we land, we must swim in it with both feet.
With people listening in on voices like yours, it’s become clear that we’ve made a dent. While there’s been a large discussion around certain entities capitalizing on the definition of “ed-reform,” there is a growing movement in the minds and hearts of people doing the real work to ensure that the people working closely with children have a huge say in what happens, and not as a token response either.
Even a simple comment on a blog can make that abundantly clear.