My Lifelong Support for Teachers

I have great respect for teachers and have family ties to the profession. My brother has been a public school teacher for the past 30 years in a large and diverse urban high school. For many decades, my grandmother taught piano to neighborhood children in Detroit.  I worked during college as an English as a Second Language (ESL) and writing tutor, and taught in the university’s Summer Bridge program for incoming freshmen from underrepresented communities. More recently, I taught French to K-2 students in a before-school enrichment program, and I have volunteered in my children’s classrooms regularly.

I have seen firsthand what teachers bring to a classroom, the inspiration, the patience, the hours of preparation, the challenges they face and the joys of interacting with children.

My own teachers throughout the years greatly influenced who I am. I know that I am especially indebted to those who encouraged me to think for myself, aspire to succeed at difficult tasks, explore the world, and pursue social justice. Some of these teachers include: R. Nicholson, R. Sleigh, E. Swede, R. Federman, L. Jorisson, R. Baines, J.Snowdon, L. Pitcher, A. Cohen, M. Carlier, M. Lewenstein, E. Abel.

In recent years, I have spoken up on various issues affecting the teaching profession, and have participated in a number of education forums, panels and discussions, including:
MDC panel
  • Panelist, “Are Teachers Targets? Why?” Metropolitan Democratic Club, Seattle, Oct. 2011.
  • Panelist, “Parent Perspectives on Standardized Testing,” Thornton Creek Elementary School, sponsored by the Alternative Schools Coalition and Seattle Education 2010, April. 2011.
  • Speaker and panelist at inaugural forum for national organization Parents Across America, featuring keynote speaker Diane Ravitch, New York City, Feb. 2011.
  • Emcee, education forum “Race to Where?” featuring Diane Ravitch via Skype from New York, educator Jesse Hagopian, and UW Professor Wayne Au, of Rethinking Schools
As a professionally trained journalist and writer, I have also analyzed local and national education policy issues, and have written about the attempts to de-professionalize teaching, the failure and damages of merit pay and high-stakes testing, as well as the art of teaching.

See:

The Shocking Doctrine of Ed Reform Laid Bare by NBC – (originally published on Naomi Klein’s site)

I aim to bring my appreciation, respect and high expectations for the profession to the school board, as a director.

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