The 2021-2022 school year is set to start up in just a few weeks and many of us – educators and parents alike – are contemplating what the next year will look like.
By now, you’ve hopefully heard about the Commissioner’s Virtual Listening Tour. For more than a month, I led a series of virtual town halls in conjunction with the education cooperatives and the University of Kentucky’s College of Education to hear directly from parents, students, educators and community members about what is and isn’t working in Kentucky’s education system.
This year, Teacher Appreciation Week will be May 3-7. This year’s theme is #ThankATeacher. I am thankful every day for the teachers who have helped and inspired me along the way.
All of us at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) are committed to the core values of equity, achievement, collaboration and integrity. These are the values that drive our work day after day.
I like to say that people who are drawn to becoming teachers generally have a calling. That got me thinking; why do we often call teaching a calling?
When Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass called me last year to ask if I would become Kentucky’s first chief equity officer, it was one of the greatest honors of my career.
Throughout the course of my education career, I have engaged in numerous discussions on how and if schools should discuss and teach controversial topics with students.
It soon will be a time of new beginnings for this year’s high school seniors. Even though their senior year hasn’t been what they anticipated, now is the time to be following through with plans for what comes next in their lives.
I’ve always been a fan of the holiday season, much like all of you I’m sure. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the things I like the most about the holidays are the traditions – decorating, spending time with neighbors and special dinners with friends and family.
Public education is a decidedly social endeavor. The things most graduates treasure from their school years are the memories of interactions with great teachers who changed the trajectory of their life, their experiences in school activities and athletics that taught them the value of collaboration and teamwork, and the lifelong bonds of friendship that often are forged in school-age years.