For those of us who work in state government, you will hear us talk about the first few months of a new year being a busy time due to the General Assembly being in session. This year is what is known as a long session, where the legislators will create the next two-year budget.
I know we all tend to tune out challenging news, especially when it does not improve much from year to year, but we need continue to focus on the importance of recruiting – and retaining – high-quality educators.
While I know Kentucky has many great and innovative educators across the state, I also know that students cannot learn if they are not in school. And unfortunately, too many of our students miss school on a regular basis.
As you may be aware, I have provided notice to the Kentucky Board of Education that I will be stepping down at the end of September to become the associate vice president of teaching and learning at Western Michigan University. This transition generates several different emotions for me, but I am choosing to focus on perhaps the strongest one – gratitude.
In July, I had the privilege of being one of the opening speakers for the Tales of Transformation: Sharing Stories of Deeper Learning conference. The event featured presentations from three districts from each of the eight regional educational cooperatives sharing their experiences with deeper learning that can be replicated across the Commonwealth.
May is always one of the busiest times of the year in education, as we wind up another school year and celebrate another class of seniors. This month, I wanted to write a column aimed at this year’s graduating class.
In April, I had the privilege of seeing student learning in action at the 2023 Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) State Championship.
I had the opportunity to speak at the annual Kentucky Educators Rising Conference at Bellarmine University in Louisville in March. Educators Rising is the career technical student organization for middle and high school students interested in education-related careers and the Educators Rising Conference is an annual gathering and showcase of Kentucky’s prospective teachers.
Back in December, I wrote a column about what I considered to be deeper learning, a topic that you probably hear educators discuss a lot these days. While we have avoided laying out an official definition from the Kentucky Department of Education so that those learning and working in our schools can help determine what it means, we do know that deeper learning can take several forms.
Emerging from the pandemic, we’ve all heard increasing concerns about the current state of the teaching profession, both here in Kentucky and nationally. As districts struggle with filling positions both in the classroom and in support roles, we are seeing some noticeable strains in the educator workforce.