When accomplished teachers leave school in in June most of them don’t just lay around the pool. They often participate in thriving online communities, take advantage of learning opportunities, and collaborate to support the next generation of teachers. This summer I had the privilege to teach a foundations of education course at VCU where I graduated last December. Here is an excerpt from my post, “What I did during summer vacation” on my blog at
The class also engaged with 2010 Florida Teacher of the Year, Megan Allen, who had spent eight weeks testing students from late April into May. This excessive testing left Megan struggling to maintain her and her students’ motivation. The class realized that all of this testing is in the name of equity if not in the service of it. It left my students wondering what they could do. That is where the solutions focus became important. Jacob, a student who described struggling through school with some excellent and some horrible teachers seemed to arrive at a new respect for the process of teaching and the challenges teachers face. He wrote:
I realized that it (education) can require much more finesse than people often give it credit for. Proper education needs much more than a book plopped in a student’s lap and a teacher standing in front reciting some dry material and hoping it sticks. You tend to spend more time as an educator these days sorting through government testing and requirements, social differences and conflicts, and finally in the end try to work in a good lesson to the students.
This enhanced level of awareness of the processes and functions of school will help these students proactively engage with education in the future, even if they are not going into teaching. The process of teacher leaders spreading their expertise made a difference in the lives of these college students in a meaningful way.