Anyone who has been part of education in the last few years can’t help feel a tad defeated. While the rewards of being able to work with young people, watch them grow, ask questions, formulate opinions, and build relationships make teaching an unbelievably awesome job, there are many other pieces of our jobs that have come under fire in recent years. Teachers have seen their class sizes increase, their planning times taken away, salary cut, benefits reduced, etc. One could go on and on with all of the policies that have been made at the state level that directly influence our day to day work. Most of these policies have been enacted without teacher or educator input, which can be incredibly frustrating!
That’s one of the reasons I decided to apply to be a Michigan Educator Voice Fellow. I know so many great things are happening in our schools, throughout the state. It’s not all doom and gloom. There are myriad teachers doing innovative and challenging lessons and units with their students. Unfortunately, those voices don’t often get heard.
So what is the Michigan Educator Voice Fellowship? According to their website:
The Michigan Educator Voice Fellowship, as a branch of the national America Achieves Teacher & Principal Fellowship, empowers outstanding teachers and principals to elevate their voices in public conversations about teaching and learning, to assume leadership roles in their schools and communities, and to influence education policies at the local, state, and national levels, including the implementation of college- and career-ready standards.
I’m incredibly honored to have been chosen as one of 50 educators from around the state to work to raise teacher voices. For so long I have felt like my voice was the only one, whispering, while all around me people who have no experience with educating children get to shout and make the policy.Not only do we want to let people know about the innovative learning happening in our schools, we want to help reform education policy, provide solutions, and the time to see the effectiveness of those solutions. Being a part of this fellowship helps me to feel validated and empowered to not only share what teachers, schools, administrators, and districts are doing, but to feel supported in a way that I haven’t before.
— MI Ed Voice (@MIEdVoice) August 19, 2015