As happy as we are to be moving back to Oregon, we’re preparing ourselves for some big adjustments, not the least of which is how different our children’s schooling has been here in Texas. From smaller classrooms and bigger schools, to longer school days and an incredibly competitive pace for learning, our district in Texas has challenged our children in many ways, both positive and negative. We’ve giving a lot of thought to how the seemingly slower, more holistic approach to education will affect them in our new district in Oregon. We are hopeful that we’ll navigate the transition smoothly, but it’s going to take a good deal of involvement on our part to see things through.
The truth is, every district – in fact, every school – seems to have their own philosophies and approach to education. Across the United States, one constant seems to be stagnation among the teaching profession, resulting in low teacher morale. I personally wonder if we treat teaching different than many other professions because we just don’t understand the variety of roles each teacher must fill: educator, social worker, entertainer, counselor, disciplinarian, and more. Failing to give educators the appropriate opportunities for professional enrichment and advancement and the kind of administrative support needed to help them perform their jobs at the highest level has a trickle-down effect in schools. And where does that trickle end? With your child, and mine.
Parents, children, and educators can benefit from re-examining classroom and learning models, including how teachers are challenged in their profession, and what might or might not be working in their own schools, for their own children. Adding to the current conversation about children and education in the United States is the new book Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School, by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia.
A bit about the authors:
Eva Moskowitz is the Founder and CEO of the Success Academy Charter Schools. A former New York City Council member, she has earned a national reputation as a fighter for improving public schools’ rigor and resources, investing heavily in the arts, sports, and science instruction. Her first school, the Success Academy Harlem 1, quickly emerged as one of the top performing schools in New York State and was featured in The Lottery and Waiting for Superman. She is active on Facebook and engages regularly with others passionate about education on Twitter.
Arin Lavinia designed and developed THINK Literacy, a common sense approach to balanced literacy.
Mission Possible strives to answer a few fundamental questions, including:
Through research, anecdotes from the Success Academy Charter Schools, and video clips on an included DVD, Moskowitz and Lavinia map out a call to action for parents and educators to create schools that work for all children. And although the book is built specifically on the model of a charter school, there is much Mission Impossible adds to the overall conversation of children, education, and academic achievement in the US.
*note: US entries only, please. Read the Official Giveaway Rules for Tree, Root, and Twig.
**Disclosure: This post is part of a paid campaign. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.