I have just returned from the National State Teachers of the Year Conference, Class of 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. My trip, made possible by corporate donations, enabled me to spend time with the group of extremely bright, talented and caring teachers who will represent public education throughout this year.
I was privileged to have experienced the energy and excitement that the learners in their classrooms experience every day. I was inspired by their joyful celebration of the individual efforts of all teachers, whose hard work and dedication continue to change so many lives for the better! And I was encouraged by their determination to contribute to the needed reshaping and strengthening of public education.
Now, once again, I dream of a time when the teaching profession will hold its rightful place of prestige and importance in our country. Because, with the support and acknowledgement that it deserves, our public education system can continue to be one of the institutions that guarantees America’s greatness and assists in fulfilling individual American dreams for this and every future generation!
(The writer is a former state and national Teacher of the Year.)