Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Real Most Powerful Educators

So the Forbes Magazine came out with a list of the World's 7 most powerful educators.  Looking at the list just shows how little they know about education and what really makes a powerful educator.  And, truthfully, why would they even have a clue as to who makes a strong effective teacher because those that make them are the unsung heroes, the ones sitting in a school, working with children and not having time to run around and get their faces on the front covers of magazines.

Ms. C, a teacher at Packemin is a powerful educator. When I began teaching at this school, Ms. C was working in the ISS department.  She is a former nurse and was running a successful nursing program for extremely limited students.  Several days a week she brought these children out in the field where they worked with nursing home residents and youngsters who were even more disabled than they were.  I remember a young woman who could not even ride the bus because she couldn't make change telling me how grateful she was not to be like the kids she worked with.  Ms.C gave her a reason to hope for a better future for herself.  Ms. C gave meaning to her education.

As with all good things in the DOE, Ms.C's work with ISS children came to an end.  A new administrator decided he only wanted ISS licensed teachers in his department and he transferred everyone teaching there without the certification.  (He removed two living environment teachers, one math teacher and one English teacher.)  Ms. C was upset but went on to teach living environment to mainstream students and she quickly found her niche working with the students who had a difficult time in most classes, many who didn't even like to come to school.  Ms. C spent (and still spends) hours finding songs and games to help them remember concepts and facts needed to pass the regents.  She gave (and still gives) hours of her free time helping these students achieve.  Ms. C is a tier I teacher.  She could be sitting at home, collecting her pension, but she isn't.  She is still in a classroom every day, reaching the hard to reach.

Forbes Magazine doesn't really care about who is a powerful teacher.  They care about who looks good on the cover, who will buy the magazine and who business people want to see because they see education as a business.  Children are commodities that count for nothing as far as they are concerned.  They have never heard of Ms.C and have no desire to ever know anything about her or the countless teachers like her.  The probably sold a lot of issues with these 7 powerful educators making headlines, issues that missed the truth by  miles.


Dumbfounded said...

I so admire Ms. C and her unique and creative approaches to teaching her subject matter. I really don't know anyone who could surpass her, even with a smartboard and a computer. The "7 most powerful educators" are a collection of business minded TFA and charter school education "reformers". These are the people set against "senior" veteran teachers, teachers' unions, and public education itself. They are not educators. I did not see one description that specifically described what the individual did as an educator in a classroom. It was about administrative business related backgrounds and very general descriptions. Wendy Kopp is the founder of Teach for America. Need we say any more? Forbes is a business, not an education, magazine.

Anonymous said...

The fact that it is published in Forbes says it all...