Last weekend we were at the annual convention for NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English). I am happy to report that not one person sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher.
After meeting so many alert, engaged, dedicated teachers, it’s weird that if I Google “educational crisis in america" I get more than 72,000 results. How can that be? (That’s a rhetorical questions, because I know how it can be.)
What I mean is: the news sometimes seems so full of reports about failing schools, failing teachers, failing administrators, and fail, fail, fail, what’s the point, everything sucks, blah blah blah. It’s depressing, right? So let me try to counteract all that stuff, at least a little bit. Because here’s the deal:
Man oh manicotti, there are amazing teachers and administrators out there. Lots of them! All over the country!
Over and over, I met people who made me want to be in their classes. Everyone at NCTE is trying to figure out what’s best for their students— how to challenge them, how to keep them from getting on the wrong track, how to get them (and keep them) reading, and how to balance the demands of The Test with a creative curriculum. And this was true across the board. It was as true for teachers-in-training as it was for teachers, as true for principals as it was for superintendents. It was even true for the people we spoke with who supervise the superintendents.
This year’s NCTE was in Boston; next year’s is in DC. We’ll be there. Will you?