Time For Education To Truly Serve Kids
Nearly a decade ago, I pursued a job within the education system with two goals in mind:
- Develop a deep understanding of what makes the system tick, from within
- Serve as a force for positive change and growth, honoring the very diverse needs of both students and the adults who impact their lives
I was compelled to do this because as a student I did not enjoy school and I recognized troubling similarities in the current student population: boredom, behavior issues, extreme stress, and a general lack of opportunities to build passion and skills which would lead to success in adulthood. Seeing this, many people look first at teachers as the source of these challenges, but I knew if I spent enough time understanding the system holistically, it would uncover the underlying issues and causes which are much deeper than simply what’s happening in the classroom.
My journey began as a volunteer in a county office of education, then as a short term contractor and eventually a full time employee, responsible for leading the introduction and support of educational technology in local schools.
Reaching the outer edge of that position in 2015 provided the catalyst for my launch of Future Development Group, where I continued to broaden and increase my support and understanding of the school system, both locally and globally. Over the last two years I’ve supported thousands of teachers and students in the US, Australia, the U.K., Hong Kong and Pakistan. I’ve worked with general ed, special ed, alt ed, and with incarcerated youth. I’ve coached both teachers and administrators at many levels.
Along the way, I’ve gotten to know many passionate educators who desperately want to provide engaging activities for their kids, but who are hampered by such things as lack of support, lack of continuity, lack of spending power and lack of feeling valued and heard. These deficiencies contribute to the very real problems causing our nation’s schools to lose hundreds of thousands of teachers annually; and they ultimately create a massive detriment for our young people, impacting equity, access, and futures.
I remain committed to those original goals and am taking bold steps to continue serving in ways which bring positive change and growth in our schools. It’s clear that in order to give students the education they deserve, we must support those who desperately want to do that work: teachers.
The profession of teaching cannot continue to show up on the list of most stressful jobs in America. We cannot continue to demand from teachers without giving them the support they need to do incredible work. We have a serious problem when passionate and talented teachers want nothing more than to provide the very best for their students and instead of being supported and encouraged, are ushered off to remote corners of their districts as punishment.
We must thoughtfully and respectfully seek to understand and address these issues with teacher voices as a healthy part of the conversation.
After nine years of deep exploration, research and learning in education, I am ready to take a leap of faith into the eye of the storm and I am doing so with the launch of EdCoup, an online community for educators with the following goals:
- To empower and advocate for teachers
- To provide a safe place for the exchange of ideas, resources (and the occasional need to vent)
- And most importantly, to leverage the power which comes from leading a massive community of millions of educators toward real influence and change in education; change which honors both kids and teachers.
This is the work of EdCoup, and we begin the journey with an open invitation to every single K-12 teacher and classroom support professional in the US education system to join us. Our first step is to take millions of individual, unheard voices and bring them safely together as one.
There has never been a more critical time in the history of education to come together, to shape its future. We all have a choice to make, right here, right now, to live with what we have, or come together and make it better for kids.
I choose to stand for something. I choose to take action for the betterment of our world and it would be my honor to have you standing with me.